Dr. J. Keller Wortham and Dr. Stephan A. Brunton


Dr. Keller Wortham - 10-23-2018

Low Back Pain

Do you have Low Back Pain?

Low Back Pain is a very common ailment that can range from pesky to debilitating.  It is estimated that almost everyone will suffer from low back pain at some point in their life.  Sometimes referred to as lumbago or lumbar/sacral pain, low back pain can be brought on by a precipitating event (like a sports injury or an accident), or may come on more gradually.  In either case, when low back pain persists for over 3 months, it is considered chronic.

There are many potential causes for low back pain, and seeing a doctor for a thorough evaluation is often necessary to determine the right diagnosis.

At Optimum Wellness, we have been evaluating, diagnosing, and treating low back pain for over 30 years.  When you meet with one of our medical providers, they will first take a detailed history your pain.  Knowing the timeframe, any exacerbating factors, date-coincident events, or what you suspect might have caused it, can be helpful.  It’s also helpful if you can describe your pain (electric, burning, throbbing) and if it radiates to other areas. 

First and foremost, if you have any alarming symptoms—like rapidly progressive leg weakness or numbness, bowel or bladder incontinence, or other health conditions like a weak immune system or a history of cancer—you should seek medical attention urgently.

Most Common Causes

While the possible causes for low back pain are extensive, the most common causes are musculoskeletal.  Musculoskeletal back pain is related to issues with the muscles, bones, or ligaments of the area, and is often due to a sudden event, such as heavy lifting, a fall, or a sports injury.   These events may cause tears to the muscle or ligaments in the area.  These tears, or strains, cause inflammation that the body perceives as pain.  At Optimum Wellness we specialize in regenerative injection treatments like Prolotherapy and Platelet Rich Plasma which help reinvigorate and stimulate healing in damaged muscles, tendons, and ligaments.


Long Term Issues

Chronic low back pain can also be related to long-term issues with posture, deconditioning,  and associated muscle weakness or tightness.  In these cases a good physical therapist or exercise routine can begin to correct alignment, and strengthen and stretch weakened or tight areas. Our physicians can evaluate your posture and determine if a referral to physical therapy or a specialized exercise routine is a good option for you.


Another cause of low back pain is arthritis.  Arthritis is inflammation of the joints, in this case either “intervertebral” or “sacroiliac." While there are pharmacologic treatments for inflammation, like ibuprofen, we can recommend natural solutions and supplements to help reduce inflammation and preserve joint function and cartilage.  For severe cases, we offer the cutting-edge biotechnology of Stem Cells, which have been shown to help regenerate cartilage in advanced arthritis.  


Yet another cause of low back pain is related to the “discs.”  In between each vertebra is an intervertebral disc that acts like a little cushy pillow protecting the bones and allowing space for the spinal nerves to exit.  If you have an accident, or put a lot of strain on your back you can force this disc out of place.  This is referred to as a herniated disc.  A herniated disc can put pressure on a nerve, causing a potentially severe and electric nerve pain.  Herniated discs can require surgery, but for less severe cases we offer various treatment options that can help revitalize disc function, stabilize vertebrae and keep herniations from getting worse.

Getting the Correct Diagnosis

Above all, handling your low back pain requires a proper diagnosis.  At Optimum Wellness we will work with you to get the detailed symptoms, events and history of your pain, perform an exam, and order any imaging that is required to make the diagnosis.    We will then thoroughly go over your treatment options, from the traditional to the alternative, so that you can make the best decision for your body, and put your low back pain behind you!

Call us to set up your consultation today!!

Dr. Keller Wortham


Dr. Keller Wortham - 2-9-217

Stem Cell Therapy

Amniotic Stem Cell As A Treatment for Musculoskeletal Injury

There is a powerful new player on the field when it comes to regenerative medicine--amniotic fluid.  Ok, amniotic fluid is actually not new at all.  In fact, amniotic fluid has been around for just as long as we mammals have; it's the fluid that surrounds a baby in the womb to nourish it and protect it from the outside environment.  However, tapping into the power of amniotic fluid as a stimulant for regenerative healing is as cutting-edge as it gets.

You see, amniotic fluid is rich in stem cells and many of the growth factors that are needed to trigger healing in damaged areas of the body such as joints, tendons, ligaments, and skin.  

What are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are "undifferentiated" cells that can mature into specific cell types needed for helping repair injured or damaged body tissue.  Stem cells are different from other cells because they have the ability to create copies of themselves (self-renewal), and to divide for a long period of time.  They can differentiate into specialized cells with distinct functions, thus adapting to and fulfilling a wide array of needs for repairing damaged, degenerated, and injured body areas.  

