By Dr. Annette Zaharoff

A few final thoughts on my summer mission trip to Greece to provide Prolotherapy treatment to communities in Crete, and to teach doctors from across Europe on the best way to utilize Prolotherapy in treating musculoskeletal injuries

We treated nearly 300 patients during this weeklong mission, organized by the European Academy of Regenerative Medicine. This group, inspired by the work of the non-profit Hackett Hemwall Patterson Foundation, is helping push Prolotherapy treatments into Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Croatia and other European nations

Prolotherapy injections use dextrose (a form of sugar) and lidocaine to initiate a healing cascade. The European Prolotherapy Mission is part of global collaborative effort by Prolotherapy physicians to help patients with orthopedic pai

The main clinic was in a town called Anoeia, but I also helped set up a satellite clinic in a nearby community we had not visited before to introduce Prolotherapy treatments.

The patients who came to us seeking help are ranchers, farmers and people who do a lot of physical labor. Not surprisingly, many of the conditions we treated were for low-back pain. Low-back pain is also an issue here, but there are also many cases I treat here with Regenerative Injection Treatment related to flare-ups of old knee injuries and arthritis. It’s a good time to remind all of us that studies show a minimum of 6,000 steps a day has been found to help keep knees healthy as we age

One highlight of the mission was sitting in on a class taught by an Italian physician to other providers that covered effective ways to utilize Prolotherapy to treat knee and lumbar problems. The module he used to teach the class is one I created as part of the HHPF’s global Prolotherapy curriculum.  At the upcoming Prolotherapy Research Symposium in Wisconsin in October, we’ll work to further standardize the way physicians around the world learn to treat patients with this Regenerative Injection Treatment

The trip re-enforced my belief that the work we are doing at the Foundation is truly important and having an impact on people from all walks of life. I’m already making plans to return in 2019.