Doctor Without Borders
New York-based Prolotherapy Specialist Inspired by Medical Missions around the WorldBy Tania Fuentez
Dr. Larisa Likver upholds a straightforward philosophy in her practice, recognizing the body’s natural ability to heal itself while uniting the “wisdom of century-old techniques with cutting-edge medical advances.”
Board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, the respected physiatrist has more than 20 years of medical experience in New York and abroad. She shares expertise in pain management and alternative medicine to provide high-quality medical treatment to people around the world otherwise unable to afford such care, specifically comprehensive prolotherapy treatment.
When done properly, prolotherapy has a more than 80 percent success rate and it can eliminate the need for orthopedic surgeries in many cases, Dr. Likver explains. Often considered a new method, documentation shows that a very similar therapy was performed as early as 400 B.C., she says. The name for the non- surgical ligaments and tendons reconstruction technique is derived from the Latin word “proli” which means to regenerate or rebuild. “Prolo” is short for proliferation because treatment causes the proliferation (growth, formation) of new ligament and tendon tissue in weakened areas.
A sugar-based solution is injected into the ligament or tendon where it attaches to bone, causing localized inflammation (a first stage of healing) in weak areas, which then increases blood supply and flow of nutrients. It also stimulates tissue repair, strengthening and tightening and thereby stabilizing the identified area.
Recently, Dr. Likver traveled to Honduras as part of an international team of physicians, nurses and assistants offering less-invasive, non-surgical care. Since 1969, the Hackett Hemwall Patterson Foundation has hosted a medical missionary trip to the Central American country. Churches, hospitals and other sites are converted into medical clinics in La Ceiba, Tela and Olanchito, attracting patients from the cities and rural villages.
“Everything is shipped in from the U.S.,” Dr. Likver says, reflecting on her visit to Tela in March. “We set up and open hospitals in the field and people come from all over the country, some walking for miles. One patient told me she sold her last chicken to get here.”
Long lines form around 6 a.m. “Patients are very appreciative just because you came there … even without touching them, even without treatment,” she says. “Doctors are human beings, too. When someone says ‘thank you,’ you notice.”
Camaraderie comes naturally. “Because this method is so effective doctors throughout the world get together to help less fortunate, who do not have a ‘second chance’ to get help,” Dr. Likver adds. “Prolotherapy is a trusted and effective method, but at the same time requires excellent skills and technique. That’s why doctors, who go to Honduras, not only treat locals but also treat each other (we call it “doctors treat doctors”).”
Dr. Likver has dedicated her life to medicine, and plans to accept an invitation to provide prolotherapy on a medical missionary trip to Mexico in 2016. With extensive credentials, she provides outstanding care for musculoskeletal problems and helps her patients avoid surgery, using vast knowledge in conventional and alternative medicine (comprehensive prolotherapy, PRP treatment, neuro-prolotherapy and prolozone treatment).
But, it goes beyond diagnosing a patient’s injury or illness and treatment. “… I must know my patient. I can’t just treat the knee. I am treating the whole person.”
Larisa N. Likver, MD has offices located at 315 Madison Ave, Ste 806, NYC, 212-922-9030 and 8419 Bay Parkway, Brooklyn, NY, 718-259-0199. Learn more at DrLikver.com, GetProlo.com, or HackettHemwall.org.