I'm posting 'here' to bring this topic to the top of the list, because I'd like to ask the same question: "Has anyone had success with prolotherapy treatment"? (Especially in relation to sciatica, the sacroiliac joint and ligaments, or other spinal ligament involvement?)
I would also like to know if prolotherapy is a legitimate treatment that is recognized by the AMA, and the conventional medical (MD) community?
I've searched this 'board' for comments, but they are few. I've been researching prolotherapy on the web. It seems like a panacea. If it is, I'm going for it!
I know someone that swears by it. She had a series of fifteen sessions or injections (I'm not sure). It was done several years ago in Europe and her back pain went away. She has some other pains , but not her back.
Prolotherapy is considered investigational by medicare, medicaid, and most (all?) insurance companies. This is because there are NO controlled medical studies that show a benefit from its use. This then also means that none of these organizations will reimburse for their members for prolotherapy treatments.
I allowed an osteopathic physician to talk me into trying a set of prolotherapy injections into my neck and right shoulder for some chronic pain issues I was seeing him for. This doctor did no diagnostic work with me, no x-rays, no MRI to determin the cause of my pain. He just jumped right into wanting to do the prolotherapy which ended up costing me hundreds of dollars out of my own pocket. The prolotherapy caused me excruciating pain and actually worsened my symptoms. I then sought help from another physician who did finally order an MRI, CT, and Myelogram for me. I had severe degenerative disc disease with 3 protruding discs with osteophyte complex formations and severe cervical spinal cord stenosis at the c 4/5 level. My spinal cord was being compressed by the bulging disc/osteophyte complex at that level and that quack injected chemicals to intentionally trigger more inflamation in that area! I really consider myself lucky that worse damage wasn't done.
I would never, ever consider prolotherapy again for myself or any family members.
I'm truly sorry that you had such a bad, painful experience.
The lesson that you present, I believe, is not that 'one shouldn't eventually try prolotherapy. 'That's neither here nor there', and perhaps as individual as a diagnosis.
The lesson you have presented is that one ought to go to an experienced specialist before jumping onto any path of treatment. I.E: An evaluation by an orthopaedic spinal surgeon, a neurosurgeon, or the very least an orthopaedic MD would be appropriate, initially, for any type of back issue.
Never, ever, allow anyone to adjust, inject, manipulate, or diagnose, without a professional, state of the art, exploration with testing. Before proceeding to treatment, to get a proper diagnosis, x-rays, MRI's, scans must be done.
I said that "I would never, ever consider prolotherapy again for myself or any family members." But I leave others to make their own decision for themselves. I also began my post by pointing out that prolotherapy is not paid for by most public and private third party payers. Third party payers want to pay for treatments that are beneficial because those will ultimately save their organization money. The fact that prolotherapy is not reimbursed should serve as a glaring warning to most people. To put it another way, third parties won't pay for sugar pills either, but you can sure find people who will swear that a sugar pill was helpful to them.
"Never, ever, allow anyone to adjust, inject, manipulate, or diagnose, without a professional, state of the art, exploration with testing. Before proceeding to treatment, to get a proper diagnosis, x-rays, MRI's, scans must be done." I can't agree with you more here, jlo2! And I would go one step further and suggest that if the practitioner you are seeing doesn't offer you a reasonable diagnostic investigation before reccommending a plan of treatment, then consider seeking another opinion from another provider.
You know, even after lengthy scrutiny, and testing, and second opinions, even third opinions, I still believe that when it comes to diagnosing' back issues' many physicians take 'a stab in the dark.'
A radiologist friend told me that if he was to do an MRI on 100 people over 50 years old, about 80% of the MRI's would present some kind of back issue. However, most people who 'show' a back issue on an MRI, don't have pain. So although it is a very good guideline for diagnosis, it doesn't clearly mean that the pain is coming from the back issue that shows up on your MRI. It's so individual.
What looks like it may be causing the pain, on an MRI, is not always a true indication of cause. It seems that many physicians rely upon the findings of an MRI for a definite diagnosis. It's unfortunate, but many undergo unnecessary surgery because of this, and after surgery, many experience the same pain, or more pain, new pain.
I've said it several times under several 'threads' on the board, a person must always be proactive in their medical treatment.
Last edited by removedone; 11-28-2006 at 11:21 AM.
Re: Has anyone had success with prolotherapy treatment?
I've had around 8 sessions of prolotherapy spread out over a year and a half or so. I had constant neck/shoulder tightness, mainly on the left side.
My left side is probably 95% better than it was. It still tightens up a few times a week, but the muscles are now "properly trained", where stretching provides relief. That's what the prolo does--it retrains your muscles and ligaments that have healed incorrectly. The first few days after the injection are painful, because they inflame, but after that subsides, you don't think about it while it heals.
I still had pain on the right side--mainly "joint" pain in my neck. He thinks that my muscles were so out of whack for so long that they've pulled and pushed on all the major structures in there (discs, etc.).
He said after 8 sessions of prolo, I should be reevaluated, so he sent me to a surgeon for an eval.
So today had a mylogram/CT scan, and MRI (I'm typing this laying down in bed). Tomorrow I have an EMG.
The bottom line on prolo--if it's mainly soft tissues that are causing your pain, prolo WILL help. Just make sure your dr. knows what he's doing. Mine is one of five in the entire state of Texas that does prolo, so it's pretty rare.
I feel like a semi-prolo expert now, so feel free to ask me any questions.
Re: Has anyone had success with prolotherapy treatment?
Right now, my problem seems to be in 'soft tissue. I have pain in my calve muscle each morning. It feels like a 'charley-horse', tightness, as if I ran 20 miles during the night. I do believe that muscle spasm is the result of a sacroiliac joint problem that I have been dealing with for 6 months.
For 6 months I've been treated for sciatic pain, the MD's assumed was caused by bulging discs. I even had an epidural a month ago. That was ineffective. The MD, neuro-physiatrist is now 'entertaining the possibility' that I have a sacroiliac joint problem. (HELLO! All along, I've been trying to tell the MD's that I believed I had injured my sacroiliac joint, perhaps pulled ligaments playing golf.)
Anyway, I'm scheduled for an SIJ injection on Monday, Dec 4. It will be done under the guidance of a fluoroscope. I'm hoping that the injection will give me relief, but more than that, I'm hoping that it will serve to give the MD a clear diagnosis of my problem. If it doesn't work, I'm considering 'prolo.' On the other hand, if it does work, that might indicate that I am a candidate for 'prolo'??
Thank you for sharing your experience with 'prolo.'
Last edited by HBMod07; 11-29-2006 at 05:55 PM.
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