Connective Tissue Deficiency
A patient had severe ankle pain. She was an avid athlete, playing
several sports. After evaluating her, I determined that she
was suffering from significant ligament laxity in her ankles,
which was the cause of her pain. She did not know how she
injured herself so severley.
She also exhibited tenderness on various parts of her body in addition to her
ankles. I surmised this was related to nutritional factors. When delving into
her history, I discovered that her ankle pain started a couple of years prior
to her visit in our office, just after she had started taking birth control pills
because of painful, irregular menstruation. The medication she was taking contained
an analogue of estradiol. Her diet consisted of nearly 100 percent carbohydrates,
very small amounts of protein, and she was averse to taking vitamins.
She was, however, open to receiving Prolotherapy on her ankles, but not to correcting
the multiple factors that were related to her systemic connective tissue deficiency
problem. She had multiple signs, or symptoms, that confirmed this diagnosis such
as non-healing sports injury with no overt trauma causing the original pain;
multiple tender points in other parts of her body especially about the knees
and hips; dry skin; brittle nails and hair; menstrual problems; improper diet
for her metabolism; and finally, her taking synthetic estradiol.
In order for the Prolotherapy to be maximally effective, I needed to address
her inability to heal and convince her that she needed to do something about
this in order to make the Prolotherapy worth enduring the shots! Reasoning alone
would be insufficient.
Prolotherapy is a treatment that causes the body to grow strong connective tissue.
This connective tissue is primarily collagen, which makes up ligaments and tendons.
Thus, Prolotherapy causes the growth and strengthening of ligaments and tendons.
When an injury lingers beyond the usual healing time, it typically involves the
ligaments and tendons. This weakening of the connective tissue can be graphically
represented. Prolotherapy injections reverse this by stimulating the connective
tissues to heal. As the connective tissue grows and strengthens after Prolotherapy,
the athlete reaches the eventual point where the pain has ceased. For the person
with a strong immune system, no more treatment or additional medical care is
needed. Prolotherapy was indeed a cure for this person.
The person with systemic connective tissue deficiency, on the other hand, experiences
no specific traumatic event to start the pain because the condition itself is
weakening the connective tissues. In such an instance, all (or a majority) of
the body's connective tissues are weakening. This process occurs normally with
age, but with a systemic connective tissue deficiency (perhaps more appropriately
called The Hauser Syndrome) a person experiences an accelerated decline in connective
tissue strength. This may result in sagging of the skin, thinning of the hair,
and a myriad of other symptoms, the most prominent of which is pain. The first
area to become painful will typically be the one that the athlete uses the most.
For the pitcher it will be the shoulder, for the runner the knee, for the golfer
the back, and so on. If the golfer, in such an instance, just receives Prolotherapy,
the pain relief from Prolotherapy will only last a certain amount of time. Once
the connective tissue strength decreases below the pain threshold point, the
pain will recur. A cure will only be obtained when the athlete receives Prolotherapy
along with additional treatments to correct the connective tissue deficiency
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