Health Q&A with Dr. Michael Jacobson, D.O.: Proliferant injections for chronic musculoskeletal pain

From the May 2019 issue of Heartfelt Magazine.

Q: Recently when I was starting our pull-cord leaf blower, there was great resistance before the engine cranked and finally began to run. The next week, I pulled very hard to start it—but this time the engine gave no resistance. Later I felt a piercing discomfort in my wrist. It would shoot in like an electric shock whenever I twisted it or I lifted something with torque. There was and is virtually no swelling, discoloration, unusual sounds, grinding or popping sensations. However, that shooting, shocking pain is still rather intense at times, but only when I am torqueing my wrist. I’m using a wrist support during the day; however, the joint protrusion at the hand gets sore from the pressure. I’m soaking it in hot water regularly and exercising the muscle so it doesn’t stiffen. I have not sought medical help yet. Should I?

A: Thank you for your question. Generally, all things musculoskeletal will resolve within about six weeks as long as no fracture has occurred. Based on the description of how your injury occurred a fracture is unlikely, but still possible. I suspect you may have sprained ligaments in your wrist. If it has been over six weeks, and you’re still having symptoms, I suggest you see a doctor. My personal recommendation is to find a sports medicine physician—if possible, one offering prolotherapy.

Prolotherapy (also called proliferation therapy) stands for fibro-osseous proliferation. It’s an injection of any number of agents that are known to stimulate the growth and repair of connective tissue and treat chronic musculoskeletal conditions, such as the one you may be experiencing. A more recent variation of prolotherapy is known as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) that involves withdrawing a specimen of one’s own blood, concentrating its platelets and re-injecting them back into injured connective tissue to stimulate natural healing and repair.

While I’ve never tried PRP, I have benefited several times over the years from prolotherapy injections for chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Editor’s note: PRP prolotherapy is not to be confused with stem-cell therapy; PRP exclusively uses a patient’s own blood. See CHM Guideline N for sharing eligibility of prolotherapy.

If you have a health question for Dr. Jacobson, CHM Medical Consultant, please email it to doc@chministries.org. This information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician.

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