One doctor is on a mission to prevent unnecessary orthopedic surgeries, help those with daily pain, and get athletes back to the sports they love. Dr. David Woznica, former Head Spine Physiatrist of the Yale New Haven Spine Center and founder of Woz Wellness gives professional athletes, Olympians, and players of all levels a competitive advantage with prolotherapy, PRP and stem cell treatments either in office or in the privacy of their home.
Hidden in West Palm Beach, you’ll find the Winter Equestrian Capital of the World - Wellington, Florida. Within this tight-knit equestrian community is a doctor bringing a new approach to treating musculoskeletal and spinal pain. Riders with neck and back injuries, golfers suffering from sore backs or shoulder injuries, tennis players and overhead athletes, and runners who suffer knee injuries are returning to the sports they love without surgery.
Prolotherapy is a fast, minimally invasive regenerative injection treatment that initiates the body's healing process at the sites of injection. Here’s how it works: Prolotherapy (proliferative therapy) injections activate a healing response in damaged tissue. This can be through inducing controlled inflammation at the site of the injury with proliferating solutions such as hypertonic dextrose or may require the addition of cellular therapies such as PRP or stem cells.
Placing these at the sites of injury or tissue damage creates a localized inflammatory response (the first step in all healing outside of the womb), which stimulates the healing cascade. This environment triggers tissue growth locally, increases blood supply to the area, signals local tissue-specific stem cell populations to activate, and attracts circulating stem cells from the blood. Healing occurs through inflammation, proliferation, and remodeling stages, which overlap to some degree. The inflammatory phase typically lasts two to three weeks, though it is generally not felt past a week. Over the following months, proliferation (the multiplication of cells) occurs, with the final stage of healing being the remodeling phase.
Best practices for prolotherapy and regenerative medicine practiced at Woz Wellness include minimizing the use of corticosteroids and medicine such as naproxen and ibuprofen to avoid inhibiting the first stage of healing. Protein intake should be kept high for four to six weeks after each treatment, and vitamin supplements are advised, especially vitamin C and B-complex. Decreased usage of tobacco or nicotine is very helpful for natural healing as well since these decrease small blood vessel activity.
Unlike cortisone shots, Dr. Woznica says prolotherapy works differently to heal the affected tissues. “Cortisone shots are a band-aid that can make the pain go away temporarily but cause deterioration of the tissue. Prolotherapy instead results in a healing response to strengthen the damaged tissues.”
Many celebrities have used Platelet-Rich Plasma injections, which can be used as a prolotherapy treatment for both sports injuries and cosmetic benefits. Some notable athletes like Tiger Woods, Lionel Messi, Rafael Nadal, and Cristiano Ronaldo have turned to PRP injections for various tendon injuries. Other celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Angelina Jolie use PRP as a natural anti-aging cosmetic treatment. PRP and prolotherapy can also be used for pelvic pain in men and women, sacroiliac and lower back pain after pregnancy, and PRP may also be used for erectile dysfunction.
Case example: Recreational competitive pitcher with severe elbow pain.
A 53-year-old male pitcher presented to Woz Wellness for severe elbow pain in his throwing arm. Dr. Woznica performed an ultrasound examination showing he had significant tendinopathy (poor tendon health) as well as partial tears within the tendon and ligament at the outer elbow (Figure 1: areas of significant damage outlined in red). He was treated with three sessions of prolotherapy, PRP, and ultrasound-guided needle tenotomy by Dr. Woznica and was able to throw without pain for his summer baseball season. A follow-up ultrasound revealed improvements in tendon health and healing of the majority of tears, with some small areas of residual tendinopathy and minimal partial tear (Figure 2).
Dr. Woznica is the only MD double-board certified practitioner in Florida offering this unique in-home concierge care treatment for high-profile patients who desire the utmost convenience, efficiency, and privacy.
As Dr. Woznica says, “Regenerative medicine is not just about healing the body. It’s about restoring hope and quality of life, precisely our mission at Woz Wellness.”
Visit Wozwellness.com to learn more about in-home concierge treatments or to schedule your consultation with Dr. David Woznica to determine if you’re a good candidate for prolotherapy.
Photography by: Courtesy of Dr. David Woznica