Also known as nonsurgical ligament reconstruction, prolotherapy is a treatment for chronic pain.
If you are experiencing any joint, ligament or muscle tendon pain anywhere in the body, it can be treated with prolotherapy.
Prolotherapy is helpful for what conditions?
Prolotherapy has an 85% success rate for most types of musculoskeletal pain, including:
- Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Sports Injuries
- Overstretching injuries
- Unresolved whiplash injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Ligaments and cartilage
- Degenerated or herniated discs
Prolotherapy also treats most pain conditions, including:
- Hip Pain
- Knee Pain
- Ankle and foot Pain
- Wrist pain
- Elbow pain
- Shoulder pain
- Myofascial conditions
- Sports injuries
- Loose joints
- Post fracture treatment
- Rib pain
- Much more
What is prolotherapy?
The word prolotherapy itself can be broken into 2 parts: "Prolo" and "Therapy". "Prolo" is short for proliferation, because the "Therapy" or treatment causes the proliferation (growth, formation) of new ligament tissue in areas where it has become weak.
Ligaments are structural "rubber bands" that hold the bones to other bones in the joints. If ligaments become injured, overstretched or weak, they may not properly heal back to their original strength, endurance or length. This is often due to the blood supply to the ligament being limited, which in turn causes healing to be slow and not always fully complete. Further complicating successful ligament healing is the fact that they have a significant number of nerve endings, meaning the person will feel more pain at the areas where the ligaments are damaged or loose.
The tissue that connects the muscles to the bones is called tendons. Tendons may be injured in the same manner as the ligaments and can also cause significant pain.
Using a dextrose (sugar water) solution, prolotherapy entails injecting the ligament or tendon with the solution. As a result of the injection, the weak areas become locally inflamed and cause the blood supply and the flow of nutrients to increase. This stimulates the tissue to repair itself.
This technique was first used by Hippocrates to treat soldiers with dislocated and torn shoulder joints. However, his technique involved sticking a hot poker into the joint which, which would then cause the joint to heal normally. Although we obviously do not use hot pokers today, our prolotherapy techniques is similar to Hippocrates' principle—get the body to heal itself.
How long will it take to complete a course of treatments?
The response to treatment varies from each person. It depends on one's healing ability and degree/chronicity of the injury. The majority of people only require a 3-6 prolotherapy treatments, whereas others may need 10 or more if they suffer from a severe or ongoing injury. The first course of action is to receive an evaluation to see if you are a good candidate for prolotherapy. If you are, once you begin your treatment your doctor will monitor your body's response and then be able to provide a more accurate time estimate for your treatment plan. To book an appointment for your prolotherapy evaluation, contact Integrative Healing Arts directly.
Are you a candidate for Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy can successfully treat any joint in the body. For example, a self-diagnosis can help you determine whether you are experiencing "theatre, cocktail party syndrome" back pain. The pain in your back, leg, neck, or elsewhere is worse when you are standing still. However, when you sit down, you may experience some relief but sitting for too long can cause the pain to return (like at a theatre). In the morning, your pain is worse and only subsides with movement. While you are active the pain is gone, however it returns upon resting.
If the ligaments are lax, then you are more prone to pain. Additionally, stretching of your ligaments or applying pressure on ligament sites may be indications for prolotherapy.
Despite these self-diagnosis tips, only a physician specifically trained in prolotherapy can determine whether your painful condition would benefit from prolotherapy or an alternate type of treatment.