Thinking of Getting Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Ten Reasons Why You Need to First See A Prolotherapy Physician!
Ross A. Hauser, M.D., Medical Director, Caring Medical & Rehabilitation Services; Editor-in-chief Journal of Prolotherapy
Let me ask you something? Would you receive orthopedic surgery by someone who is not an orthopedist? Would you have your abdomen opened by someone who is not an abdominal surgeon? I don't think I would (unless it was an emergency situation in another country!)
My question to you then is why did you/are you considering getting Prolotherapy (yes, PRP is Prolotherapy) by someone who is not a Prolotherapy doctor? Almost daily I receive emails or see patients in the office who received PRP from someone who is not a Prolotherapy doctor and the net result is that they are now out thousands of dollars (or their insurance company paid out thousands of dollars), yet the underlying condition remains.
Doc, come on, why are you being so hard on the doctors using PRP? Are you an angry guy? Of course not! I am happy! I love my wife, doing Prolotherapy, I believe God loves me (Christian guy) and I love God! I have a lot to be thankful for, so yes I'm a happy guy!
However, how would you feel when you hear some of these types of things every day?
- Patient from Pittsburgh had three PRP treatments and spent a lot of money without any help. When he came to Caring Medical, he clearly had degenerative arthritis, so why was he getting PRP?
- Doc, the previous doctor gave me PRP, but he first injected a steroid! Are you kidding me? The steroid is anti-inflammatory and the PRP is inflammatory. Is there any wonder this person did not improve?
- The treatment you can get here costs $350.
Here are my top 10 reasons why those of you who did not get better from PRPP (PRP Prolotherapy) or are considering PRPP need to find an experienced a Prolotherapy doctor:
REASON #1: PRP is Prolotherapy! Would you consider going to a Prolotherapist if you needed surgery?
If you truly need Prolotherapy, then go to a Prolotherapy doctor! If you need surgery, go to a surgeon! If you need counseling, go to a counselor. This point is simple, right? You would think so, however, I am astounded as to how many folks are emailing and seeing us in the office who are getting PRP from a surgeon. Please, if you need Prolotherapy, go to a Prolotherapy doctor!
REASON #2: Prolotherapy skills
If you need Prolotherapy, go to someone who is skilled in Prolotherapy. That obviously makes sense, right? You may ask, “How can I tell if someone is skilled?” Some obvious signs are the following:
- The clinic website talks all about Prolotherapy on the homepage and throughout the website.
- The doctor rarely uses steroids. If the doctor routinely gives steroid shots, this is his/her primary treatment modality, not Prolotherapy. Steroids are in direct contradiction to Prolotherapy.
- The doctor rarely performs surgery. If that is not the case, then surgery is most likely his/her first line treatment, not Prolotherapy. In our office, we have over a 90% success rate at preventing surgery by using Prolotherapy to treat the patients' pain. An experienced Prolotherapy physician knows quickly if a patient is a good Prolotherapy candidate.
- A skilled Prolotherapist will know which solution to use to give the best chance of healing, and not just use PRP for every patient with any kind of painful condition.
REASON #3: PRP alone is “one shot” Prolotherapy! What are the odds that one shot will relieve the chronic pain?
Traditional allopathic doctors, including orthopedic surgeons, are used to giving one steroid shot in one specific location. That technique is also used when they give PRPP (PRP Prolotherapy). Let me ask you a question. Are you looking into Prolotherapy because you have tried physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, rest, ice, steroid shots, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and a lot of other different treatments and you still have pain? What are the odds that one shot of PRP is going to rid you of all your pain? Almost none, right? Right! You have a much better chance of getting better if you are evaluated by a Prolotherapist who can treat all of your damaged, degenerated structures. PRP given alone is typically one shot in the knee, whereas Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapy is 30 injections. PRP in the hip by an orthopedist is typically one shot, whereas Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapy is 40 to 60 injections!
REASON #4: PRP is just one type of Prolotherapy solution. Prolotherapy physicians have many solutions at their disposal and can individualize the solution based on the needs of the patient.
Would you shop at a shoe store that carries only one kind of shoes? Physicians who only do the one-shot PRP basically only have one style of shoes! Every time you go there you are offered just one kind of shoe. What if the grocery store just sold apples? I don't think you would go there more than once! What if you were offered only one thing for every pain you ever experienced? What if it was a cortisone shot? What about PRP? A doctor who only uses PRP has not been thoroughly trained in Prolotherapy; otherwise, he/she would use a myriad of solutions and realize that PRP is not among the strongest! The physician would know which solutions work best for certain cases, as well as the fact that with most painful conditions if you are going to use PRP, you must combine the PRP with Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapy. Imagine going to a surgeon and the surgeon only does tendon transfer surgery. Obviously, it wouldn't make sense for most folks to go to that person. Even if a person needs PRP, it would be best to go to someone who is used to doing Prolotherapy, not someone who does it once in a while!
