What is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is a simple technique a pain doctor uses that stimulates the body to heal the painful area when the natural process needs assistance. The basic mechanism of prolotherapy is complex. A substance is injected into the affected ligaments or tendons, which leads to local “sterile inflammation.” The localized inflammation triggers a healing cascade, resulting in the deposition of new collagen, the material those ligaments and tendons are made of. New collagen shrinks as it matures. The shrinking collagen tightens the ligament that was injected and makes it stronger. Prolotherapy has the potential of being almost 100% effective in eliminating chronic pain due to ligament and tendon weakness.
Prolotherapy works by almost the same process that the human body naturally uses to stimulate the body’s healing system, a process called inflammation.
Are these injections painful?
The technique involves the injection of a natural irritant solution that causes an inflammatory response, which stimulates the healing process. Occasionally, the pain may get worse the next day after injection. The tenderness is usually resolved in 1-2 days, and may be well controlled with heating pads.
How many injections need to be done?
Prolotherapy treatments are administered as determined on an individual basis. Usually, they need to repeat injections every four to six weeks until full recovery. The number of treatments required is variable and depends on several factors, including age, medication, general medical disease, nutritional status, ability to heal, and the degree and site of the injury involved. Some patients may experience complete relief from pain along with restoration of full function after only one treatment. It often happens with healthy patients after recent injuries. On average, people tend to repeat the injection 3-4 times. Improving nutritional, mineral, and vitamin deficits could decrease the number of injections needed.
Conditions that can be treated by prolotherapy include…