What Is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is a non-surgical pain relief procedure. The procedure stimulates the body’s healing processes to repair injured and painful joints and connective tissue. When ligaments or tendons are stretched or torn, the joint they are holding destabilizes, causing pain. Prolotherapy, with its unique ability to directly address the cause of the instability, can repair the weakened sites and produce new collagen tissue. The result is permanent stabilization of the joint and long-lasting pain relief.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy (Proliferative Therapy), also known as Non-Surgical Ligament and Tendon Reconstruction and Regenerative Joint Injection, is a non-surgical pain relief procedure. It stimulates the body’s healing processes to repair injured and painful joints and connective tissue. When ligaments or tendons (connective tissue) are stretched or torn, the joint they are holding destabilizes, causing pain. Prolotherapy, with its unique ability to directly address the cause of the instability, can repair the weakened sites and produce new collagen tissue. This results in permanent stabilization of the joint. Once the joint is stabilized, pain usually resolves. Traditional approaches with surgery have more risk and may fail to stabilize the joint and relieve pain, and anti-inflammatory or other pain relievers only act temporarily.nced settings.
How does it work?
Prolotherapy works by stimulating the body’s natural healing mechanisms to lay down new tissue in the weakened area. This is done by a very directed injection to the injury site, “tricking” the body to repair again. The mild inflammatory response which is created by the injection encourages growth of new, normal ligament or tendon fibers. The result is a tightening of the weakened structure. Additional treatments repeat this process, allowing a gradual buildup of tissue to restore the original strength.
What is in the solution injected?
Traditional formulas include ingredients like dextrose, saline, and procaine or lidocaine. In the last several years newer formulas include Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and autologous (from the same person) adult stem cell sources, typically taken from bone marrow or adipose (fat) tissue.
What areas of the body can be treated?
Areas treated include
- Low back or mid-back pain (including degenerative disc disease and sacro-iliac joint instability/dysfunction)
- Neck pain
- Knee pain and knee meniscal tears
- Wrist and hand pain
- Shoulder pain (including rotator cuff tears)
- Elbow pain (including golfers or tennis elbow)
- Foot pain (including plantar fasciitis)
- Ankle pain or instability
- Osteitis pubis
- IT band syndrome
- Piriformis syndrome
- Other musculoskeletal pain or injury
How often will I need treatment?
Treatment intervals vary depending on the specific problem and severity of the area being treated. Typical intervals between treatment are every three to six weeks, with an average interval of once a month, for a total of four to six treatments. However this can vary and may be more frequent, or take longer.
What is the rate of success with treatments?
The anticipated rate of success depends on a number of variables, including the patient’s history and ability to heal, and the type of solution used. In patients with low back pain, studies have shown an 85% to 95% of patients experience improvement with prolotherapy (compared to studies showing a 52% improvement with back surgery). Many studies done over the years show a high success rate when prolotherapy is used for various ligament, tendon or joint pain/injuries.
LINDA DULA, D.O.
In Linda’s free time, she enjoys hiking the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, floating the French Broad, traveling, and spending time with her large extended family.