Prolotherapy treatment (short for proliferation therapy treatment) is achieved through the injection of an irritant solution directly in the affected area of the body where connective tissue has been damaged or compromised through strain or injury. Connective tissue connects tendons to bone, and injections are given here, sometimes directly into joints. Treatment is typically every 3 – 6 weeks at first, then less frequently until therapy is no longer needed for the affected area. Connective tissue injuries are typically due to high-velocity impact, such as hard blow to the area or as the result of a car accident. The irritant solution stimulates the body into healing itself.
Can Prolotherapy Help You?
Once you come in for an initial consultation at Blatman Health and Wellness, one of our doctors will help you determine whether or not a course of regenerative injection therapy (another name for prolotherapy) is right for you. Some of the conditions typically helped by prolotherapy are chronic pain of the neck, shoulder, back, ankle or other joints, laxity of the ligaments (generally or due to an accident), unexpectedly dropping things, arthritis, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow and other chronic repetitive motion injuries. Cartilage healing can also take place from this course of treatment.
Prolotherapy: Origins, Safety, and Side-Effects
Prolotherapy injections, contrary to popular belief, are not a new form of treatment. In fact, their use has been traced back to Roman times and further described in texts by historic doctors. It wasn’t until the mid-1900s until the term “prolotherapy” was coined. Side effects are extremely rare but may include slight pain at the injection site. Studies on the use of this procedure have shown it to be effective at reducing pain and promoting healing of injuries.
How Effective is Prolotherapy?
Research studies indicate that 80% of patients who undergo this type of regenerative injection therapy experience good to excellent results. In fact in some cases, the treatment can completely cure their condition. Most people will experience noticeable improvement after the first session, and continued improvement thereafter.
If effective, such treatment can make it possible enjoy the simple pleasures of life again. Enjoy what you love doing — hiking, biking, sports, a healthy sex life. Life can be not only more livable, but actually enjoyable.
How Does Prolotherapy Work?
A combination of concentrated dextrose and local anesthetic is injected into the afflicted area. This solution naturally stimulates the body’s ability to heal, prompting the growth of new ligaments and fiber tendons. Treatments generally take 30 minutes. No surgery, anesthesia, or prolonged recovery are necessary. You don’t have to stay overnight in a hospital.
Prolotherapy vs. PRP: What’s the Difference?
Both prolotherapy and PRP rely on injections to relieve muscle pain, but the difference is in what is being injected. In prolotherapy, dextrose, or sugar water, is injected to create inflammation in the painful tendon, muscle, joint, or ligament. But PRP injects your own plasma — the part of the blood containing growth factors thought to promote healing. The other difference is the amount of treatments required. Prolotherapy is typically less effective and requires more sessions of injections. PRP works faster, requiring 1 to 3 treatment sessions in many cases.