Dr. Ryan Minarik

Signs and Symptoms to Know You are a Prolotherapy Candidate

From Ross Hauser, MD.  11/13/10.


When people say they have numbness down arms or legs but still have a normal sense of touch, what they really have is numbiness. Referral numbiness is one of the main symptoms that tell us a person will respond to Prolotherapy. Numbiness is almost always from a ligament injury. The referral pain and numbiness pathways of ligaments is clearly delineated. True numbness from a nerve getting pinched causes a sensation of numbness and a loss of feeling in the extremity. Almost everyone I see has normal sensation in their arms/hands/feet/and legs. Thus, they have numbiness and Prolotherapy has good chance of curing them of their pain!

When a person has pain when lying down, it clearly cannot be a muscle problem because the muscle is completely at rest!!! The only time muscles hurt that much at rest is after a strenuous workout! What structure in the body is still under tension at rest? You got it, the ligaments! So a person whose back aches at rest most assuredly should come in for a Prolotherapy visit. There is a good chance Prolotherapy can cure that person of his/her chronic pain!

Often a patient will say, “I feel like my neck muscles cannot even hold up my head, therefore my head always moves forward. When the ligaments are weak the muscles have to do more and the muscles were meant to move the neck, not continually hold it up! The person whose head feels too heavy should get an evaluation for Prolotherapy.

Muscles can only generate maximum power if they contract against a stable base. What provides the stable base for them? Muscles connect to bones, so muscle origins or insertions must not be moving excessively in any direction besides the direction the muscle is pulling it. Here’s an example. Would a tennis player hit the ball harder if his/her feet are firmly planted, waiting for the ball to arrive or if only one foot is on the ground and the shot is hit while the player is off balance? When the ligaments are allowing excessive bone movement, the muscles are contracting much like the tennis shot hit off balance. There is no speed or power to the movement. So the pitcher loses 10-20 mph or the runner’s speed drops 25%. For the average person it may just be, “Doc, it feels like my arm is weak. The Orthpedist did an MRI and said everything is okay. What should I do?” Weakness in an extremity that has ‘normal’ muscle strength clearly points to a ligament problem. What is the best treatment for a ligament problem? Prolotherapy!

If a muscle is weak and you exercise it, it should feel better correct? What if the person feels worse? What if even gentle movements cause excruciating pains? Could these be from a muscle problem. I doubt it. When exercise and/or gentle movements under the guidance of a physical therapist, personal trainer, or other rehabilitation specialist cause significant pain or make the person worse, well, you know what I would be thinking. This person has a ligament problem and that ligament problem will respond very well to Prolotherapy! Ligament tension can increase drastically with gentle movements especially if the ligament is torn or injured.

From Ross Hauser, MD.  11/13/10.


Neural Therapy

Neural therapy utilizes a local anesthetic, procaine, and often homeopathic preparations to remove or treat electrical interference fields in the body, originally caused as a result of wounds, scars, surgery, infection, even mental-emotional trauma. These interference fields may produce chronic pain or musculoskeletal dysfunction, or produce more broad ranging problems such as chronic sinus issues, menstrual dysfunction, pelvic pain, digestive disturbances, insomnia, breathing difficulty, etc – the list goes on. The procaine and additional medicines are injected either at the surface of the body, such as around painful areas, or slightly deeper to get at nerve bundles suspected to be “stuck” in a dysfunctional pattern.

Injections are done with tiny needles, and are usually very well tolerated, with minimal, if any, discomfort. Procaine is one of the earliest, and safest anesthetics, being easily metabolized in the plasma, and not requiring the liver for breakdown and detoxification, as with other more complicated compounds. Most patients tolerate this medicine well, even if previous problems with other anesthetic medications.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is a relatively new form of regenerative therapy injections. A sample of the patient’s blood is collected, and then centrifuged to concentrate the platelets, and growth factors which directly encourage cell repair and tissue regeneration. The solution is then injected at the site of injury in the same manner as dextrose solutions. Blood draw and injections are done in the same visit, typically with 1 hour.

PRP has similar applications to standard prolotherapy, but may be preferred specifically for tendon tears and some forms of arthritis. It is also used in dentistry and some surgical procedures to encourage quicker healing.

What is Prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy is a regenerative injection therapy (RIT) used to strengthen joints weakened or damaged by over-use or chronic injury. Ligament or tendon attachments once stretched, torn, or otherwise injured often have difficulty returning to pre-injury level of functioning due to limited blood supply to these structures. Surgery can often produce more scarring and limited range of motion without addressing the root cause of dysfunction. Prolotherapy can actually stimulate healing of the joint structures without cutting into, or removing, tissue. While there are conditions for which surgery is definitely indicated, it can sometimes be avoided or at least delayed with prolotherapy.

How Does Prolotherapy Work?
Chronic knee pain even following meniscus surgery? Ongoing neck pain after a motor vehicle accident requiring months of physical therapy with minimal improvement? How about cycles of muscles tightness and spasm ever since a shoulder injury, despite lots of massage? Or chronic back pain or disc problems ever since giving birth to your child? All of these scenarios are typical of injuries not healing correctly, leading to instability and weakness around a joint. The result is a pattern of chronic pain, with muscles tightening in attempts to compensate.

When tissues are initially injured, sugars and fats are released at the site to help stimulate the immune system’s repair mechanims. When there is ongoing overuse of an area (such as tennis elbow or achilles tendinosis) the repair process never gets a chance to finish, leading to ongoing breakdown of the tissues. Chronic anti-inflammatory/NSAID use or steroid injections further impair this process. Prolotherapy attempts to reinitiate repair mechanisms at the specific site of injury by injecting dextrose (or other natural stimulants) to the area, creating focalized inflammation and mimicking the original repair process. It stimulates the generation of new fibrous tissue, strengthening tendon and ligament attachments. Once joint structures are strengthened, both joint and muscle pain can be significantly, if not fully eliminated. Degenerative processes, such as those seen in osteoarthritis, can also be stopped, and new cartilage encouraged to regenerate.

Treatment Course
Treatment course varies and depends on the joint being treated, but typically results are seen within 3 treatments, although often patients will see significant improvement after one visit. A typical treatment course is 3-6 series of injections, given every 2-4 weeks. Prolotherapy has been used since before the ’50′s and numerous case reports and an increasing number of controlled studies showing its effectiveness.

Hello Everyone!

Dr. Ryan Minarik

Thanks for visiting my blog.  Stay tuned for updated information on health topics and treatments such as prolotherapy, PRP, Neural Therapy, Neural Prolotherapy, Digestive Health issues, food sensitivities, hormones, the endocrine system, and more!