By attorney Michael Ehline – As part of my commitment to chasing solutions for injury victims, rather than attorney’s fees, I like to bring things to the forefront that should REALLY matter to those adversely harmed by the negligence of others. One common theme we accident attorneys see with big injuries, is the need for long term pain management.
Managing pain can mean the difference between normal human function, and constant discomfort. But did you know there are also many ways to heal the body by using your own blood, stem cells, and even by causing the body to regenerate its own tissue by creating a proliferation in the damage location?
Surgery is not always the best option when, with these new and even ancient “rediscovered” techniques, you can not only eliminate the pain with no drugs, but you can actually re-grow damaged tissue, almost like how a lizard can re-grow a lobbed off tail. I do not jest, and I have first hand knowledge that this is not just some Hocus Pocus.
I have suffered a severe knee injury, torn up shoulder, etc., and have benefited from many of the above mentioned methodologies and treatments. When I was studying law, I was unable to do push ups without severe, excruciating pain. Lucky for me, across the way, was a pain management center that was just opening up for business.
I went there one day with my boss, who was, of course, a PI lawyer handing out his business cards. The lead physician who met us, was named Marc Darrow. During the course of our meeting, Darrow noted that I was studying law, and mentioned that he too, was a licensed attorney. Right away, I could tell he was at a higher level of intelligence than most individuals I have met in my interesting life.
Within several months of Prolotherapy under Darrow, I was back in the gym, started back in martial arts, and had a major elevation in my overall “sense of self.” But it was not just the physical healing I received that made me better. Darrow was/is an illuminated visionary, and mentor, who also helped me rediscover the power of positive mental attitude and the role it plays in physical well being. It turns out that Darrow enjoys the works of Norman Vincent Peale, Zig Zigglar and even Ayn Rand.
Ultimately, Dr. Darrow and I became friends, and have been so for at least 11 or 12 years. His interesting background as a lawyer, and a physician really helped open my eyes to a lot of issues that sufferers of pain must deal with. Recently in the news, we have even seen situations where unmanageable pain can actually drive people to take their own lives. We have seen pain pumps and other devices designed to bypass or improve the bodies natural healing responses.
But we rarely meet doctors who are actual “healers” in our fast paced world of “pill popping,” and treatment of symptoms rather than causes. Since Darrow is an illuminated “healer,” (mind, body and soul) and not just a mere doctor, I wanted to interview him in order to shed light for our readers on some of the not so often discussed issues of law, medicine and healing.
In this below Q & A, I want to set forth some of the concepts, ideas and other factors that injured victims should consider when seeking treatment for injuries and resulting chronic pain.
Q: How did you happen to become both a lawyer with a Masters degree in Business Taxation, and a doctor?
A: I was always interested in becoming a doctor since I can remember. Many of my family members were doctors, including my grandfather, uncles, brother-in-laws, and cousins. Some were lawyers.
I took a side step for 15 years by becoming a lawyer, after not getting the grades I wanted at Northwestern. I was working at my father’s business during college, and there was too much on my plate to adequately focus on science at that time.
My mentor, John-Roger let me know that when I passed the Bar, I would be his lawyer. That was all the carrot I needed to succeed. He also gave me study tools to pass the bar the first time.
My law practice was multifocal with non-profit, tax, entertainment, corporate, real estate, and general litigation, but the major portion of my income came from personal injury. I had about 1000 PI cases, and about 500 Worker’s Comp cases. I remember handing many clients very large checks. Many didn’t want the money, but just wanted their health back. I always said, I wish I were a doctor so I could help you.
In 1989, my mentor told me it was time to go to medical school, and I did. I was accepted without pre-med, but told I had to get straight A’s, and I did!!! The director of admissions said, “I’m going to save your soul.” I believe he did.
Medicine is what I was born to do. I love healing patients, naturally.
Q: Why specifically are drug free pain treatments the staple of your medical practice?
A: When my mentor told me to go to med school, I asked what I would do. He told me, sports medicine. I loved sports, and it was a natural for me.
My doctor-grandfather was not in favor medications or surgery, and I followed in his path.
All of the treatments I perform, including Platelet Rich Plasma, Stem Cells, and Prolotherapy are natural techniques that stimulate the body to heal itself.
This “Regenerative Medicine” healed my wrist and shoulder overnight, and I quickly incorporated it into my practice.
Medications are taken from my patients, and replaced with supplements and hormones.
Q: How has your experience as a pi lawyer helped you do a better job as a doctor, if at all?
