07 Jun 20-Year History of Chronic Body Pain Cured with Prolotherapy.
This article discusses the case of 57 year-old Bill B, a dentist, who suffered from chronic pain from ligamentous laxity and degenerative disc disease in the cervical, lumbar and thoracic spine. His headaches and back pain were treated successfully with Prolotherapy even after many years of other treatments with failed results.
A 57 year old dentist, by the name of Dr. William B, has a 15+ year history of low back, thoracic, neck pain and headaches. He was diagnosed with bone spurs that caused pressure on his spinal cord. He did have surgery on his spine, but was left with substantial pain below the area, to the sacrum and hip area. He also experienced chronic neck and thoracic pain. Over the years he had extensive treatments that included attending a pain clinic, multiple medications including OxyContin, Percodan, and Neurontin, radiofrequency ablation of the facets, nerve root blocks, and facet injections that gave him very little relief. At the Mayo Clinic he had an SI joint injection that helped him with temporary relief. He also had a course of acupuncture that helped give hime some relief. His pain level did not change even after intensive a back and neck strengthening program using computerized strengthening although it helped the strength. Yoga and massage was also tried, but that actually increased his pain. His pain actually increased with an inversion traction table. Several neurology evaluations and EMG’s that were negative. Hyperreflexia was shown in the lower extremities since his back surgery.
What was most bothersome was his low back and hip pain, right greater than left near the SI joint. This pain was increased with prolonged standing and sitting. Also his work as a dentist required him to be twisted in a bent over position and turning his head to the right causing left-sided neck pain and right-sided headaches. These symptoms were constant for one and a half to two months. The chronic thoracic pain on the left side below the area of the surgery, was also constant. Dr. William B. also used a night splint for TMJ that helped his headaches somewhat. He had pain in the low back with standing, difficulty sleepin, pain in the neck and mid back region that affected his work. Especially when bending over patients. He couldn’t exercise in the gym, or play golf without significant pain.
Some mild disc protrusions in the thoracic area and evidence of surgery was shown on the MRI. L4-5 showed degenerative changes at multiple levels and some degenerative facet changes. Cervical MRI showed C3-4, C4-5 and C5-6 disc degeneration with foraminal narrowing and bridging at C5-6.
Before his first Prolotherapy visit, he really had no change in pain for several years except for some increase in his neck pain. He had shoulder surgery in the past and multiple knee surgeries including ACL reconstruction and medial and lateral menisectomies. Occasionally he would get right knee pain. His exam showed he had tenderness typical of ligament instability and attachment pain over the cervical facet columns, right greater than left and at the base of the skull, and right side of the head. His anterior shoulder had some tenderness and limited range of motion. The knee examination showed degenerative changes and some evidence of loss of joint space. He had tenderness at the iliolumbar and SI ligaments and facet columns L1 to the sacrum that is typical for ligamentous cause of low back pain. His low back showed evidence of spinous processes removed from previous surgery.
He had Prolotherapy to the neck and the low back. After the first visit, approximately one month later, he had marked improvement that he stated was “vast improvement or 80% improvement overall.” He had very little pain of the vertex of his head and very little neck pain. He started to have some tightness just prior to follow up visit and the low back was also much better. He only had some mild coccyx pain near the tailbone and occasional spasm.
He noticed further improvement after the second Prolotherapy. He had almost no headaches since the second Prolotherapy treatment. He has been quite pleased with his progress. He reported having flare-up in the left lower thoracic and lumbosacral area if he over exercised. The patient was instructed in strengthening exercises. After his third treatment to the neck and low back, he had no return of his headaches, and had some mild right SI pain with elliptical exerciser and high resistance training. But before having Prolotherapy, he was unable to do much of any exercise. He noted some more left low thoracic area and right shoulder pain. Prolotherapy was preformed to the thoracic and right shoulder and noticed very little pain at follow up. He was left with some tailbone residual pain, but was exercising 20-minutes once or twice a day and the shoulder was much improved. He continued to have very little pain in the neck, the low back and mainly pain the mid thoracolumbar junction below his surgery. He had two more treatments on his neck and shoulder. He was able to golf, play racquetball, do his work as a dentist, and exercise on elliptical, Stairmaster and lift weights without chronic pain.
He was quite pleased with his progress and expressed frustration that he had not found Prolotherapy 15 years earlier. He continues to practice dentistry and exercises regularly managing his mild discomfort well, which was previously incapacitating and was not helped with any multiple medical interventions other than Prolotherapy and exercise.