Treat the cause of arthritis, not the symptoms

Prolotherapy speeds up the process and continues it past the point at which the body would usually stop.

by Dr. Paul Stallone — 

Are you suffering from arthritis? Has your life become a painful struggle? Would you do almost anything to be free of the hurt? There is an answer, a cutting-edge therapy that will help relieve your arthritis pain at the source.

When discussing arthritis treatment choices, you typically have two options: go the conventional route or see an integrative naturopathic doctor.

In most cases, a standard medical professional will prescribe a combination of medications, including painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication and, in extreme situations, arthroscopic surgery or joint replacement surgery. An integrative professional like a naturopathic doctor may advise enzymes, glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, fish oil and other assorted supplements.

While both of these choices may give you some relief from the pain, they may not solve the problem at the source. Painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication have almost too many side effects to be counted, and joint replacement surgery can be painful and is not always successful. Glucosamine will help to regenerate cartilage, but doesn’t work for everyone and, if it does work, will need to be taken for the rest of the patient’s life.

I will show you how to heal arthritis by going straight to the source, and not just treating the symptoms. No matter how worn-out the cartilage, this technique works, even if you have no cartilage left and your joints are grinding bone on bone.

Many of you may be skeptical of such a claim, as it likely contradicts everything you know about arthritis. But time and again, I’ve had patients come through my practice with similar concerns, and all of them have left more than satisfied with their results.

Let’s discuss a very common situation, arthritis of the knees. In many naturopathic and alternative medical practices, the physician begins with standard testing procedures and examinations to reveal the extent of the cartilage damage, then moves on to strength testing. Based on these general test procedures, the physician gets a full picture of the situation and then looks at the hormone panels. The reason for hormone panels is that arthritis is often hormonal in nature. If hormones are ruled out, the next step is to put the patient on a cutting-edge therapy called Prolozone™, which is a combination of two methods, Prolotherapy™ and Ozone Therapy™.

The first step in Prolotherapy is to inject a joint with a tailored solution that causes area irritations and begins inflammation of the joint. This inflammation is the body’s way of healing; whenever the body is injured, inflammation forces the immune system to send cells to the area to begin the repair process. Sometimes the damage is too great for your body to repair itself on its own. When this happens, it helps to give your immune system a leg up. This is the main principle behind Prolotherapy: to help speed up the body’s own healing process.

In reaction to the injections and inflammation, the body will send more blood to that area. The blood brings with it oxygen and nutrients. Specific immune cells called macrophages are also present in the blood, which remove debris and irritants from the damaged area. Next, your immune system brings in fibroblasts, which make collagen. Lastly, chondrocytes are sent in, which are the cells that make new cartilage.

Keep in mind that this is the natural procedure your body undergoes when repairing itself. Prolotherapy speeds up the process and continues it past the point at which the body would usually stop.

Many studies have proven that Prolotherapy works. There is anecdotal evidence from many esteemed doctors, including former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.

It should be noted that there are some drawbacks to Prolotherapy. From a doctor’s perspective, there is little margin for error, and without precision, it doesn’t work very well. Secondly, this particular therapy can take a long time to work. In some cases, patients must have multiple injections over a long period of time. The other major drawback is the pain factor. The injections can be painful, too painful for some patients. That being said, in my experience, I’ve seen fantastic results, along with some disappointments.

Oxygen therapies are the answer. Typically, younger patients react better to this procedure. The older a person is, the less effective their cells are. One of the leading causes of aging is the inability of cells to get and retain oxygen. The New England Journal of Medicine concluded that the major difference between a 20- and a 70-year-old person was oxygen utilization. With multi-step oxygen therapies (a.k.a., exercise with oxygen therapy), all the therapies work by flooding the cells with oxygen, which increases energy production and makes the cells more efficient.

As effective as these therapies are, there is one type that stands out — Ozone Therapy. If you remember your high school chemistry, oxygen prefers to travel in pairs. That’s why oxygen typically is written as O2. Ozone is a natural gas that is composed of three oxygen atoms, written as O3.

With an extra oxygen atom, ozone is more reactive than regular oxygen. To give a simple explanation, O3 wants to lose that extra oxygen atom. Putting ozone into any system is the more efficient way of adding oxygen to the area. It also pushes the mechanisms to better use the existing oxygen.

More oxygen equals more energy. Where there is more energy, there will be more fibroblasts and chondrocytes, which will yield more collagen and cartilage. All of this material cranks up the healing system to supersonic speed.

The Full Procedure

It’s important to take the proper supplements for the procedure to work. In this particular case, patients must take high doses of glucosamine and MSM while they are going through the procedure. In addition, injections of cartilage-building nutrients, such as vitamin B-12, hyaluronic acid and homeopathic remedies, are administered directly into the joints.

Keep in mind, Prolotherapy causes more blood to enter the damaged area. There is one problem with this: the cartilage in the joints does not actually have a blood supply. The area around the joints gets blood, but the joint itself does not. Instead, joints get their nutrients from joint fluid, not the blood. The biggest component of joint fluid is hyaluronic acid, so we make sure to inject plenty of it into the joint.

Novocain/procaine also is injected into the joint to ease the pain of the process. The entire method works in this manner:

  • Novocain is injected into the joint.
  • While the syringe is still in, the Prolotherapy solution is added, which includes vitamin B-12, hyaluronic acid and a variety of pain remedies, including homeopathics like Traumeel.
  • The syringe is unscrewed, and then the tube containing the ozone is attached.

The entire treatment for each joint takes approximately three to five minutes, with great results. Let’s go back to arthritis of the knee as an example. Typically, the patient comes in for their first injection and is walking around immediately afterward, with no pain. The absence of pain is partly due to the Novocain, which wears off quickly. However, even after the Novocain wears off, the patient will feel better than before the injection.

As time goes on, the patient continues oral glucosamine and MSM, with continuous visits every two weeks for injections. And, most importantly, because this therapy is a complete, permanent treatment, once treatments are finished, the whole process is done.

Be advised that although there have been many successes with this therapy, the general medical community continues to ignore it. This is a typical situation, as new treatments are usually around for decades before the mainstream accepts it. The good news is that there are a growing number of doctors who are qualified to administer this therapy.

 

Paul Stallone, N.M.D., founded the Arizona Integrative Medical Center in Scottsdale, Ariz. He combines natural, alternative and conventional treatments to best fit and benefit each individual patient’s needs. www.drstallone.com or 480-214-3922.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number  3, Jun/July 2009.

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