I am a Medical Doctor. I did my undergraduate studies at the University of Southern California graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1983. I attended the University of Southern California Medical School from 1983 to 1987. I did my residency in Internal Medicine in San Francisco and became Board Certified in Internal Medicine in 1990. I practiced that discipline for 10 years at the Kaiser Medical Center in Petaluma, California. In 1999, I became Board Certified in Sports Medicine and in 2000, I joined the Orthopedic Department at Kaiser in Santa Rosa where I practiced until 2013. I am also a Certified Yoga Instructor, and a former instructor of musculoskeletal anatomy.
I am passionate about Prolotherapy,
because it changed my life!!!
I am hypermobile, that is, I have always had loose limbed joints. Yoga was easy for me and I loved gymnastics as a child. In Medical School, I became a long distance runner and did lots of mountain biking. However, I began having chronic low back and hip problems which I didn’t understand. I spent a great deal of time at the Medical Library at UCSF reading all about low back and hip problems, going to medical conferences and although I was board certified in Internal Medicine, I went back and got my boards in Sports Medicine.
I stopped running, and biking and started swimming and doing yoga which helped in some ways but my back still hurt. I saw many doctors and tried strengthening exercises which made it hurt more and cortisone into my back and hip, which helped for a very short while, but the pain returned. Every morning,I would lay in bed, not wanting to get up because it hurt my back, and I used to wonder what would become of me. It was a very hard time. Although I did continue to swim in order to stay strong, I couldn’t walk for more than a half a mile without pain. I was gaining weight.
Finally I saw a Chiropracter who really helped me. The pain was relieved when he manipulated my back, but in a few hours, it returned. I did this for a year or so, and tried to strengthen my core, but many of the exercises exacerbated the pain. Then I saw an Osteopath who did OMT on my back in, and when the pain recurred, she said, “you need prolotherapy.” We did it, and it was life changing! Now I can go to a Pilates class, ride my bike again, go on long walks and most important get out of bed every morning without pain!
I felt so hopeful again, that
I had to offer this to my patients.
I was glad that I had learned musculoskeletal anatomy when I became a sports medicine doctor and had been teaching anatomy and physiology for many years, but the training to become a good prolotherapist required intensive study. I went to many many courses and did very serious training through the Hackett Hemwall Foundation where the most respected prolotherapists in the world come together to teach and learn. I am now an instructor for other doctors to learn Prolotherapy through the Hackett Hemwall Patterson Foundation.
Beginning seven years ago, I have gone to Honduras every year to treat pain in underserved people by using prolotherapy.
Once I learned the technique, I offered it to my patients at Kaiser where I was only able to give prolotherapy to two patients per day. Very quickly, I had a 3 1/2 month waiting list. Unfortunately, this is not covered by Kaiser Insurance and I had to stop. But I saw how many people were helped by this, and I decided to start my own practice specializing in Prolotherapy, PRP and Peri-Neural Injection Therapy.
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) is another way to treat ligamentous instability and osteoarthritis using plasma from the patient's own body. In those patients with more severe ligamentous problems or even tears, this is an effective treatment, since, not only collagen is layed down, but growth factors are part of the plasma which strongly aide in tissue repair. This procedure is the very one that got Steph Curry back in action with his torn meniscus!
Not everyone has pain due to ligamentous instability, so I researched and learned another effective treatment for pain called Peri-Neural Injection Therapy, and I now offer this treatment to those people who have unusual pain syndromes. It is elegant and simple and works.