REASON #5: PRP is typically at least twice as expensive as Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapy:
There are times that I have to tell patients that they are not Prolotherapy candidates or that a particular solution won't work as well as another for their particular condition. On occasion, folks get mad at me for this, but I am just trying to save them money. For example, on the first patient above that had osteoarthritis of his knee, I could have told him that PRP Prolotherapy was not going to help him, so in essence I would have been saving him money. Other types of Prolotherapy, however, work great, and that is what he needed. Those types of Prolotherapy are actually less expensive than PRP! For a patient considering Prolotherapy, going to a Prolotherapist versus a surgeon will most likely save you money.
REASON #6: Who has time to waste?
I don't know about you, but the folks I see in our Oak Park office, want to get better as quickly as possible. The person with ligament or joint instability who ends up receiving one-shot PRP treatment instead of comprehensive Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapy is just wasting a lot of time and money. Who has time to waste? Not me. Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapy is very cost effective and decreases the amount of time the patient is off work, side-lined from activities, or just out going to doctors' appointments!
REASON #7: If PRP doesn't work, are you going to get a steroid shot or surgery?
An orthopedic surgeon doing PRP on an individual that is not an appropriate candidate may subsequently offer a steroid shot or surgery after the one-shot PRP does not work. Is that what you want? A comprehensive Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapist has a lot of different treatment regimes that he/she can use to get the person over the hump and healing well. The likelihood of the treatment being successful is enhanced manifold by the comprehensive approach to treatment. By this I mean, not just that all the injured structures are treated, but the exercise plan, supplement plan, and nutritional plan are addressed as needed.
REASON #8: Adjunct treatments
It has been a long time since I have seen or heard of an orthopedist sitting down with a patient and providing heart to heart nutritional advice. I am sure there are some orthopedic surgeons who say no more than, “you need to lose weight.” Typically orthopedic surgeons are into surgery, not natural hormone replacement, proper diet, and nutritional supplements. Sometimes these factors are essential to healing. Come to think of it, when have your heard an orthopedic surgeon explain the risks of taking anti-inflammatory prescriptions or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications or that getting cortisone shots can degenerate articular cartilage? Never? Are you going to receive PRP from a physician whose main treatment regimes for pain are anti-healing because he/she still uses a lot of anti-inflammatory prescriptions and cortisone shots which further degenerate joints?
REASON #9: MRI findings are not the issue
I know there are orthopedic surgeons who actually touch patients, but sometimes when I examine a patient's particular area, I often hear that I am the first person to have examined that particular area. In other words, the patient saw six other clinicians and not one examined the area thoroughly. As you have heard me say many, many times, MRI cannot fully tell you what is wrong. You say, “…but my MRI showed a meniscal tear.” So do 60% of all MRI's! How do you know it is the cause of your pain? If it is not the cause of your pain and the meniscus is the only area treated, you are not going to get well, but your wallet will be lighter! In other words, the clinical history along with the physical examination will tell you what is wrong.
An >MRI is useful if you are thinking about getting surgery. So what surgery are you getting? You don't want surgery? So why did you get an MRI? You say, “To tell me what was wrong.” As I have stated many times in print, MRI by itself cannot tell you what is wrong. Just as many people with knee pain, as without knee pain, have abnormalities,
including meniscal tears, on MRI! A Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapist goes primarily on history and physical examination to make the diagnosis and determine whether someone needs Prolotherapy. Because I have been doing Prolotherapy since 1993, I have a lot of experience and have subsequently published a tremendous amount of results-oriented studies (and books) detailing our experience with Prolotherapy in this office. For more information, see www.journalofprolotherapy.com, www.prolotherapy.org, www.prolotherapyresearch.com, and www.beulahlandpress.com.
REASON #10: You have a ligament injury and need Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapy
Here are some tips to determine if you have a ligament injury and you need Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapy:
- Your painful area cracks or pops.
- You crack or pop your painful area. (self manipulate)
- Your chiropractor or osteopathic physician cracks or pops your painful area.
- You have numbiness – IE a numb feeling in the extremity, but your sensation is fine.
- You have some swelling in the joint or outside the joint, but the joint is not hot to touch.
- You feel unsteady or unstable on the extremity.
- You have tenderness where the ligaments are located.
- You have instability of the joint or spine.