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My Journey into Prolotherapy...
bren_bren posted:
I find it fascinating to find in recent reading that the possibility of NSAID's and steroids can actually be of great defecit in the body's healing process. Then why does every doctor prescribe these types of med's to every patient they see? They "suspect" inflammation is the source for pain and want to target that. These steroid injections also pushed on so many of us (I've had 15) are of great compromise to our body's ability to heal. What if there is a solution to repairing damaged connective tissue without the overuse of medications and the dreaded steroid injections?? And why don't many docotors find connective tissues (eg. ligaments and tendons) as the root cause of many back pain ailments?? Because it is not visible in the standard imaging (MRI and CAT scans)...and they are trained to take pictures and evaluate/treat according to those images.

Food for thought: if you take time to read about prolotherapy, you may discover an entire realm of possibilites that aid your body's natural healing response, and throw out your anti-inflammatory med's...I'm on board with this and truly want to share with all of you.

I am currently undergoing a round of treatment and will keep updating on my progress. I will state the facts as it pertains to my benefits (and drawbacks if any) so that maybe others can find hope!!

I have lived with chronic pain for 4.5 yrs and NO DOCTOR can pinpoint my pain...I've suffered misdiagnosis, no diagnosis, family rejection of what appears to be a condition that is "in my head". All the thousands of $$ I have spent on imaging and therapies and meeting 20 + doctors has me FED UP!!! I am even more sympathetic to those I see on this board who suffer needlessly at the mercy of physicians who cannot seem to take the time to "think outside the box".

I'm not "selling" anything, I just want to offer my experience to maybe open y'alls eyes to an alternative treatment. I hope at least one chronic pain sufferer will read this paper found on this website:
There is a plethera of info there, or you can just "Google" prolotherapy.

The following is an abstract:
Many joint and connective tissue pains defy clear and
precise diagnosis. Often patients with various diagnoses
for joint, back and neck pain are not cured by traditional
treatment regimes appropriate for their "diagnosis".
Based on observations gleaned from treatment
responses to Prolotherapy, the author describes and
characterizes the Connective Tissue Damage Syndrome.
When properly understood, the CTDS explains not
only many body pains, undiagnosed conditions, and
treatment failures, but also many muscular
malfunctions (spasms, weakness, trigger points, etc.),
and referred symptoms such as pain, numbness,
tingling, and headaches. The results of Prolotherapy
treatment in patients with these disorders suggest
that pathological change in ligaments (CTDS) is the
underlying cause of these disorders. Prolotherapy is
the most rational and effective treatment for both the
underlying cause (ligament damage), and secondary
degenerative effects.
The body is capable of healing damaged connective
tissue structures, but certain hormone deficiencies
and medical treatments such as anti-inflammatories
prevent this. Once connective tissue damage syndrome
is correctly diagnosed, then treatment is rightly focused
on initiating and optimizing connective tissue healing.
Since incomplete connective tissue healing can be
principally due to either a trauma mechanism, or due
to impairment of the body's connective tissue healing
system, the integrity of the healing system must be
evaluated, and factors that impair connective tissue
healing must be identified and addressed. These
factors explain why many people with CTDS see their
disease worsen over time, while under medical care.
Patients who present with significant impairment of
the connective tissue healing system are described,
varying from "multisite connective tissue pain without
trauma history" to full-blown fibromyalgia.
Peace, Bren
annette030 responded:
Sorry, Bren. I looked into prolotherapy a few years ago, and only found anecdotal info about the results of the procedure. I found no evidence based research that supported this therapy.

The abstract you quoted stated that "Based on observations gleaned from treatment responses to Prolotherapy..." the author of the original article gathered her information. For me, this is not a proper scientific study.

I would look for evidence based research that supports prolotherapy for the specific condition that you have, it should be a randomized, double blind study. If you find one, let me know, I would love to read it, and see if there is something new since the last time I looked.

Take care, Annette
bren_bren replied to annette030's response:
Hey there Annette, thanks for your reply.

The thing that is so hard for me to grasp is that I've been diagnosed as having so many "conditions" that I'm back to square one. No doctor can pinpoint my pain exactly and now I'm going with something that just seems to make sense. I've tried everything else that can be done to manage my symptoms, and my pain management doc recently suggested this. A doc a mayo clinic told me about it in 2006, but he was clear to state it was a tough to find a great physician who knew how to perform it appropriately. My current guy is a spine surgeon who says he has avoided a triple-fusion through the (long) process of prolotherapy.

