Prolotherapy – My Personal Experience – Part 2

You may have been told that your health problems are “untreatable and nothing can be done”.   Don’t give up your hope. Don’t let pain and physical disabilities to reduce you to a “vegetable”. Take care of your health NOW before you start to degenerate. Based on my personal experience, those are the best advices I can give to anyone suffering from a physical disability and pain. See if you can relate to my story, find the right therapy and take action to control your health.

images[1]After my car accident at the end of 2009, that generated soreness to my cervical and lumbar areas, I did everything it was recommended by my family doctor: pain killer medications, chiropracting, massage therapy, acupuncture and physiotherapy. Those treatments were good as they momentarily relieve my pain and stiffness. Unfortunately these approaches were only a temporary solution with temporarily results. With sitting or driving extended hours, the discomfort was reactivated, sometime with a sharp pain to my lower back and occasionally with stiffness and limited range of motion to my neck, which created additional pain that radiated also into my arm. Additionally doing push-up with a wide grip position activated my discomfort to my cervical area. At that time (2009/2010) I thought that I was still strong and will be only a matter of time to fully recover. But I was wrong again!

After two years of intermittent pain flares and different treatments, at the end of October 2011 I ended up with a sharp lower back pain which rushed me to the emergency room at St. Paul Hospital in Vancouver Canada. They injected me with some pain killer medicine (ketorolac) and sent me to see my family doctor. And the cycle was repeated again: more painkiller prescriptions, more massage therapies (which comforted me somehow) and more sessions of spinal adjustments which for the time being helped someway. But the soreness and discomfort was there nonstop. Soon I found myself in a continuous pain situation.

IMG_0753At that time (Oct/Nov 2011) I was selected to give nutritional consultation and to create a specific sport conditioning program for the Karate BC Competition Team in their preparation for the National Championship (Vancouver – March 2012). Being in pain and unable to properly move, I was so embarrassed, particularly when in front of more than 60 athletes I supposed to execute specific physical exercises to improve their speed and  their overall conditioning. Seeing again Dr. Jeff Almon (a Doctor of Chiropracting) for more spine adjustments, he recommended also considering an injectable proliferation therapy known also as ‘regenerative therapy’. Likewise Dr. Abbey (my family doctor) who research the proposed treatment and found good testimonials, concluded that at the moment the modern medicine cannot help me much, so prolotherapy might be a good alternative solution to my pain and discomfort.

And since prolotherapy is not a medically approved treatment, it is administered mostly by naturopathic doctors. So, I did my research, I read more articles and many reviews and I decided to try this PROLO-therapy. In fact “Prolo” is short for proliferation (growth, formation) and the treatment supports the regeneration and formation of new ligament tissue in areas where it has become weak.

DSCF2364b_000[1]So, I looked also for a qualified practitioner that has a good reputation and experience in administering these regenerative injections.   Since in Vancouver, they are not many experienced doctors who use prolotherapy in their practice, it was not hard to find Dr. Hal Brown from Integrative Naturopathic Medical Centre (former Integrative Healing Arts) in Vancouver, and start my treatment.

I choose Dr. Brown, for his 30 years’ experience as a licensed naturopathic physician, and acupuncturist in Vancouver BC, Canada. In fact what gave me more confidence were Dr. Brown’s credentials as a former chair of Physical Medicine and instructor at Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine. He also served as Chair of the Manipulation Advisory Committee, and he is also a contributor to the Textbook of Naturopathic Physical Medicine and Naturopathic Doctor News & Review.

In short I knew who to trust my health to. And what influenced me to choose Dr. Brown was his philosophy:

It is my belief that the human body, mind and spirit are aspects of a single self-healing organism with a natural impulse towards integration. The mind will naturally move towards mental health, the body towards physical health, and the spirit towards understanding and fulfilment. Without interference, the body, mind and spirit will maintain an individual at optimal levels of health throughout all stages of life. However, if this natural flow of life force, or chi energy, is disrupted or interfered with, dysfunction may follow at the physical, biochemical, mental/emotional and electromagnetic levels. All of these areas are of concern and are addressed when dealing with health problems.

After a very thorough examination, that lasted about one hour, Dr. Hal Brown found that my chronic pain initiated some damages to my sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the immediate bodily response to traumas, such as severe, acute pain. Left untreated, this condition can further damage muscles, ligaments, joints and tendons.

So, Dr. Brown decided to start my first treatment (before prolotherapy) with what is called a Neural Therapy. Using injections with a sterile homeopathic medicines and a local anesthetic (such as procaine) into the ganglia of the sympathetic nervous system located in front of the vertebral column (in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions) he give some intensification to nerves supplying the internal connective tissues and other organs, in an attempt to initiate a healing response.

