Against the Grain with Dr. Chad Edwards | Tulsa Prolotherapy | Podcast 3 – Part 5
Bryan: He’s kind of on to a lot of the stuff that you’re talking about. He’s put a lot of resources to it. In fact, what you’re describing sounds almost dead center to some of the injection-type stuff that they do in their laboratory, so that’s pretty-
Chad: Prolotherapy has been around since the 1930s. First case series was published in the 1950s by Dr. Hackett. There’s books that you can read and greater than 85% success rate.
Chad: This is something that works really, really, really well. It’s incredibly safe. The lead physician in the United States in the 1980s was C. Everett Koop. He was the surgeon general under President Reagan. He was actually a big fan of prolotherapy and he said, “The nice thing about prolotherapy, if properly done, is that it cannot do any harm.” When you look at the risks and benefits of something, the, even if it didn’t work, you’re not doing any harm.
Bryan: That’s great. I personally know, again, I’m not paid to do this, right? I’ve no skin in this game other than to support your endeavor here, because I think it’s important. I personally know 2 people. One is a retired pro-athlete and then one was a division 1 football player that have gone to your clinic, have been through, like you said, every doctor that the sports world can offer, traditional-based doctor, and come out with pain. They’ve gone to prolotherapy, and it goes away.
The amazing thing, for people listening is, if I understand it correctly, I have a perfect body, so it’s hard for me to relate.
Chad: That’s right, Bryan.
Bryan: Actually, when I say that, I’m joking around. I just sat on the bench in every sport, so it’s you know, getting hurt.
Chad: I’ve seen you, right, so Brian used to be a track athlete, and he did not just sit on the bench.
Bryan: Well, I mean, that’s track. You run in a straight line. You don’t need prolotherapy; you know what I mean?
Chad: I think you still have a record that’s still standing.
Bryan: Oh, let’s not talk about that. Let’s not talk about that. Here’s what I’ll say is, for the patient that’s considering options to get rid of their pain, and this whole topic of this is “Needles over Knives,” it is literally as easy as call you, or someone else that’s in your network that does prolotherapy at the level that you do it. You go in. You assess the situation at length, I assume?
Bryan: … and it’s an injection. A series of injections.
Bryan: Literally, not a knife involved, not complicated. Would you say it’s painful?
Chad: Everyone interprets it differently; everyone perceives it differently. I’ve got some patients that think it’s incredibly painful. I’ve got some patients that … I literally had a patient said, “I’ve had haircuts that hurt worse than that.” I’ve done prolotherapy on myself. I treated my knee and my wrist and my foot, and there are some injections that aren’t comfortable, but I tolerate it okay. I don’t need sedation, although in our clinic we do offer sedation for those that just feel-
Bryan: That just can’t do it.
Chad: … they can’t handle it, right.
Bryan: Chad, these are people that are in pain to begin with.
Chad: That’s correct, yeah.
Bryan: It’s not like you’re going in there for your, you know, you’re flying to Africa and you need some shots, you know what I mean?
Chad: Let’s be clear; the procedure itself is uncomfortable. The injections aren’t comfortable, but it lasts for a second or two, each one of them. Sometimes there can be a lot of injections. It just depends on what goes on. The physical exam that we perform in the clinic, which is critical to the prolotherapy component, is different than the way I was taught to do a physical exam.
We still do some of those normal things, but we want to know where are the damaged ligaments and tendons. The exam that we teach in the Hackett Hemwall Foundation is critical to making sure that you get the right areas. When you treat the right areas, we can have a really, really nice success.
Bryan: Awesome. Why is prolotherapy, in your opinion, let’s go back to this topic before we end the show. Why is it not more mainstream?
Chad: I think a lot of it goes back to evidence-based medicine. Well, first of all, let me back up. The Medicare, because the solution is a simple, natural solution, the Medicare considers it a “natural” therapy. Medicare-
Bryan: It’s outside of the network of things that are covered by insurance, right?
Chad: Well, by rule, Medicare does not cover natural therapies, independent of how effective it is.
Bryan: That’s an important fact, “independent of how effective it is.”
Chad: Their ruling is that they do not cover natural therapies.
Bryan: That’s amazing.
Chad: Agree or disagree, that’s just the way it is. Then the second component of this, and many insurances will follow the Medicare model. The second component of this is, when you look at the evidence, the research on prolotherapy, it’s mixed. We probably need to have a specific podcast. In fact we will have a podcast on the research behind prolotherapy, because what I saw is a greater than 85% success rate with my patients walking out the door having dramatically improved if not completely resolved pain and improved function, if not returned to completely normal.
Chad: Many times, that’s the case. I see this works, and you can go to my website, revolutionhealth.org, and there are numerous testimonials on there. None of them are coerced; none of them are paid. These are just their stories, so there are numerous of them for all different body parts, low back, neck, shoulders, elbows, knees, all those things. It tells their story, so I know this works. Yet, when you look at the research, the Cochrane Review, and again, we can talk more about the Cochrane Review, but basically, they just examine all the data and then they’ll say this works or it doesn’t.