I did read about 25% of a book in his office where they had such studies you mentioned: Prolotherapy Your Pain Away.

There seem to be a lot more resources, even on the internet, since I checked back in '07.

If I find something electronic I will be sure to share. In the meantime, I'm dealing with much more inflammation (because that's what the shots do), and therefore, pain. It was a very unpleasant experience, as I received about 4 injections and screamed and about kicked him...then he sent me to a pharmacy to get valium and percocet and told me to meet him back in an hour. After that, I was miserable still and got another "round". I lost count at 15. I was pretty upset as I was told the lidocaine would have worked to help numb considerably, and he even tried 2 other forms of local anesthetic, but nothing compared to that awful deep tearing sensation.

Sounds horrible, and it was. They said that I was the 1 in about 30 of their patients who had such an experience (i.e.painful and no numbing). I'm giving it an honest go though, and definitely will share. To me, the models of referred pain presented in the article that I shared definitely pertain to the pain I experience. It only makes sense to me that when I crashed down on my bike seat 4.5yrs ago that I suffered from connective tissue damage. I feel that reperation of this tissue (at its best) will help with SI joint stability, then ultimately pain. I don't think it's the silver bullet, but I'm so desperate.

What type of adverse reaction from the treatment do you recall?

Take care, Bren
bren_bren replied to annette030's response:
Also, Annette, I failed to include the link to the author (doc's) paper. Where you quoted was from just an abstract...but I'm going to read through the paper to see about any studies.
annette030 replied to bren_bren's response:
To the best of my recollection the main adverse reaction was PAIN. Add that to the fact that they could not prove that the therapy actually worked, and I could see no point in pursuing it.

I read much of the article you referenced and did not find studies referenced, only this doctor's personal experiences.

I will go back later and reread it when I have time to do so more thoroughly.

Thanks for posting it.

Hugs, Annette
annette030 replied to bren_bren's response:
I just went back and returned to the end of the article where most peer reviewed journals have their bibliography of studies, etc. used to formulate the article, and there was no bibliography.

I also noted that this was published in the very first issue of a journal dealing exclusively with prolotherapy.

Hugs, Annette
annette030 replied to annette030's response:
You have been getting prolotherapy for awhile now, how is it going? Are you seeing any relief yet?

Take care, Annette
bren_bren replied to annette030's response:
Hey there Annette,

Yes, I'm 17 days into the treatment. I explained to you the large amount of injections I received and the pain I was in during and immediately after the for what's new: I feel more mobility in my joints (SI and hip), my hamstring/groin pain is more sporadic in intensity. I have felt some difference with my pudendal neuralgia - it's much more defined and distinct from the pulled hamstring pain. Don't know what all that really indicates; but I accept the difference as improvement??

My husband got really quiet last night when I explained the difficulty I was having - he is rarely so speechless. He started to show some doubt. I have been, admittedly, skeptical since the day of the procedure, but last night was the first time we have been on the same page about it.

I get very "reflective" after visiting doctors and it takes time to digest what they have to say. For some reason I have been dwelling on their "claims" recently (the spine surgeon and his assistant wife). One being that they see this type of injury/pain on a daily basis (which I highly doubt they've seen my case and all the complexities).They also claimed that I was 1in about 30 patients who didn't get the proper relief from the lidocaine and various other anesthetics. The other 29 patients got instant relief of their symptoms and some could "hop around".

They also generalized the length of the process of achieving a full recovery: anywhere from 2-10 treatments. They did say I should expect pain relief (90-100%). Now I stew over the fact that I am that 1 in 30 patients who doesn't display a "typical" outcome....I'm really trying hard to not be cynical...

We've decided to give it up to 3 more tries(1 procedure/month or 6 wks). We don't have the money for it all (cash only is accepted, and they won't file our insurance - that is a case we have to make with Aetna); so, without the cash flow we have to take out a loan. I'm not working because I can't, but we're fortunate enough to have child care, so I have plenty of down time for healing.

I may have just written way too much in response, but I do want to kind of "log" my experience.