But since this is a more complex subject I will cover more into my next article: Prolotherapy – My Personal Experience – Part 3.

You can also read my previous articles posted on http://www.mariofit.ca and also subscribe to my e-newsletter by following this link: https://www.facebook.com/MarioFit.ca/app_100265896690345

Prolotherapy – My Personal Experience – Part 1

treatments_neck_stifness[1]I am asking again: Do you have neck stiffness and pain? Does your lower back is injured and is rigid? Do you have groin pain? Well I have had all these problems, and sometimes I am still experiencing these painful symptoms. If you’re like me, you may have already turned to your family physician, specialist, or other healthcare professional looking for a solution to your on-going health and pain concerns. And probably, the numerous treatments you’ve tried may have brought you only temporary relief, or possible unwanted side effects, with little or no lasting health benefits. All of which keeps you from enjoying the quality of life that you wish.

Prolotherapy[1]But after all of recommended standard treatments including pain killers, I found a better solution to cope with my pain, and I want to share with you my experience with the PROLOTHERAPY – regenerative injections therapy.  This is just part one of a series of articles related to my personal experience using alternative therapies. Read my story and see if you can relate to my case. If you do, I urge you to discuss with your doctor and to consider this alternative treatment, as a potential solution to your pain.

NOTE: Prolotherapy is a treatment of choice.  Many athletes are using prolotherapy with great results. It might not be as effective for everyone, and it might not last forever. Some people using prolotherapy might completely heal, while others will have just a temporarily relief that can last sometimes up to two years. (my personal case).  Due to these injectable treatments to my lower back, I was able to be more functional and to be capable to exercise regularly. I also was able to compete in the Karate BC Championship at the age of 50.

header_prolotherapy[1]When you are in physical discomfort, you don’t feel like to exercise regularly right?  As the body is trying to protect the injured area is creating pain to limit the movements. You might use some anti-inflammatory medicine to relieve this soreness, but in time the pain might become chronic in nature and you are “screwed up”.  You might even get depressed and frustrated to the fact that you are limited in movements and you cannot accomplish your proposed tasks.

This was my case:

In the past, I have had some lower back discomfort, and I relate this problem to a motor vehicle accident that happened about 15 years ago. I was young and I was restless to build a new life in Canada and I assumed that my good physical condition will allow me to quickly recover in short time.

But I was wrong. The lower back discomfort returned from time to time (once per year or even once every two years) and the pain was manageable with rest, stretching, bathing in a hot tab, applying cold compressions and taking over the counter anti-inflammatory medicine such as Aspirin or Advil. In one or two days I felt better and functional, although some stiffness was still present for three to four days.

Miami-Car-Accident-Injury-Lawyer[1]But in 2009, I was involved in another car accident. Trying to avoid a collision in front of me, I pushed hard and quickly on the brake pedal. I avoided the collision in front, but unfortunately I was rear-ended by another car. As a result, the lower back pain was once again activated and this time I also have had aching into my cervical area. But the adrenaline rush I experienced at the moment of impact, kept me functional for that day. It was the second day after the accident, when I start to feel more discomfort to my neck with some tingling on my right arm, and few days after also a sharp pain to my lower back.

As recommended by my family doctor, I did different treatments such chiropracting adjustments, physiotherapy, acupuncture and massage. And I have experienced some temporarily relief from my pain. Unfortunately, in time those occasional pain increased in frequency and the period for “restoration” was longer than few days, (sometimes even longer than one month).

And thanks to Dr. Jeff Almon, a chiropractor and physical therapist in Vancouver, who used orthopaedic testing, I was diagnosed with some biomechanical imbalances, myofacial strains and neurological dysfunctions, and for a while, using manual manipulations to the spine and soft tissue, he helped me to push away my pain. But these treatments were just temporarily relief for my re-occurring pain. Unfortunately, in time, as my discomfort become long-lasting in nature, I was diagnosed with chronic mechanical spinal pain and myofacial pain into the deep connective tissue structures.  As a former athlete and certified strength and conditioning specialist (now a Doctor of Chiropractic in BC) Dr. Almon was involved with many Olympic and professional athletes including the Chinese National Speedskating team and the Barbados National Track Cycling team. So, Dr. Almon recommended getting a few regenerative injections treatment called PROLOTHERAPY, (proliferation therapy). He knew that prolotherapy – injections with sugar, anaesthesia and other homeopathic solutions – is the choice of many injured athletes, so he recommended me to speak with my family doctor and to do my own research.

And I did. And I founded that these injections with sugar, anaesthesia and other homeopathic solutions were specifically formulated to regenerate the ligaments and tendons, giving more stability to the injured area and promoting a faster healing. I also discovered that the treatment is 85% successful for most types of musculoskeletal pain, including degenerative joint conditions, arthritis, back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, sports injuries, unresolved whiplash injuries, chronic tendonitis, ligaments and cartilage, and even degenerated or herniated discs.

