SHOTS BRING HEADACHE RELIEF 

By Tracy Ahrens

© 2000 Kankakee Daily Journal

Got a headache? Try a shot in the head.

The non-surgical procedure is called Prolotherapy, involving a shot of natural substances such as cod liver oil, dextrose or corn extract. These substances help strengthen ligaments, thereby strengthening the neck. Dr. Ross Hauser, Oak Park, discovered in the early 1990s that Prolotherapy cures migraines. His practice is called Caring Medical and Rehabilitation Services. Presently there are about 500 doctors nationwide who are qualified to use Prolotherapy in their practice; Dr. Hauser is the main physician in our area who performs this procedure. Weakened ligaments in the neck cause unnatural head posture, leading to headaches. To strengthen the ligaments, an injection of a natural substance in the head and neck causes the immune system to rebuild structurally weakened areas of the body. " What would happen was that the weakened area would grow new connective tissue, causing the neck area to strengthen. With the pressure on the neck region removed, migraines disappeared," Dr. Hauser said. Prolotherapy, by definition in Webter's New International Dictionary, is the rehabilitation of ligaments and/or tendons by the induced proliferation of new cells. In essence, Prolotherapy stimulates the body to repair itself. The substance injected stimulates the normal healing inflammatory action, Dr. Hauser said. During the healing inflammatory action, blood supply and the flow of nutrients stimulate tissues to repair themselves. Ligaments are like rubber bands and can become "over stretched" with time. This brings pain as bones rub together, or muscles are over-worked as they tighten and try to stabilize bones. The injections (using a long, thin needle like those for an acupuncture) usually consist of a mixture of manganese, and corn and pitcher plant extracts, Dr. Hauser said. "We use different things, " he said, depending on the condition being treated. Some times a growth hormone is injected, maybe an extract of cod liver oil, dextrose, saline, or glucosamine if you have arthritis. The substance used stimulates the area where ligaments and/or tendons attach to the bone. Therefore, the needle has to be inserted until it touches bone. Historically, Hippocrates used a version of the technique on soldiers with dislocated, torn shoulder joints. He'd stick a hot poker into the joint and it would heal normally. With Prolotherapy, several injections are often required, but the healing is permanent. The side effect is two to three days of soreness. The technique is used treat degenerative arthritis, lower back pain, torn ligaments and cartilage, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, TMJ and sciatica. Not only does the treatment work, it has been proven to be more successful than standard drug, exercise and surgical treatment measures. Even former Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop M.D. underwent Prolotherapy. He suffered with lower back and leg pain for years. Dr. Hauser's wife Marion, suffered from migraines, but found relief with Prolotherapy. Many others, such as John Macarek of Joliet, have found headache and back pain relief with Prolotherapy. For 10 years the 54-year-old has suffered from lower back pain due to a pinched nerve. After receiving Prolotherapy shots in the spine (over a course of five treatments), he felt 50 percent better; he could finally sleep in his bed again, versus a chair to relieve pain. One year ago he started to have head pain and numbness from behind his right ear down to his right shoulder, again due to a pinched nerve. "My chiropractor couldn't do much help me, so he suggested Prolotherapy," said Macarek by phone. He is chemistry and biology teacher at Lake Park High School in Roselle. "One treatment of Prolotherapy and the numbness was gone." At first, Macarek was a little intimidated, knowing he would need shots in his head and neck. Between 15 and 20 injections were given to Macarek, including a shot behind the ear. He recalled the sound of the needle puncturing his skin, like the sound of a needle poking through paper. " I would recommend this to someone else," Macarek said. "You don't have the side effects you may have from other treatments." Even select insurance companies cover some of the cost of Prolotherapy.