What are Growth Factors?  

Growth factors are the many chemicals that the body uses to signal metabolic and healing processes.  Amniotic fluid contains over 30 growth factors, including ILGF, BDNF, FGF, IL-1, IL-6, to name a few.  These growth factors regulate growth and repair of everything from bone to tendon to blood vessels to skin.  It should be easy to see how a fluid so rich in growth factors could be a useful adjunct in regenerative medicine.  

Studies have already looked at amniotic fluid as a safe an effective alternative to hyularonic acid [ http://www.painmed.org/2015press/files/amniotic-fluid-may-be-safe-and-effective-alternative-to-hyaluronic-acid-for-osteoarthritis-pain.pdf ] or to synovial fluid (lubricating fluid) for arthritic joints [ http://www.painmed.org/2015posters/abstract-lb004/ ] Several promising studies have used amniotic fluid for shoulder pain due to rotator cuff tears and tendinopathy [ http://www.painmed.org/2015posters/abstract-177/ ]

How are Amniotic Stem Cells Acquired? 

Amniotic fluid is donated from pregnant mothers during an elective C-Section surgery at the time of delivery.  This fluid is then sent to a lab for evaluation, purification, and quality control.  This process is much the same as that for donated blood products.  Additionally, the mother and baby are screened both before and several months after the procedure to ensure that both are, and continue to be, in good health.  (A note:  amniotic stem cells are not the same as embryonic stem cells, therefore this procedure is completely legal in the United States, and no fetus is harmed in the process.  )
At Dr. J. Keller Wortham and Dr. Stephan A. Brunton's office, we have added Amniotic Fluid Injections to our already-powerful arsenal of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and prolotherapy to help our patients get relief from musculoskeletal injuries and chronic pain.  Amniotic Fluid Injections can treat arthritis, rotator cuff tears, sprains and strains, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, knee injuries like tendon and meniscus tears, to name a few.  

Before you resign yourself to a slow or incomplete recovery, to a life of chronic pain, or to an invasive surgery, call us at Dr. J. Keller Wortham and Dr. Stephan A. Burton's office to set up your evaluation with our trained Stem Cell specialist, Dr. Keller Wortham, who will evaluate you and your specific needs to determine if stem cells are right for you.

For more on our Stem Cell Procedures, including Amniotic Stem Cell, as well as stem cell harvesting from fat and bone marrow obtained from the patient, see our website at [ https://www.optimum-wellness.net/stem_cell_therapy.php ] 

Dr. Keller Wortham


Dr. Keller Wortham - 11-18-2016

Knee Pain

Knee pain

he knee: easily ignored or taken for granted...until it hurts. It is often said, "You can mess with the Gods, but not with your knees." If you have ever had knee pain, you know how true this adage is. Knee pain can be completely debilitating, reducing you from your once-active self to someone who can hardly walk. Knee pain affects over 60% of Americans. It does not discriminate. People of every sex, race, and age experience knee pain at some point.

The knee is a wonderful joint that potentiates our strength and enhances our movement. However, it is very susceptible to injury. Knee pain can be caused by acute trauma (such as a torn ligament or meniscus), chronic wear and tear (leading to conditions like arthritis), or temporary overuse (causing problems like chondromalacia patella or bursitis).

Luckily there are many things that can be done to treat knee pain. The first step is having a physical evaluation to determine the source and the cause. You may also need imaging studies like an x-ray or MRI. After that, your doctor can prescribe a treatment regimen. Often the treatment for knee pain will require rest, physical therapy, and potentially even surgery.

Fortunately, at Dr. J. Keller Wortham and Dr. Stephan A. Brunton's office, we offer several non-surgical treatments for knee pain that can reduce pain, speed recovery, and even help prevent the need for surgery. Our regenerative procedures, including Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell Therapy, harness your body's own healing power to fix injuries. These regenerative medical procedures can treat conditions such as meniscus and ligament tears, cartilage damage, and even osteoarthritis. What's more important is that the risks and the recovery times are much lower and shorter than with knee surgery.

If you have knee pain, please call our office at 818-547-5400 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Keller Wortham. After a thorough evaluation he will determine if a regenerative procedure like Prolotherapy, PRP or stem cell injection is right for you.

Before you give in to pain, or go under the knife, come learn about these cutting-edge regenerative options at the offices of Dr. J. Keller Wortham and Dr. Stephan A. Brunton .

Dr. Keller Wortham