Against the Grain with Dr. Chad Edwards | Tulsa Prolotherapy | Podcast 3 – Part 4
Chad: I said, “Well, we’ve kind of maximized what I can do for you. Your options are, I can send you to a surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, and let them evaluate you. Maybe they’ve got other options. Or, there’s this thing that I’ve been looking into and it may be beneficial. I’ve heard some really good stuff about it. We can give that a try.” She said, “Well shoot, let’s try it.”
Bryan: Needle or knife.
Chad: Needle, and she opted for needle. We did one round of prolotherapy, and she came back 3 weeks later and she was like, “That’s amazing. My knee feels tremendously better.” We did another round. Basically, we made her knee pain go completely away. I had never seen that with that kind of injury before.
Chad: I was like, “Well that’s impressive.” Then I had, but that’s what we an “n of 1,” that’s one patient. Then I had a young lady that she was around 30, active-duty soldier. Came in to see me for, I was no longer in 5th group at this time. Came in to see me for low back pain, and she actually came in for what’s called a profile. She wanted a doctor’s note, basically, that said she didn’t need to do sit-ups.
She wasn’t trying to get out of doing her job. She hurt, and it hurt her too bad to do sit-ups. She wanted a doctor’s note to get out of doing sit-ups. I said, “Well, again, there’s this thing that I’m new to, but if you want to try it, let’s do it.” She said, “Let’s do it.”
Bryan: I want to, as people listen to this, I want to tell them a little bit about your DNA. When Dr. Edwards says, “I’m looking into something,” that means he goes into some sort of doctor cave, for 6 months, with every book on prolotherapy possible to man, right?-
Chad: That’s right.
Bryan: … and you research it. It’s just his DNA. You have 2 patients at this point, but you’re getting as much knowledge on this prolotherapy as possible.
Chad: Absolutely, yeah. The injection that I did on the first young lady, this is the exact same procedure as the steroid injections that I was trained on. There’s no difference in that injection.
Bryan: Before we can talk about that, so prolotherapy is a liquid, right?
Bryan: That’s injected through a needle-
Bryan: … into-
Chad: Into these damaged areas.
Chad: In this first patient’s case, it was inside the joint.
Bryan: All right.
Chad: In most cases, we’re injecting it into the ligament or tendon that’s damaged. The only thing it’s doing is stimulating your body to heal itself. The only thing magical about the solution is stimulating your body to do what it does. Ligaments and tendons are relatively avascular, meaning they do not have a good blood supply. If you’re going to go for a run, you go running down the street, your muscles need a lot of blood. They need a lot of oxygen; they need a lot of nutrients to provide the energy that they’re consuming.
Ligaments and tendons being that steel cable analogy, there is no metabolic demand. They don’t need oxygen. It’s just this steel cable, so there’s no energy utilization for them. They don’t need a lot of blood supply even during high activities. They don’t need a lot of blood supply until they get injured or damaged.
Chad: Now, all of a sudden, you have this big project in the middle of the forest, and you don’t have a highway to get there. You got this winding road backwards road-
Bryan: That’s a great example.
Chad: You’ve got trucks that are going in there trying to take the stuff in there to heal it, but they got a one-lane road. What you need is a superhighway at that point, but there’s no superhighway. Ligaments and tendons are notoriously poor healers. They don’t heal well. Sometimes you heal completely; sometimes you don’t. Sometimes the pain goes away, but you haven’t restored 100% normal strength and function of that ligament and tendon. Prolotherapy just goes in and restimulates that inflammatory healing process.
Bryan: I envision this like green Star Wars type goo. What is it? What’s it comprised of?
Chad: Most of what I use is plain normal dextrose prolotherapy. It’s been around for a long time; it’s very, very safe. I’m actually involved with what’s called the Hackett Hemwall Foundation. You can visit them at hacketthemwall.org. I’m the only prolotherapist recommended by the Hackett Hemwall prolotherapy group in Oklahoma. The only prolotherapist in Oklahoma that’s on their recommended list of prolotherapists. There’s a process you have to go through in order to be on their recommended list.
Most prolotherapists will use plain old normal dextrose prolotherapy. There are other proliferant solutions. They’re solutions that stimulate the same process. They may work by a little bit different mechanism, but dextrose prolotherapy is number 1, incredibly safe, and number 2, very effective. Incredibly safe, very effective, we’re going with that.
Now PRP is also a proliferant solution, but it’s platelet-rich plasma. We basically draw the patient’s blood, we run it through this little machine, and it magically separates the red blood cells from everything else. It spits out, actually, we have to draw it out, but it spits out this platelet-rich plasma. Platelets have growth factors in them that stimulate the inflammatory response.
It’s a little more potent than prolotherapy, but there’s also an increased cost associated with that. Any of these ligament-regeneration injections, whether it’s dextrose prolotherapy, PRP, even stem cell, all work by very similar mechanisms. Stem cell’s a little bit different, but very, very effective at stimulating an inflammatory response, which is how we heal.
Bryan: Yeah, it’s interesting I read an article, and I can’t remember where it was, but the founder of Red Bull, because I read business periodicals, has kind of started some entrepreneurial endeavors, or excuse me, some philanthropy, where he set up a pretty high-tech lab. I forget where it’s at. He’s trying to tackle some major issues, one being health. He talks about how blood flow and oxygen and direct delivery to joints, bones, organs, is the lack of that option is generally the root cause for a lot of disease, and a lot of decay.