Prolotherapy with Ross Hauser, MD and Danielle Steilen, MMS, PA-C
Prolotherapy, "Prolo" for short, is a successful injection treatment used to stimulate the repair of a damaged or injured joint or body area. This treatment is also known as Regenerative Injection Therapy or RIT. It is used in musculoskeletal conditions, such as for back pain relief, knee arthritis, plantar fasciitis, and many more to permanently fix the originating cause of the pain. Our Medical Director, Ross A. Hauser, MD was the apprentice of the late Gustav A. Hemwall, MD, one of the grandfathers of Prolotherapy. In fact, Caring Medical is located in the original office where Dr. Hemwall practiced. This office has been performing this treatment since the 1950's. The two Prolotherapists at Caring Medical, Dr. Hauser and PA Danielle Steilen, have continued this Prolotherapy legacy as a leader in the field of regenerative treatments for chronic pain, arthritis, and sports injuries.
Solutions: What ingredients are used in comprehensive Prolotherapy?
The ingredients used in Prolotherapy are, in the simplest terms, designed to create an inflammatory healing response and help to ease pain. One of the many benefits of coming to a Prolotherapy center like Caring Medical is we have decades of experience with various ingredients. Some patients have injuries that respond best to very strong solutions, such as adding a fatty acid solution or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) or even Stem Cell therapy, using a person’s own bone marrow or fat cells to the basic dextrose Prolotherapy solution. Other patients respond best to a solution with additional anesthetic to help ease acute pain more immediately. A potential problem with going to just any physician is you may get the "one solution fits all" approach. One of the reasons patients come to visit us is for "Comprehensive Prolotherapy." An important part of this approach is getting a strong enough solution to help the body repair, as well as technique.
Why technique matters when looking for a Prolotherapy practitioner.
While using a strong enough solution is important to have success with Prolotherapy, we believe Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapy, or Comprehensive Prolotherapy, offers patients the best bang for the buck. Comprehensive Prolotherapy means that all of the tender points of the joint and its attachments are treated with a strong enough solution, and that plenty of solution is used to get a good healing response. Hence, it is more comprehensively treating any given joint over other Prolotherapy approaches that utilize only a couple of injections per joint.
Why would anyone want more injections? The body is a series of bones held together with connective tissue - ligaments and tendons. Upon injury or overuse, the connective tissues become like overstretched rubber bands and cannot properly support the joint(s). Over time too much wear and tear on the surrounding structures of the joints, including cartilage, continue to degenerate the weakened joints. Think of Prolotherapy like spot welding for painful joints. You need to secure all the loose, weakened surrounding structures of the joints in order for those joints to be strong again. If a patient is only receiving a few injections to a large area, such as the low back, the results may not be seen as quickly, and the overall Prolotherapy results can be suboptimal. In our experience, doing more injections within each session actually leads to faster pain relief with fewer treatments.
Prolotherapy research: Where is the science?
Dextrose Prolotherapy has been practiced since the 1930's, in addition to studies appearing in journals around the globe for decades. To say it has a long term safety record is an understatement. We believe that through the vast number of patients treated clinically and in studies, it surpasses the safety and efficacy of any surgery or pain drug available. To add to the body of literature on dextrose Prolotherapy, Ross Hauser, MD and the team at Caring Medical continue to publish studies on the thousands of patients we've treated. You can see all of our Prolotherapy research here as published in the Journal of Prolotherapy and Practical Pain Management, among others. We have published Prolotherapy effectiveness research on nearly every body area, as well as the use of Prolotherapy as an alternative to surgery.
Prolotherapy reviews: Why you have not heard of Prolo?
Although this therapy has been around for many years, it is a specialty that is not taught in most medical schools, nor is it pushed forward by the pharmaceutical industry or surgical instrument companies. Realize that Prolotherapy is a pain treatment driven by technique more than the latest and greatest drug ingredients, and it actually can prevent the need for surgery in almost all cases we see in our office. Hence, there is not the financial interest in those circles to make it known, and you will not see a TV commercial for Prolotherapy like you will for a drug. Unfortunately, most people do not hear of Prolotherapy until they have failed back surgery, encounter post-surgical knee pain, or suffered through years of failed physical therapy and pain medications. Eventually the person takes matters into his or her own hands and starts doing internet research on alternative treatments, or a concerned friend or family member makes a referral to come to Caring Medical because of their successful treatments received. These are a few of the top reasons people tell us they travel to Oak Park, IL to see Dr. Hauser and PA Steilen for treatment.
Prolotherapy treatments: How many sessions are normal?
Our patients typically require three to six treatments, given about one month apart, depending on the severity of the condition and the patient's overall health status. If you think about options for chronic pain treatment, that's an amazingly low number of sessions. Patients who see a chiropractor or physical therapist often have to pay for weeks or months’ worth of sessions, going anywhere from one to four times per week! It is no wonder why so many chronic pain patients are frustrated. Just getting treatment takes up a huge chunk of time every week, let alone the results do not necessarily last very long. One of the best attributes of Prolotherapy is that the results are typically permanent, barring a new injury to the area.
Some patients who contact us because they received a more minimal form of Prolotherapy from other Prolotherapy doctors often report having well over 10 sessions of one to five injections at each treatment, without any significant pain resolution. If this sounds like your case, please read more about the comprehensive Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapy approach practiced by our Prolotherapists. If it sounds like you are not receiving as many injections per session or are interested in delving further into why you may not be healing, call us for a second opinion consultation.
There you have it - experience, results, and the knowledge to treat any part of the body suffering from chronic pain or sports injuries. Contact us via email or give us a call at 708-848-7789.