For more information on this subject and my personal experience stay tune. My next article will cover in more details this topic. Until then please subscribe to my e-newsletter for even more exciting health news: https://www.facebook.com/MarioFit.ca/app_100265896690345

Prolotherapy – A Better Approach to Your Joints Health

Do you have lower back pain? Do you have pain in your groin? Do you have cervical pain or stiffness? Do you have any other joint problems that your prescription medicine cannot help? Maybe you should consider Prolotherapy.

Dr-Chad-Edwards-Prolotherapy-Tulsa-Oklahoma-Prolo-Intro-Image-copy[1]PROLOTHERAPY also known as “PROLIFERATION THERAPY,” or “REGENERATIVE INJECTION THERAPY” it involves injecting into the weakened ligaments and tendons a solution with sugar (usually dextrose) combined with a local anaesthesia for the purpose of strengthening impaired connective tissue and relieving musculoskeletal pain.Injecting this solution into the connective weakened tissue, create an irritation to the affected area, triggering a temporary, low grade inflammation at the injection site.

The body will react by activating the fibroblasts cells to the area, producing new cell growth and collagen deposition, increasing extracellular matrix and promoting healing.This type of “forced healing” has been documented as early as Roman times where hot needles were introduced into the shoulders of injured gladiators to stimulate their body’s own natural healing mechanisms to repair injured musculoskeletal tissue. The local inflammation stimulated by Prolotherapy also raises the level of growth factors such as proteins and steroid hormones that initiate a new connective tissue repair. Biopsy studies show ligament thickening, enlargement of the tendinosseous junction, and strengthening of the tendon or ligament after Prolotherapy injections.

Because Prolotherapy works to repair weak and painful joint areas, it is a long-term solution rather than a temporary measure such as drugs or Cortisone. While prolotherapy injections created inflammation and stimulate the body’s natural healing process, steroidal cortisol injections control local inflammation “flushing out” inflammatory proteins and chemicals from the local area that may contribute to create pain. Which one is better?

1-hinh-anh-thoat-vi-dia-dem1[1]Cortisol injections have also their important role in relieving pain to the injured tissue, by reducing inflammation, but in long term, these injections might weaken the ligaments. According to Mayo Clinic epidural steroid injections are usually limited to just a few a year because there’s a chance these steroidal drugs might weaken the spinal bones and nearby muscles and disrupt your body’s natural hormone balance. This is why the Mayo Clinic promotes better Prolotherapy than Cortisol Therapy.

By comparison, a clinical study published on December 2010, in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine demonstrated that in long term (15 month) prolotherapy is more efficient and the effects last longer that cortisol therapy. (Volume: 16 Issue 12: December 7, 2010). The conclusion was this:

The cumulative incidence of ≥50% pain relief at 15 months was 58.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 37.9%–79.5%) in the prolotherapy group and 10.2% (95% CI 6.7%–27.1%) in the steroid group, as determined by Kaplan-Meier analysis

Prolotherapy treatment sessions are generally given once or twice per month in the first series of 4-6 treatments. And after that the sessions can be reduced to one injection every 6-8 weeks or less frequent intervals until the treatments are rarely required.

Note: For some patients with chronic low-back pain, it is possible that prolotherapy injections to be less effective when used alone. But in combination with spinal manipulation, (chiropracting, massage therapy, orthotherapy etc.) exercises that strengthen the core and specific nutritionals such as glucosamine sulfate  you get amazing results. Usually the use of anti-inflammatory medicines and nutrients such as turmeric extract and essential fatty acids are better to be avoided 3-5 days before and after the prolotherapy injections, to let the body to create that inflammatory response leading to a healing process.  But in between treatments these anti-inflammatory nutrients are highly recommended as thay contribute to the healing process.

Some sport medicine doctors,  go further to alternate prolotherapy with epidural steroid injections, for even better results. In their approach they use epidural steroid injections to provide fast and sufficient pain relief and to allow a patient to progress with a rehabilitative stretching and exercise program. And alternatively they use prolotherapy injections to promote healing to the injured tissue.  If the initial set of injection is effective for a patient in relieving pain, he or she may need only 3-4 injections in a one-year period.

In Canada, the cost of the prolotherapy is about $200 per injection, (covered by extended medical plan) while cortisol injection therapy is usually covered by the medical services plan if referred by your family practitioner. .

I personally have had great experience in using prolotherapy. But this is another story for another time. Stay tuned and read more related articles on fitness, nutrition and healthy living by visiting my blog page: www.mariofit.ca

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ARE YOU HEALTHIER THAN A MONKEY?

