Effective Pain Treatment
Apr 29, 2016 12:55PM
● By Sheila Julson
Dr. Neal Pollack
Since childhood, Dr. Neal Pollack, a Milwaukee native, has had a strong interest in the mind-body connection behind medicine and physiology. Unlike some children, he actually enjoyed visiting his pediatrician as a youth, and he recalls being fascinated by the medical models on display at his dentist’s office.
Pollack’s interest in medicine intensified during his teens. He began his journey to becoming a doctor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he majored in premedical studies, and attended medical school at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. After completing his internship and working at hospitals throughout Kansas City, he went on to train in neurology at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.
As a doctor of osteopathic medicine and a board-certified neurologist, Pollack, who has been in private practice in Milwaukee since the late 1970s, specializes in neurology and pain treatment. But it wasn’t until approximately 20 years ago that he developed an interest in offering prolotherapy—a nonsurgical technique that promotes growth and formation of new connective tissue—after one of his patients inquired about it. Intrigued, he researched prolotherapy and took a number of related courses. “I have been studying prolotherapy regularly since then and have become an expert in this type of elegant injection treatment that prevents a lot of people from having to undergo surgery,” he says.
Pollack uses prolotherapy to treat damaged ligaments, tendons and joints. The treatment, which consists of a natural, cortisone-free solution injected into specific areas to produce local inflammation that he says ultimately strengthens affected tissues, is performed in his office. “It’s been extremely effective in decreasing pain and enabling people to reduce or eliminate medications and avoid surgery,” Pollack says.
Many pain problems are related specifically to ligament, tendon and joint injuries, Pollack notes, and he often sees people who have tried medication or other therapies and were eventually told that they needed surgery. “Some people had also had steroid injections, which can actually weaken the tendons,” he explains. “Prolotherapy is natural, and it strengthens and rehabilitates these specific areas without surgery.”
The number of prolotherapy treatments needed varies case-by-case, but Pollack says that patients will typically know if it is effective for them after two or three treatments. He begins by diagnosing a patient during a thorough evaluation, during which he spends time listening carefully to the patient’s complaints and history, and then he will present treatment options.
While Pollack realizes that many physicians simply prescribe medications for pain issues, he explains that he does not. “Pain is a chronic psychosocial, emotional and physical problem, and it has to be diagnosed properly,” he says. Pollack and his staff strive to create a professional, yet comfortable ambiance. His Mayfair Road office overlooks a golf course with a magnificent view, and the serene setting seems to help put patients at ease.
After practicing for nearly 40 years, Pollack never stops learning and stays inspired by his work. “I continually learn from my patients. I enjoy my interactions with them and I’m elated when they feel better,” he says. “A large percentage of them improve through the therapies that we administer, even after they’ve been through a number of different treatments at other clinics. We understand our patients, we understand the conditions that they exhibit, and we have not only high standards of care, but very effective alternative treatments for pain—and we get excellent results.”
The Neurology and Pain Treatment Center is located at 2600 N. Mayfair Rd., Ste. 1120, Milwaukee. For appointments, call 414-453-7780. For more information, visit MilwaukeePainClinic.com.
Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.