I hope for your sake that you do not have any sort of back injury. As
a back injury veteran (6 herniated discs between t3 and t12) I can
tell you it is painful as well as mentally and physically exhausting.
After my initial injury, I was treated with medication and trigger
point injections. I realized immediately that anything that only
temporarily reduced pain could never be a solution, not to mention it
only felt worse when the true pain returned. Actually it almost seemed
to return with a vengeance for being put to sleep.
I researched many different types of therapy, and remember clearly the
type you are interested in. It is called Prolotherapy, Prolo Therapy,
and Proliferant Therapy.
"Pioneered in the early 19th century by French physician Alfred
Velpeau to treat hernias, prolotherapy has lately been used to treat
back pain. It involves injecting an irritating, natural substance into
the ligaments. The body responds by sending healing cells--like
sending in a maintenance crew to reinforce the under-girders on a
bridge. As healing cells arrive, more tissue is produced,
strengthening ligaments that serve as support for the joints.
Prolotherapy treatment requires 12 to 30 sessions, involving between
10 and 30 injections."
Google keywords used: Prolotherapy
This is a website, that seems predominantly to be an advertisement for
their services as a prolotherapy clinic.
"Prolotherapy refers to the injection of sclerosing solutions into
joints, muscles, or ligaments. The effectiveness of prolotherapy has
not been verified by scientifically controlled studies. As early as
1978, the Medical Procedures Appropriateness Program of the Council of
Medical Specialty Services (CMSS), based on input from the American
Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American Association of
Neurological Surgeons, and the American College of Physicians,
concluded that prolotherapy had not been shown to be effective.
Furthermore, the clinical practice guideline on "Acute Low Back
Problems in Adults" by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
does not recommend ligamentous and sclerosant injections in the
treatment of patients with acute low back pain.
According to Martindale's Extrapharmacopoeia, Sarapin is a brand name
for an extract of the pitcher plant, or Sarracenia Purpurea.
Martindale's notes that "the roots and leaves of Sarracenia Purpurea
have been used in the form of an aqueous distillate, administered by
local injection, for neuromuscular or neuralgic pain."
Sarapin is typically administered in conjunction with prolotherapy.
There is inadequate evidence of the effectiveness of Sarapin for pain.
A MEDLINE search identified only two published studies of Sarapin for
pain relief. One clinical study involving 180 patients found greater
pain relief in patients administered facet blocks with Sarapin than
those without. Another study, using an animal model, found Sarapin to
have no effect."
Google Keywords Used: Prolotherapy
This was a quote from Aetna's reasoning for not covering this type of
treatment. It is stilled considered experimental, and I believe not
covered by most insurance companies. Please check with your company
There is also an article here discussing Medicare's coverage of prolotherapy.
It is date September 27th 1999 and indicates they also would not cover
the treatment at that time.
I hope this helps you ease either your own, or someone else?s back
pain. No one should ever suffer the way back pain suffers do.
There are several online websites dedicated to this type of treatment
Keep in mind these are the websites of Prolotherapy clinics, and
therefore may be biased.
Of course please keep in mind before entering into any kind of
treatment, one should always consult a physician. I recommend seeing
an orthopedic specialist to discuss this type of treatment.
Best of luck,