We all know that biologically, the gorillas are similar to humans. And if they are in such similarity, both they need the equivalent nutrition. Would you agree? How come then, for their cardiovascular health, monkeys in a zoo, are getting vitamin C supplements, in a daily dose that is 20 times more than what is recommended for humans?

pic_2[1]A recent epidemic of heart disease among captive gorillas in zoos proved to be related to a lack of large amounts of vitamin C in their diet. And there is no disagreement, that gorillas need large amounts of vitamin C, to put them in a better health. While animals such as dogs, cats, cows, chickens, tigers, bears, lions or elephants, make their own vitamin C, in high quantities every day, both, gorilla and the humans don’t. And they share another characteristic; they do not suffer from cardiovascular diseases the same like humans or gorillas.

They both (gorillas and humans) have the inability to make in the liver, an enzyme (L-gulonolactone oxidaseoxidase) that would allow converting the glucose into ascorbic acid (vitamin C). This defect is called by geneticists GLO mutation. Many studies have determined that the minimum daily vitamin C recommendation for primates is minimum 25 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. If you apply this calculation to a person of 70 kg, (25 mg x 70 kg) the daily requirement of vitamin C should be a minimum of 1,750 mg per day, which is many times higher than the 60 to 75-mg RDA.

In fact, in 1989 Dr. Burton Kallman – Ph.D., Director of Science and Technology at the National Nutritional Foods Association – presented in the Journal of Applied Nutrition, statistics that indicates that the standard zoo diet for monkeys is supplemented with 23 times the Recommended Daily Allowances levels of vitamins and minerals.

BUT HEY! HEALTHY MONKEYS INCREASE ZOO PROFITS, WHILE UNHEALTHY PEOPLE INCREASE PROFITS FOR THE BIG PHARMA!

Other reports suggest that the gorillas in captivity need more antioxidants, particularly vitamin E, which helps to recycle vitamin C in the body, as well as more amino-acids, particularly the amino acid proline and lysine. The amino-acid proline is one of the twenty DNA-encoded amino acids – while the amino-acid lysine is necessary to stabilizes collagen and elastin – known as cholesterol binding inhibitors, who can reduce the atherosclerotic plaques.

An interesting article published on “The Free Library by FARLEX” titled “Save the Gorillas” starts with a citation from the book “How to Live Longer and Feel Better” written by  Nobel prize-winning chemist Linus Pauling in 1986. Quote:

The Committee on the Feeding of Laboratory Animals of the US National Academy of Sciences–National Research Council recommends far more vitamin C for monkeys than the Food and Nutrition of the same US National Academy of Sciences – National Research Council – recommends for human beings.” In his book, Linus Pauling discusses also the vitamin E research showing that this vitamin in humans prevents and lowers the risk of heart disease. In addition, Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that helps to recycle vitamin C in the body.

The recent epidemic of heart disease among gorillas in zoos, confirmed that providing “our monkey cousins” more vitamin C and vitamin E on their diet, and by eliminating sugary foods will improve their cardiovascular condition. Since Vitamin C and glucose are both molecules that share a common insulin-mediated absorption into cells through the lipid cellular membrane, higher levels of sugar in the blood may interfere with the absorption of vitamin C.

In his 1972 book “The Healing Factor: Vitamin C against Disease”, Irwin Stone – a biochemist and vitamin C expert – pointed out that:

From the “Committee on Animal Nutrition, Nutrient Requirements of Laboratory Animals” (1962) we find some startling figures. The recommended diet for the monkey–our closest mammalian relative–is 55 milligrams of ascorbic acid per kilogram of body weight or 3,830 milligrams of ascorbic acid per day for the average adult human

VitaminC-content[1]According to these reports it is more obvious now that for optimum health, humans need 20 – 50 times more vitamin C per day, than the Recommended Daily Allowance.

If your goal is only to prevent scurvy – a deficiency of vitamin C, which is required for the synthesis of collagen in humans – than the RDA of 75 mg/day is probably what you need. And in this case “a balanced diet” including few oranges or some kiwis, might give you enough supply of vitamin C to prevent scurvy. On the left chart you can find some sources of vitamin C.

On the other hand, if your goal is to have optimum health, and a sound cardiovascular system, then you better consider your options:

The RDA for Vitamin C is 60-75 mg per day, enough to prevent scurvy, but not enough for antioxidant protection against chronic diseases which might be needed in a range of 1.500-3.500 mg/day. In this case you might want to eat 20-30 kiwi or mango per day, or take a nutritional supplement such as USANA Poly C – a highly absorbable multi mineral ascorbate supplement providing 600 mg/tablet. http://www.mariofit.usana.com/

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