Regenerative Injection Therapy – Dr. Heather van der Geest
Dr. Heather Van Der Geest is a registered Naturopathic Physician that specializes in various treatments including Regenerative Injection Therapies such as prolotherapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). As a former member of the Canadian Junior National Rowing Team and Captain of the University of Victoria Women’s Rowing Team, she understands the importance of physical health, injury prevention/recovery, nutrition, training, and hormone balancing. Dr. Heather now uses that same drive and leadership ability to help support her patients in achieving their health goals. The Kin Lab team had the honour of welcoming Dr. Heather van der Geest to learn more about her practice.
Prolotherapy is an injection of dextrose into degenerated or injured ligament, tendons, and joints. This results in mild inflammation that initiates an inflammatory cascade to promote the healing and generate new healthy and stronger tissue. This treatment uses the body’s natural healing ability to relieve chronic pain, strengthen injured tissues, and restore overall function. It has been found to be effective in 85% of cases.
It is most effective if you have an acute injury that is delayed in healing OR a chronic, degenerated joint that is achy/unstable. Several injections are administered spaced at 2-4 week intervals to promote maximal results.
Examples of conditions that respond well to prolotherapy include: Chronic headaches, Arthritis, Sciatica, SI joint pain, Herniated Discs
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy involves harvesting platelets from the patient’s blood and injecting it at the site of injured tissue/injury to promote regeneration of the tissue. Has been very beneficial in individuals who have failed conservative or surgical treatments.
Efficacy of treatment can depend on a patient’s:
- Overall Health Status
- Nutritional Status
- Hormonal Status
The number of treatments that are typically required will depend on 2 factors:
- Area of the body being treated
- Extent of injury or degeneration
Typically will take up to 4 weeks until improvements are seen with PRP treatment.
In comparison to Prolotherapy, it is suggested that 1 PRP treatment is generally as effective as 3 prolotherapy treatments. However, PRP treatment is generally more expensive, and so prolotherapy may be a more cost-effective option for some individuals.
The basis of neural therapy is that non-tender scars (due to injury or surgery) may heal in a way that creates a “short-circuit” between nerve fibers, thus can present asymptomatically and cause insidious symptoms in another area of the body. Therefore, the injection of a local anesthetic (procaine) to anesthetize the nerve and allow it to “re-boot” and fire appropriately.
Individuals with injury scars, surgical scars, and adhesions that experience remote pain may be candidates for neural therapy.
Peri-Neural Injection (Neural Prolo)
A combination of neural and prolotherapy which consists of an injection of dextrose and local anesthetic (procaine) along the course of an injured nerve to reduce/eliminate pain and inflammation. Typically utilized in superficial nerves from head to toe, some examples being the saphenous nerve, cutaneous nerve, and sural nerves in the lower limb.
Dr. Heather van der Geest
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Summary written by Calvin Vu