What is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is a non-pharmaceutical injection designed to promote natural healing of painful joints. It is a recognized orthopedic procedure that triggers the bodies own natural healing powers to strengthen ligaments and tendons weakened by over-use or traumatic injury.
While larger, randomized controlled trials are needed, there is emerging evidence for the use of prolotherapy as a treatment option for osteoarthritis, low back pain and other painful musculoskeletal conditions.
Prolotherapy is a promising option, particularly when other standard treatments have proved ineffective.
Prolotherapy, or Regenerative Injection Therapy, is used to treat pain in:
- Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar Spine
- Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
- Chronic Tendonitis
- Plantar Fasciitis
How Does Prolotherapy Work?
Prolotherapy creates a mild, controlled injury by injecting a natural irritant into the injured tendon or ligament (connective tissue).
This irritant, primarily a glucose substance, creates an increased inflammatory response. The inflammatory response increases protein synthesis, collagen formation and increased cell proliferation.
Prolotherapy is also thought to increase the infiltration of leukocyte (white blood cells) and macrophages (debris removers), as well as increase platelet-derived growth factors and interleukin (chemical building blocks).
This process helps improve a ligaments strength, mass, thickness and a trend toward an increase in cell number, glycosaminoglycan, (protein), and water content.
Prolotherapy “tricks” your body into repairing the weakened sites by producing new collagen tissue, resulting in permanent stabilization of the joint. Once the joint is stabilized, pain usually resolves.
While one treatment can help, additional treatments are often required to allow a gradual buildup of tissue before restoring original strength. Prolotherapy is not covered by your insurance. Some portions, such as diagnostic guidance, may be reimbursed. We will provide you an itemized invoice which you may submit to your insurance company.
Prolotherapy in Sports Medicine
Most active people will at some point experience an acute (traumatic) injury and almost everyone, as they age will experience a chronic injury from overuse of a joint.
The goal of Prolotherapy is to strengthen connective tissue before an injury progresses, and to speed up the healing process to return to activity as soon as possible.
Used widely in Sports Medicine and now more in general practice, Prolotherapy has the unique ability to address the cause of pain and repair the underlying cause of instability.
Why Is It Important to Use "Live" X-ray or Ultrasound Guidance?
Injecting without guidance puts the joint at risk. The needle tip should not penetrate the ligament, but rather be extremely close to the ligament to “spray” the healing substance.
Our physicians are skilled in administering the injections and use ultrasound or fluoroscopy guided images to pinpoint the exact area of injury, ensuring maximum efficiency. We choose to use guidance to minimize any risk to our patients.
How Do I Get The Most Benefit From Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is most successful when combined with a customized physical therapy and chiropractic care program. For patients who do not live locally, a post-treatment plan will be provided.
Your body does not function in a vacuum and most often your pain has many contributing factors. By addressing the underlying cause of pain, your Prolotherapy treatment has an optimum environment in which to strengthen tendons and provide long term pain relief.
Why Is Prolotherapy Preferable To Drugs?
Unlike drugs, which actually destroy tissue, Prolotherapy rebuilds tissue and consequently stabilizes the joint or tendon.
Anti-inflammatory drugs fail to address the cause of the injury, (weakened tendons and ligaments) and will only provide temporary pain relief.
Pain injections have limits on use because they actually weaken tendons and ligaments and eventually fail to produce effective pain relief.
What Is The Recovery Time Following Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is intended to simulate a mild injury. Therefore a few days following your treatment you may experience mild swelling and stiffness. This is common and this is good!
Swelling is a natural inflammatory response and indicates that the body is in a healing process induced by the injection. That’s exactly what you’re looking for to obtain the desired outcome.
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