Prolotherapy is my preferred treatment for joint pain from injury, arthritis or degeneration. I have had both my knees treated and my left ankle for old injuries from running and I can attest its way better than any medication or treatment option currently available. In fact, I had such great results that I decided to continue my training so I could perform these injections. In 2015, I joined the American Osteopathic Association of Prolotherapy Regenerative Medicine to further my training and network with other providers nationwide that offer prolotherapy.
Prolotherapy can successfully treat:
- Knee: Ligament sprains, Meniscus Tears, Patellar tendonitis, Degenerative Arthritis, Chondromalacia.
- Ankle / Foot: Ankle Sprains, Plantar Fascitis, Chronic Achilles Tendonosis.
- Wrist / Hand: Chronic Thumb Sprain or Strain, Joint Arthritis of Fingers and Thumb, Wrist Sprains.
- Elbows: Epicondylitis- Tennis and Golfers Elbow, Some Examples of Effective Treatment Sites for Prolotherapy.
- Shoulder: Rotator Cuff Injuries, Biceps Tendonitis, Chronic Ligament Sprains, A-C Joint Pain, Separated Shoulder.
- Spine: Sacroiliac Ligaments, Low back Pain, Iliolumbar ligaments, Interspinous Ligaments.
- Neck: Whiplash injuries, DJD, Neck pain.
- Hip / Pelvis: Bursitis, Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction, Joint Arthritis, Symphysis Pubis Pain.
Prolotherapy May Be Effective For People With The Following:
- Persons with shoulder pain, or those who have trouble sleeping on their shoulders
- Sufferers of joint dislocation
- When a joint is generally worse with activity and better with rest
- When chiropractic adjustments help but don’t last
- Grinding, popping or clicking in a joint
- Shoulder pain when moving or lifting one’s arm
- When muscle relaxants, arthritis medication, cortisone shots or nerve blocks fail to resolve the problem within six weeks
- When surgery has failed
- When a joint is aided by a sling, brace or splint
- If ligament or tendon sprains or tears have been diagnosed
- If there is a deep aching or pulling pain in the joint
- Shooting pains, tingling or numbness
What exactly is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is a non-surgical treatment, which stimulates the body’s natural healing process to strengthen joints that have been weakened by traumatic or over-use injuries. When the attached ligaments or tendons are stretched, torn, or fragmented, joints often become degenerated and painful. Surgery and anti-inflammatory drugs often fail at stabilizing the joint and relieving the pain permanently. Prolotherapy is a great alternative to surgery because it has the ability to directly address the cause of the instability. It aids in repairing the weakened sites by producing new fibrous tissues. The result is a more stabilized joint and significantly less pain for most.
Many people suffer from chronic pain and the most frequent cause of this is ligamentous tissue. Ligaments and tendons already have a poor blood supply, and when they are injured or overstretched, they don’t receive the proper attention they need to heal. This is often made worse by instructions to “put ice on it” or “take ibuprofen.” Both of these actions shut down the body’s natural inflammatory response. The injured area needs this inflammatory response activated in its entirety if the wound is going to heal properly.
Prolotherapy places a precise injection of a mild irritant solution directly into the torn or stretched ligament or tendon. This creates a mild, controlled injury that stimulates the body’s natural healing mechanisms to lay down new tissue on the weakened area. The mild inflammatory response (created by the injection) encourages the growth of new ligament or tendon fibers, resulting in a tightening of the weakened structure. Additional treatments repeat this process, allowing a gradual buildup of tissue to restore the original strength to the area.
Simulating the body’s natural ability to heal is activated by the Prolotherapy solution. However, the needle itself also has a big impact on healing. It causes micro-trauma and micro-bleeding to the area, ushering in the much-needed healing blood. This new supply of blood causes activation in growth factors. The goal of this the injection is to cause the body to naturally respond to the needling and to the solution and prompt the fibroblasts to start producing collagen and the chondrocytes to produce more cartilage. When the fibro-osseous junction, where ligament and tendons are connected to the bone, are injected with a solution, the body “wakes-up” and begins to take notice of that area and starts to regenerate collagen. Sometimes these tissues have been injured by trauma; sometimes they are just stretched out from decades of de-conditioning or improper biomechanics.
Prolo-therapy comes from the word “Prolo” which is short for proliferation. Proliferation means to grow by rapid production of new parts, cells, or offspring. Doctors—depending on their specialty—sometimes label Prolotherapy differently, so please read our blog “Regenerative Injection Therapy” for more clarification. Simply put, Prolotherapy is used to treat chronic pain, stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal itself, and is a time/cost-efficient alternative to surgery.
Indications for Prolotherapy
- Have you been advised by a physician to take aspirin or an equivalent like Nalfon, Feldene, Clinoril, Naprosyn, Motrin or cortisone like medicine like Prednisone for joint, tendon or ligament problems?
- Have you had joint, tendon or ligament pain or lack of endurance for longer than six weeks?
- Do you get only temporary relief from manipulation/adjustments or other body therapies such as rolfing massage, physical therapy, hot packs, and others?
- Have you been told you have arthritis, degenerative joint disease or worn cartilages or discs?
- Have you had orthopedic or neuro-surgery and still have pain?
- Do you have a joint that slips out of place of buckles?
- Do you have to change positions of a joint every 30 minutes?
- In general, is your problem worse after activity or exercise (except swimming) and better with rest?
- Do you have a joint which swells after use?
- Does a splint or brace help the joint?