With each study published on Prolotherapy including those in this issue of the Journal of Prolotherapy®, Prolotherapy is making history. But recently Prolotherapy lost one of its pioneers who did his best to get Prolotherapy into the mainstream. That man was Thomas Dorman, MD, who died at the age of 72 on March 15, 2009. In this month’s issue, please take a moment to read Richard Gracer, MD’s heart-felt tribute to Dr. Thomas Dorman. Besides running a private practice over the years, Dr. Dorman collaborated on a Prolotherapy text book and double-blind studies, as well as published his own data on the remarkable success of Prolotherapy.1-3 Dr. Dorman was one of the main physician teachers of Prolotherapy for many years. In a 1989 study, he noted, “I biopsied individuals before and after treatment with Prolotherapy and submitted the biopsy specimens to pathologists. Using modern analytic techniques, they showed that Prolotherapy caused regrowth of tissue, an increased number of fibroblast nuclei (the major cell type in ligaments and other connective tissue), an increased amount of collagen, and an absence of inflammatory changes or other types of tissue damage.”4
Most of us involved with Prolotherapy had various interactions with Thomas Dorman over the years and were impacted by his words. Some of his words are on a plaque that hangs in my office – “Prolotherapy stimulates the growth of normal ligament tissue.” In the early 1990s, I remember one discussion we had over lunch at a Prolotherapy seminar, during which we were discussing insurance coverage of Prolotherapy. He told me, “I thought when The Lancet published our first double-blinded study showing the benefits of Prolotherapy for low back pain that there would have been international coverage on it.5 A new treatment for low back pain? What could be more newsworthy? In the end, there was almost no publicity. Insurance companies don’t want to cover Prolotherapy or any other natural remedies, because these are very cost-effective compared to surgeries. As long as people think they might need expensive surgeries, the insurance companies will continue to collect their premiums.” The Journal of Prolotherapy®, as well as humanity, owes a debt of gratitude to Thomas Dorman for his remarkable work on promoting and teaching Prolotherapy.
Dr. Dorman, like his predecessors, students, colleagues, and patients, believed wholeheartedly that Prolotherapy should be utilized on a much broader scale for the pain patient. In an effort to do just this, we bring you studies and personal stories of Prolotherapy from around the world, as well as in our own corner of the globe. In this issue, you will find case reports from Dr. Lam treated with Prolotherapy from his Hong Kong Clinic.
Prolotherapy continues to grow in the United States including veterinary medicine where physicians such as Babette Gladstein, DVM, treat not only hip dysplasias, but also spinal conditions, including myelopathy with Prolotherapy on animals.
We are also pleased to present the personal stories of some outstanding Prolotherapy physicians. Scott Stoll, MD, explains his journey to becoming a Prolotherapy physician and Mark Cantieri, DO, one of the most skilled and vocal osteopathic physicians utilizing Prolotherapy, provides us with a candid interview, as he continues to lead the osteopathic medical profession in regards to Prolotherapy.
Marion and I again report on independent data collected on the treatment of low back pain treated with Prolotherapy from a charity clinic we spearheaded for ten years. The data revealed statistically significant results to the p<.000001 level. In other words, Prolotherapy gets rid of back pain!
The Journal of Prolotherapy® wants to continue to provide innovative writers and researchers with an outlet to publish work related to Prolotherapy and other therapies that help the chronic pain patient. Scott Benjamin, PhD, PT, has collaborated talents with several colleagues to present a case study using ultrasound to prove that Prolotherapy stimulates ligament growth in a back pain patient.
What is cutting edge pain medicine? It is quite possibly Prolotherapy using your own growth factors. Growth factors can now be used in Prolotherapy by utilizing a patient’s own platelet rich plasma (also known as PRP). Featured in It’s a Wide Wide World, Gary Clark, MD, reports on some of the PRP research, as PRP is emerging in the future of Prolotherapy.
Also in this issue, a Remarkable Recovery is featured detailing a patient who used Prolotherapy to stabilize a degenerated hip so he could stand independently, though a quadriplegic. In addition, read about a woman’s long-term success story with Prolotherapy in multiple areas of her body, allowing her to regain her life that was destined to be miserable were it not for Prolotherapy.
As good as Prolotherapy is at relieving chronic pain, sometimes patients possess such deep hurt in their subconscious, that something else is needed to help them achieve pain relief, or just regain the ability to sleep at night. For this reason Gina Orlando, MS, Certified Hypnotherapist, wrote a nice piece on using hypnosis for the chronic pain patient. At the end of the day, whether you are a physician who utilizes Prolotherapy, manipulation, or other modalities, what we want for our patients is quality of life along with pain relief. Hypnosis can be a powerful tool for achieving this goal.
As always, let us hear from you! Thank you to the authors who have sent manuscripts for the upcoming issues. We appreciate the broad range of papers we are receiving. Remember that no one will ever be blessed by your story until you tell it!
Until the next injection,
Ross A. Hauser, MD
- Dorman T. Treatment for spinal pain arising in ligaments using Prolotherapy: a retrospective study. Journal of Orthopaedic Medicine. 1991; 13:13-19.
- Ongley M, et al. Ligament instability of knees: a new approach to treatment. Manual Medicine. 1988; 3:152-154.
- Klein R. A randomized double-blind trial of dextrose-glycerine-phenol injections for chronic, low back pain. Journal of Spinal Disorders. 1993; 6:23-33.
- Interview with Thomas Dorman, M.D. Nutrition and Healing. 1994, pp.5-6.
- Ongley M. A new approach to the treatment of chronic low back pain. Lancet. 1987; 2:143-146.