Chronic pain—persistent pain lasting for more than three months that impairs one’s ability to live a normal life—affects more than 116 million Americans. Experts estimate that more than $600 billion in healthcare resources and lost productivity are spent annually on this common condition. And more than 200 million prescriptions are being written each year in an effort to assuage the nation’s discomfort. But guess what? These “efforts” aren’t helping. In fact, dangerous pain-relieving drugs often do more harm than good.
Prescription Drugs: Pain Relief at a Cost
Using prescription drugs for pain relief is a recipe for disaster. Opiate medications such as oxycodone and hydrocodone are highly addictive and can lead to accidents and overdoses. Both prescription and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been linked to serious adverse effects of the liver and gastrointestinal tract. And the newest class of NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors (Celebrex) are supposed to be safer—but aren’t. These drugs have been shown to increase risk of heart attack and other serious cardiovascular events including death.
So, if drugs aren’t the answer, then what’s a person with chronic pain to do? At Whitaker Wellness, we start with supplements that actually go in and address the underlying problem instead of just masking pain. Our physicians regularly recommend natural anti-inflammatories like fish oil and curcumin and supplements like glucosamine to help rebuild cartilage. To avoid the problems associated with oral medications for pain, we prescribe topical analgesics, which are safe as well as effective.
On the therapy front, we often prescribe treatment courses with infrared light, high-intensity laser, microcurrent, acupuncture, and chiropractic for pain relief. Effective as these therapies are, however, sometimes they’re just not enough. And that’s when we dial it up a notch with regenerative medicine.
The Future of Medicine: Regenerative Therapies
As I discussed in the featured article, stem cells are truly the future of medicine. Your very own adult stem cells can be used to heal and repair virtually any area of your body that’s causing you pain or discomfort. At Whitaker Wellness, we offer two other pain-relieving therapies that really hold their own: platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and prolotherapy.
PRP Revs Up Repair
You may have heard about Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, and Rafael Nadal using platelet-rich plasma therapy to avoid surgery or speed recovery. Elite athletes may have put PRP on the map, but it’s a beneficial therapy for anyone with joint pain caused by injury, overuse, or arthritis.
James came to us for PRP because he had torn the ligaments in his ankle during a wrestling match. Two weeks after his treatment, he was able to jog and resume his workouts. Christine, who suffered with debilitating neck and back pain for years, had been treated with everything from adjustments and massage to surgery and cortisol injections. Nothing helped—until PRP. Within five weeks, the pain was “almost gone,” she was sleeping well, and her energy and vitality had returned.
Platelets are fragments in the blood that are activated by injury and bleeding. They stick to the lining of damaged blood vessels, initiate clot formation, and release growth factors that start the healing cascade. PRP therapy involves removing a small amount of a patient’s blood, isolating the platelets and plasma, and injecting them directly into the area of injury or degeneration—and unleashing the power of platelets to promote the formation of new tendon, ligament, cartilage, muscle, and bone tissue.
Prolotherapy Stabilizes Joints
Another regenerative medicine therapy we’ve been using at Whitaker Wellness for decades is prolotherapy. Prolotherapy addresses a significant underlying cause of neck, back, hip, and knee pain: laxity, or looseness, of the ligaments and tendons that hold the joints in place. This results in misalignment that strains the muscles, wears down cartilage, and impinges on nerves.
During a prolotherapy treatment, a dextrose solution is injected into the affected ligaments and tendons. Dextrose acts as an irritant that initiates repair mechanisms. Over time, the connective tissue grows stronger and tauter, restoring proper alignment and pain-free function.
Hundreds of our patients swear by prolotherapy, and although some require repeat injections, many experience lasting, even permanent relief after just one treatment. We’ve had the most experience with neck and back problems, but it’s a proven therapy for all kinds of musculoskeletal pain.
How Can We Help?
The majority of patients who come to the clinic for treatment of chronic pain enroll in our flagship Back to Health Program. In addition to a thorough medical examination that will allow your physician to determine which of our regenerative, healing therapies are right for you, this unique program includes delicious and healthy meals cooked by our gourmet chef, innovative medical lectures given nightly by our knowledgeable medical staff, personalized diet and exercise recommendations, and a true sense of camaraderie that can only be achieved by being immersed in this healing environment with other Back to Health Program participants.
Let Whitaker Wellness help you say goodbye to chronic pain for good. Call 866-642-1018 to schedule a free consultation with one of our friendly and knowledgeable Patient Service Representatives or click the Contact Us or Complimentary Consultation button below.