Prolotherapy is short-form for “proliferative therapy”. This type of injection therapy is used for damage and injuries to tendons, ligaments, and joint capsules.
Prolotherapy involves injecting dextrose with an analgesic solution (most commonly, procaine) to help promote proliferation of the connective tissue in the tendons, ligaments, and cartilage/connective tissue within joint capsules. The proliferation happens due to dextrose stimulating a controlled inflammatory response which aids in tissue repair. Inflammation is necessary for tissues to heal and repair and problems arise when the inflammation is prolonged or gets out-of-control. This makes prolotherapy great for chronic musculoskeletal pain involving strains, sprains, partial tears, arthritis, and other joint capsule injuries.
Treatments a typically every 3-4 weeks and 4-6 treatments are usually recommended. Most individuals will experience pain relief after the first few treatments but some may not experience relief until the 5th treatment.
Neural prolotherapy is a prolotherapy technique that uses a lower dose of dextrose and is used to help with neurogenic pain and inflammation “nerve pain”. The reason for using a lower dose of dextrose is because the goal is not to proliferate and grow new tissue but rather to stop the pain producing signals from the nerves (reduce amount of Substance P). This reduces inflammation in the nerves.
The Goal: to stabilize and strengthen loose ligaments.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Prolotherapy can assist with pain syndromes related to ligament, tendon and/or cartilage damage, including:
● Chronic tendonitis (e.g., tennis/golfer’s elbow and plantar fasciitis)
● Degenerative Joint Disease in the spine and extremities (e.g., osteoarthritis of the knee)
● Chronic muscle tension with nerve entrapment syndromes (e.g., Piriformis syndrome with sciatica, neck and back or head muscle tension pain)
● Loose or hypermobile Joints
● Joint stiffness lasting longer than 1 hour in the morning
For many people relief can be rapid. A trial of 3-8 treatments given at 1 to 4 week intervals (with rehabilitation exercises in between treatments) is usually recommended. Many patients have reported partial or complete relief from pain after only one or two sessions. The number of treatments varies with the severity of the condition. Patients who are smokers, have autoimmune diseases, take anti-inflammatory medication and/or cortical injections have a reduced healing response.
Prolotherapy strengthens the ligament by rebuilding the collagen. Glucose is the fuel cells use to rebuild the collagen. The healing process can be expected to continue for one to four weeks following each treatment. As the tendons and ligaments grow stronger and more capable of doing their tasks, the pain is relieved.
Ligaments have a slow metabolism, poor blood supply and are susceptible to continual structural stress that inhibits healing.
Yes. Recurring muscle tension is one of the signs that the ligament is not stable or strong enough to do its job. In a way, a muscle in spasm is trying to act as a ligament. Once the ligament is strong the muscle tension will normalize.
Prolotherapy repairs the injury by strengthening ligaments through stimulating a controlled inflammatory response. Cortisone stops the inflammation but may reduce the healing response resulting in weakened tissue. Cortisone can rarely be injected into the same area more than three times.
As in most treatment for mechanical pain, proper alignment and muscle function are needed to prevent problems from reoccurring. It is quite appropriate to combine your prolotherapy treatments with chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, acupuncture and exercise therapy. Improved diet and nutritional supplementation may also be recommended.
For more information, go to: www.getprolo.com
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