Against the Grain with Dr. Chad Edwards | Tulsa Prolotherapy | Podcast 3 – Part 6
Chad: Basically they said, “This doesn’t really work.” There is a reason behind that, but this was part of why I went into functional medicine, because the evidence-based medicine, which I was very evidence-based medicine centered, previously, it’s telling me it doesn’t work, yet my 2 eyes are telling me that it does. My patients are telling me that it does, so what’s the problem? There’s a problem in this whole process.
I started looking at it and I read all of the research behind it, and the research, the answers are within the research, on why it quote “doesn’t work.” All of those answers are there, and we’ll talk about that. There are some other studies that show clearly that there’s really good benefit with it.
Bryan: You see, really, all you can speak for, any of us can speak for, is our experience, right?
Bryan: At your clinic, the average person, like you see 10 people with pain in the areas of what would you classify the common areas of pain?
Chad: Shoulders are number one area, knee, and between knee and low back are number two. We could use prolotherapy for some headaches, because they’ve got some stuff going on in their neck. We commonly do necks. We do a lot of tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, all that elbows. We do some wrists. We do ankles, if you’ve sprained your ankle and you got chronic ankle sprains, you know prolotherapy is very good for that. We’ve done shin splints; we’ve done sciatica, so that pain going down the back of your leg.
In fact, I got some just amazing testimonials on my website about one guy that had back pain and his leg was going numb. He actually had to pick his leg up out of his car, in order to get out. Two rounds of prolotherapy and he was symptom free. He tells his story on the website.
Bryan: Yeah, like I said. I personally know some people as well, had life-long pain.
Bryan: Not Mickey Mouse pain, either. I mean these guys are hard core, gridiron football players that have really, really benefited from prolotherapy. I should get a commission. This is getting-
Chad: I never cease to be amazed at how well it works in most cases.
Bryan: My original question was, you have all these categories. If you could kind of sum it up, percentage wise, in all those categories. Some categories that work better than others, or I would assume locations, I don’t know, but percentage wise, 10 patients come to your office, 8 of them, 9 of them?
Chad: 8-9 of them, 85% is what’s been shown over time. Shoulders is probably like 98%.
Bryan: One more quick question. Is it reasonable from a cost standpoint? Because I can’t put it on my insurance, right?
Chad: Correct. When you look at the potential for surgery, time off … One question I would ask is, “Well, what is your pain costing you?” Look at your prescriptions and time off from work and all those kinds of things. It’s incredibly reasonable. The cost of prolotherapy is when you factor in co-pays and deductibles and that, it is a no-brainer.
Bryan: Even risk of surgery.
Bryan: I mean, there are certain inherent risks when you go in surgery.
Chad: I had a patient that came in with an amputation to her left leg, and I said, “Well what happened?” She said, “I went in to get a knee replacement; it got infected.” That’s rare, but it happens and it’s real. That’s a real and a significant life-changing complication.
Bryan: Actually, it’s funny that you bring that up. My father had, he’s had both knees replaced. On his first knee surgery in Oklahoma City, and I won’t name the doctor, although I should. He got an infection, and it was horrible. We were concerned. I don’t think most people understand; there are some inherent risks, especially when you go into a hospital these days, of surgery.
Chad: That’s right.
Bryan: I think any doctor would say, “If you can prevent surgery, it’s a great move if it can help you.”
Chad: That’s right. Our goal is not to do surgery. My goal is not to do prolotherapy. My goal is to get people healthy, doing well, optimal, no pain, full function. The question is, “How do we get there?” We want to do it in the most cost-effective way, the least invasive with the lowest risk.
Bryan: I got to be honest; I always go in to these things skeptical, because what do I know about anything? I’m a business guy, but if I had pain, and I don’t, because you don’t get pain if you’re third string on the basketball team. Marshall, this guy that’s working with us here, he’s like 6’5″, just chiseled from granite, and he’s a first stringer. He could probably use some prolotherapy. Are you convinced, Marshall?
Marshall: Yeah, I’m definitely convinced.
Bryan: Are you in?
Marshall: I’m in.
Bryan: Do you have any pain?
Marshall: I currently don’t have pain. I’ve been playing in the wreck league, recently.
Bryan: Be honest with me, before we jumped here, out of the guys that, you were 25, right? You’re 25 years old?
Marshall: Yep, 25.
Bryan: You got a lot of guys that have chronic pain that you played with?
Marshall: Oh yeah, guys that are in the training room, every single day before practice, because they have to get stretched out, or they have to manage a certain pain, whether it’s an ankle or a knee or something like that.
Bryan: Yeah, cool. Yeah, I think this is something for any athletes that are listening to this, specifically, but any just for the rec guy, if your golf game is messed up, you know?
Chad: I want to say one more thing. We have had tremendous success regardless of the findings on MRI, and we’ll have a podcast about MRI as well-
Bryan: That would be a good one.
Against the Grain with Dr. Chad Edwards | Tulsa Prolotherapy | Podcast 3 – Part 7
Chad: … a valuable tool, but it is a road map for surgery. That’s what it is. We have had tremendous success, independent of findings on MRI. You may have been told that you have a slap lesion in your shoulder, torn ligaments, tendons, whatever, we have had tremendous success with a number of those types of injuries. You still may need surgery later on down the road, but we’re not doing anything that’s going to disrupt needing surgery, or getting surgery. We’re not going to mess it up for the surgeon and make it more difficult for him. Conversely, if you have surgery first, you can’t undo it. You can’t ever go back and put it back.
Bryan: You’re cutting things.
Chad: That’s right.
Bryan: You’re cutting them out; you’re moving them, yeah.
Chad: Surgery has it’s place-
Chad: … but it is when everything else has failed.
Bryan: Yeah, this is great. I hope, I really hope for people, you know, high school sports has gotten so much more competitive, right? I really hate to see kids get surgery. I mean 18 year old kids having surgery on a sports injury. My gosh, any moms or dads that have young kids, specifically, to your point. I would say, “Don’t start. Needle over knife; don’t start with the knife. See what you can do with prolotherapy and I think try some of these alternative things before you start-”
Bryan: … “cutting a 18 year old’s knee all to hell.”
Chad: You got that right.
Bryan: Here’s one piece of advice. We’re on our way out here, but I’m actually very impressed with your knowledge, not specific to sports predictions, though, If you’re going to be in this prolotherapy game, you got to get bolder on your sports predictions.
Chad: You think so?
Chad: Yeah, that’s not a problem.
Bryan: All right, man, thanks. We’ll see you on the next episode.
Chad: All right. Thanks, Brian.
Speaker 2: Thanks for listening to this week’s podcast with Dr. Chad Edwards. Tune in next week, where we’ll be going “Against the Grain.”