A: My 15 year term as a PI lawyer has assisted me tremendously in helping my patients. I have dealt with patients/clients in pain for the past 40 years, and understand their issues, both physical, emotional, and spiritual.
Q: Would you ever go back into law, if so why or why not?
A: Being a gladiator is exciting. Being a doctor is loving. I’m not sure I could go back to being a gladiator. Doctors don’t typically fight with each other. My life is much more full of meaning at this time.
Q: Do you believe that tissue such as cartilage in knees, can be regenerated with non-surgical techniques, and if so, what are those techniques?
A: It’s not a matter of opinion! Prolotherapy is a decades old technique that has worked by stimulating the body’s own response and repair system. Newer technologies, like Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy have consistently assisted in repairing soft tissue damage and are even more effective than Prolotherapy.
Q: Is it true that stem cells only come from fetuses and dead babies? Why do so many people think that?
A: There was a lot of debate over embryonic stem cell lines that would be federally funded. However, people’s own bodies have stem cells that can be used for treatment. Our techniques use the stem cells from a person’s bone marrow– safe and effective! Why deal with ethical and moral issues of using embryos in healing.
Q: Do you think pain medication is an option, or only non medicated types of therapy?
A: Pain medication is necessary for some cases, but why make a patient live medicated with chronic pain when there is another solution? Our injection techniques have a solid track record in repairing damage and reducing or eliminating pain.
Q: Is PRP, Stem Cells or Prolotherapy covered under Obamacare, liability, or other private insurance?
A: There is some coverage for these non-invasive treatments that allow patients to consider these therapies instead of surgery. Regenerative medicine is not yet covered by Medicare or other health insurance. If injuries are from an auto accident or injury on the job, the treatments may be covered. These therapies are many times cheaper than the long-term problems and effects of surgery.
Q: Are there any other new treatments coming down the pike for damaged joints?
A: Yes. There have been recent studies that have shown that use of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy are effective in treating musculoskeletal problems involving the joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Anywhere from the head to the foot, and everywhere in between.
Q: Do you have any great books you recommend to help ordinary people understand how nutrition plays a role in pain management and overall mental wellness?
A: Well, one of mine might give some insight! Choose from Prolotherapy, Living Pain Free, The Knee Source Book, and the first chapter of my new book,,and my website, www.StemCellInstitute.com are full of medicine on regenerative medicine.
Q: Are you familiar with Benjamin Rush?
A: Dr. Rush was a pioneer for this country, in both the medical and political field. His patriotism was a great inspiration and his initial research allowed for modern doctors to pioneer.
Q: Do you believe that medical choice should have been enshrined as an unalienable right in the Bill of Rights?
A: Yes– the right of people to choose the most effective treatment for their own body is necessary. The 14th Amendment’s right to privacy is already clear that a person has natural rights regarding their self. As it should be!
Q: What common sense methods do you think can be used to lower the overall costs of pain management therapy to injured victims?
A: Innovation! We need to make sure that we have more specialists for these cutting edge techniques. Having physicians that are trained in other fields and attempting to perform therapies like PRP or Stem Cell Therapy could result in ineffective treatment. Having doctors trained in these techniques coupled with technological advances should bend the price curve down while resulting in better results. Taking the surgery out of pain, is the keynote of my Radio show on KRLA, Saturdays at 1-2pm (870am), and Sundays at 2-3pm. Why use surgery which is expensive, and harmful to the body, when simple injections can do the job, relatively inexpensively, quickly and effectively.
Q: In what ways do you think that doctors and lawyers can work together to assist victims of negligence in recovering the costs of medical and related care after a horrific accident caused by negligence?
A: Doctors and attorneys have common cause– and I can speak from experience of having been a lawyer for 15 years prior to medical school. Both have the interest of the patient at heart. The biggest issue is that doctors and lawyers are so busy that they have little time to discuss the common client/patient. I make it a point to answer my cell phone when a lawyer calls. See: 310-666-9977.
I hope you enjoyed this interview with Dr. Marc Darrow, a pain management doctor, and also hope that injury attorneys throughout these united states will make more of an effort to educate their clients about the many alternative methods available for curing, rather than masking pain symptoms. We as consumers, all of us, should actively lobby politicians to uphold our natural rights in the medical care that we seek. Like Benjamin Rush, I believe the government should remove itself from the relationship between doctor and patient. As the government invades more and more of our inherent rights under the guise of health and safety, it is time for us lawyers to start putting up a real fight for patient’s rights and not just look at injury victims as case files.