What is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is an injection-based treatment that stimulates the body to repair damaged tissue. Dextrose with anesthetic are injected into painful areas to stimulate our own repair mechanisms and to strengthen the injured structures. Ligaments, tendons and degenerated joints are the primary structures treated with prolotherapy.
Ligament injury is presumed to be the preliminary cause of degenerated joints. This along with the fact that most degenerated joints have tenderness at ligament attachments around the joint, account for the fact that degenerative arthritis and degenerated structures typically respond beautifully to prolotherapy. Prolotherapy is an excellent treatment for pain arising from ligaments, tendons, and degenerated joints.
The exact mechanism by which prolotherapy relieves pain and heals joints is not yet proven, but the predominate theory suggests that dextrose injections promotes an inflammatory response within the tissue that is treated. Re-stimulating an inflammatory reaction promotes healing by increasing blood flow, which encourages growth factors to stimulate and subsequently allows for tendons and ligaments to grow stronger and thinker.
Do the injections hurt?
Generally the injections are moderately painful. Anesthetics (typically procaine) are used to numb the injection site, which minimizes the pain. Treatments are generally quite short (10-20min) and most people can simply grin and bear the discomfort. Over the counter medications like Tylenol can be used safely after the procedure, if necessary.
Who is the ideal candidate for Prolotherapy?
Any injured or torn ligament or tendon, or a degenerated joint or spinal region is indicated for prolotherapy. When a tendon or ligament is completely torn, then surgery is typically warranted.
What are some of the conditions that respond to Prolotherapy?
|• Tendon/ligament strains
• Incomplete tendon/ligament tears
• Degenerative joint disease
• Spine arthritis
• Osteoarthrits pain
• Fibromyalgia pain
• Frozen Shoulder
• Loose Joints
• Hypermobility Syndrome
• Bone spurs
• Plantar Fasciitis
• Pubic Symphysis pain
• Tennis Elbow
• Meniscal tear
• Labral tear
• Post Surgery Pain
• Iliotibial pain
• Chondromalacia patella
• Shin splints
The treatment schedule
Though sometimes 1 or 2 treatments are sufficient, most conditions require three to six sessions. This depends on the severity and location of the injury. The majority of people feel some degree of improvement or pain reduction after the first treatment. A treatment plan for your needs can only be determined after a complete assessment. Treatments are most often spaced out every four weeks, though in some instances treatments are given every week to two weeks.
Most people get treated until they are pain free or almost pain free. Prolotherapy regenerates structures for many months after the last treatment. This is why some people stop getting prolotherapy when they are 90% pain free. If the pain does not completely remit in a couple of months after the last session, then another treatment or two may be needed.
Will there be soreness after Prolotherapy?
Yes there is a soreness that follows prolotherapy treatment but it is generally mild and comparable to a soreness following a hard workout. The muscles may temporarily feel tight and stiff. These reactions are normal and expected. There should not be moderate or severe pain following a prolotherapy treatment. If there is, please call the office and report it. Post-treatment discomfort generally lasts 24-36hours. Sometimes pain pills or muscle relaxers are needed for a short time.
What are the risks with Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy, as an injection therapy, carries a risk of infection. Following treatment, there is a risk of increased pain, swelling, bleeding, bruising, and redness. Depending on location treated, there can be a risk of pneumothorax (puncture of the lung), nerve injury, ligament injury, tendon injury, muscle spasms, spinal headache, and synovitis (joint swelling/pain). Risks due exist with prolotherapy of are typically minor and result within 1-2 days. Any concerns will be addressed before beginning treatment