Also, I did read that it is an effective treatment for patients who suffer from Fibromyalgia.?..I would love to hear their testimonials. Speaking of which: my husband and boy spent several hrs in the waiting room, and all the patients they encountered were returning. One lady after 5 yrs of relief.

Thanks for caring and taking the time to write! I hope you are doing well with the belly dancing and lower pain levels!?!
Take great care, wishing you the best,

PS. the following link does demonstrate some studies done:

I'm also going to post a doc's response to my question about prolotherapy here on webmd; so long as I can find it
bren_bren replied to bren_bren's response:
Prolotherapy - Is the DOCTOR in?????? bren_bren posted: A few months ago I posted a response to the Dr. about PRP and Prolotherapy - he had created a poll that asked readers their opinions about this sort of therapy.

I am writing to him, and others who have had experience, about prolotherapy (It prompts healing in ligaments, tendons, and cartilage, and it supporsedly is more effective in curing pain caused by damaged, unhealed connective tissue).

I suffer from horrible pelvic pain that is relative to a disc bulge at L5 S1, SI joint dysfunction, pudendal neuralgia, and various other "diagnosees".

The problem with my inability to get a diagnosis and the appropriate treatment has exhausted me. I used to by a cyclist and I think this all started after slipping off of my pedal and crashing down on my bike saddles. I continued to ride anyway, then played tennis the next day. It felt like a serious hamstring pull at first, then sciatica, then low back pain accompanied by burning down my left leg.

I feel that I have damaged the ligaments there, then after compensating for the pain on my left side, I was limping and sitting oddly for some time.

Prolotherapy makes sense to me; however, I went out of state for my first session and it was incredibly painful. I received around 20 injections into the various ligaments and tendons within my pelvis and lumbar spine. The shot had lidocaine, dextrose, and some other med. The lidocaine did not work - I have to get like 4-6 shots at the dentist before he can drill - and since it didn't work, he tried 2 other combinations to no avail.

I want ANYONE who has had an experience, or knows someone who has had this procedure done, to share their story because I could really use some positive input now. The visit was over $700 cash and my insurance doesn't cover it. The next visit will be minus the initial 1st time consulation fee, but I fear it will be around $500. Before I wipe out my savings (my husband is the only one who is working now), I would like to know if this is too steep of a price?? I trust that the doc knows what he is doing, he used to be a spine surgeon, however it seems a bit flaky because he mentioned it would take 6-10 treatments 1 time a month.

Please, someone tell me I'm not pursuing something that is going to create more problems (ie. scar tissue), and eventually lead to more complications in regard to my chronic pain.

Thanks for your time, Bren [a name=0> 4 days ago DUKE MEDICINEDavid Berkoff, MD responded: Prolotherapy does work for some people and not for others. It is typically a cash procedure and it typically takes multiple sessions to get things better. What is used and how the injections are done is very variable. There is no data out there to guarantee you success and the impact to the wallet is very real. THere a a ton of people who have had relief and I would recommend looking on the web for someone in your area who is both knowledgeable in prolo and spine. Sounds like this first doc was a reasonable choice. You can alway see out a second opinion but in the end no one will guarantee you success. Chronic pelvic pain is tricky and unless they can figure out which structures are causing the pain your success may be limited. is a good site that lists prolo docs nationwide.Good luck
annette030 replied to bren_bren's response:
I have typically found what Dr. Berkoff found, they want your cash, insurance doesn't pay for this procedure, and they can't prove it works with evidence based medicine.

I would not spend $500 more or less per treatment without knowing that double blind studies had shown it to be useful.

I looked through the site mentioned and it seemed like the abstracts were either retrospective studies, or case studies, not double blind studies.

Best of luck, I hope it works for you. Keep in touch and let us know.

Take care, Annette
icmogul responded:
I have had numerous prolotherapy treatments on my shoulders, back, neck, and other parts of my body as well, and have chronicled the treatments at . I encourage you to visit to learn more about prolotherapy injections from the patient's perspective.
jamin2013 replied to icmogul's response:
I had pretty PROFOUND results with dextrose Prolo in right shoulder about 4 yrs ago, I got good relief for at least 3 yrs...

I'm still doing good but found recently a new anti inflammatory which I'm doing very very good with for other issues including my shoulders....

I would look into Prolo before any surgery.....

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