by Dr. Tina Marcantel


woman tennis playerMany people visit my clinic seeking alternative therapies for joint and muscle pain. Here is a case study to illustrate how we can combine several types of therapies to reduce or eliminate certain types of chronic pain.

Cindy is an avid tennis player; she generally plays 4-5 days a week and sometimes up to 3 hours at a time. She loves the game, but too much of a good thing can sometimes be a problem and over time she developed physical issues that sidelined her.

Cindy came to me as a new patient with complaints of neuropathy (numbness and tingling in her feet) and plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. The pain had become so intense that she was in a medical boot. She had been on NSAIDs, but they didn’t seem to be helping much and she was actually reporting stomach discomfort from these over-the-counter pain relievers. Her main request of me was, “Please get me back on the court!”

Because she was establishing with me as a new patient I began with a thorough medical history interview and physical exam. As we talked I learned that she had other issues concerning her, as well, and so I recommended some laboratory testing to help us get a full picture of her overall health.

When Cindy returned for her first follow-up visit, a review of her labs revealed that she was showing signs of adrenal fatigue, which was the apparent cause of her complaints of constantly feeling “tired and wired.” To give her adrenal glands the boost they needed, I recommended a series of six intravenous therapy treatments that consisted of a mix of B and C vitamins along with other minerals. To help bring the pain and inflammation under control I also included with the IV treatments an injectable homeopathic anti-inflammatory called Traumeel, which I have had good success with in my practice.

In addition to the IV treatments, I started Cindy on Theracurmin, an oral supplement derived from curcumin, a potent natural anti-inflammatory. This particular product has a special release that has a better absorption rate than other over-the-counter curcumin products. I also counseled Cindy about pacing herself with her tennis and incorporating exercises like Pilates and yoga to prepare her muscles and tendons for tennis.

By the third week of treatment, Cindy was no longer wearing the boot and she reported that her pain had decreased 80-90%. She also said she could feel a boost in her energy level and overall well-being. I asked her not to return to the court yet, but the next week when I saw her she confessed that she had played for about a half hour but that she noticed that she recuperated much faster from the pain than she had in the past. The following week she played an hour and a half to two hours and the pain was still controlled.

Cindy is back on the court now and returning to her regular routine. I have cautioned her not to overdo it—it’s always important to understand that the body has physical limits and if we push too hard we risk physical injury and burnout that can lead to adrenal fatigue. In Cindy’s case, a series of IV treatments with an injectable anti-inflammatory, an oral anti-inflammatory, and proper rest and stretching exercises all contributed to her recovery.