One of the main reasons patients present to an Urgent Care clinic is pain. It can be from an infection (strep throat), injury (broken bone or any type of injury), acute headache (migraine) or pain just about anywhere in the body.
I’m a big sports fan. So, when I heard about all of these professional athletes getting these new high-tech injections done like PRP and stem cells, I thought that this is something I needed to learn how to do. Not only would I be learning something new but I’d have a new tool to help patients recover from some of these painful conditions. I decided to attend a medical conference so I could learn about these new techniques. There was a “pre-conference” about nerve injections too. I did not have any particular interest in this field, but you can never have enough CME credits, right?
Liza Smigel, MD is a PM&R doctor in Hawaii that presented information on the role of nerves contributing to painful conditions that I saw frequently in my Urgent Care clinic. She said she was using dextrose to treat these conditions. She learned this technique from a Sports Medicine doctor from New Zealand named John Lyftogt, MD.
This was one of the coolest and craziest things that I had ever heard. How can you treat pain with plain sugar. What about steroids and NSAIDs? These were my main tools that I had been taught to treat these painful, “inflammatory” conditions.
If you went to an Urgent Care clinic with shoulder pain and the doctor wanted to drill a needle in your bone, suck out your bone marrow and inject it back into you, most patients would probably not sign up for that (or the cost). But, if a few injections of sugar water around pain generating nerves could immediately decrease your pain, that would probably be more palatable.
I couldn’t wait to get back to my clinic and begin trying this new treatment….