Prolotherapy on Upper Back Ribs

As I’ve noted, I have already had prolotherapy treatments on both of my shoulders. It has been about 6 weeks since the first injections into my right shoulder and about 4 weeks since the treatment of my left shoulder. I had an appointment for today but had not decided ahead of time which area we would treat.

I could feel that the prolotherapy was working on both shoulders, having relieved the muscle pain in the area, but it was clear that I had still had pain in the joint and elsewhere in the ligaments. I was ready for a second treatment on either shoulder, but assumed it would be the right one given that it had been longer since the first treatment.

Also I had a muscle spasm under the lower part of my left scapula. I think I had pushed myself a bit too hard and done too much o the wrong exercise in the gym. Most of us have had a knot, I think, in that area, so you know that it is not pleasant and is painful. I was surprised that the doctor wanted to treat that area with the injections, but given the resulting subsiding of pain in the shoulder muscles, I was also pleased to hear it and looking forward to the pain relief from the spasm.

The doctor realized that the disclosure form I had signed did not include the ribs and thus the possibility of a punctured lung. He brought in a new form and I signed it. He said we would never do both sides at once, just in the worst case scenario he missed on both sides and punctured both lungs. I found that pretty humorous, given I had faith he wasn’t going to mess up even once, let alone twice.

The doctor told me that we would treat the upper ribs in my back and that that might also help my left shoulder. When we were deciding where to treat, he had pressed each of the shoulders as well as the rib area looking for sensitive spots, and afte the treatment he would do it again.

I was prepared for the pain fo the shots this time, though I was pleasantly surprised. As I had done for my second treatment, I took a vicodin before driving to the doctor’s office, about 15 minutes before treatment. Then, as usual, before giving the prolotherapy shots, the doctor injected lidocain into the area to numb it. Even the small needle for these numbing shots didn’t seems to hurt as much as they had in the shoulders. Perhaps it was relative given the amount of pain the spasm was causing.

And then the prolotherapy injections began. One off the keys to safe prolottherapy is needle on bone. That prevents damage to nerves and other important parts in the area, but you can feel the needle when it touches the bone and you can feel the injection. I was pleased to note that it was nowhere near as painful as the injections in the shoulders had been. The needles were just as long, but they weren’t going deep into a joint. The injections were where the ligament attaches to the ribs, in the area that actually connects the rib cage to your upper body and shoulders.

I heard the the doctor ask the nurse for more needles, that the ones he was using on me were getting dull. He commented that I was very muscular, which made it harder to do the injections. He said that skinny is easy, fat a little harder and muscular the hardest, but I suspect that a muscle in spasm might be even harder to go through.

After the treatment I definitely felt better than before I had walked into the doctor’s office. He pressed on my left shoulder joints and there was less pain than before the shots. And the muscle spasm in my back seemed to be releasing a bit. I definitely felt good, but as I told a friend, i wasn’t sure if that was the Vicodin talking. I’d know more at 8pm, when the powerful drug wore off.

Indeed at 8pm it was clear it had been the drug, but I was not in so much pain that I chose to take another. Instead I remained lying down for few more hours before going to sleep and chose to take another pill then. I slept through the night without pain.