Prolotherapy or regenerative injection therapy (RIT) is defined as an injection treatment that clinicians use to treat musculoskeletal pain and sports injuries. Prolotherapy injections are given in order to stimulate the body to repair painful injured areas.
What is Prolotherapy?
How does Prolotherapy work?
Prolotherapy works through the process of inflammation. Contrary to popular belief, inflammation is actually a good thing. Inflammation is the process by which the body heals. Traditional treatments such as NSAID (non steroidal anti-inflammatory) medications, cortisone shots, and ice actually stop the healing process. Prolotherapy injections are given at the point(s) where the ligaments and tendons attach to the bone(s) also known as the fibro osseous junction. A “proliferant” solution is injected into the injured area, stimulating the body to send healing cells to the injection sites. When the cells arrive to the injured area, they cause a localized inflammatory reaction and the patient will see swelling in the injected area. With this come healing immune cells that allow the body to lay down new tissue growing thicker, stronger ligaments and tendons.
Joint instability: the key to injury.
One of the key points to treating pain and injury is to realize that most injuries and musculoskeletal pain symptoms, even degenerative arthritis, arise due to joint instability. Why are the joints unstable? Because the ligaments and tendons holding the joints together are loose. If this looseness is not treated, the joints remain unstable. To resolve the pain, the patient requires joint stabilization therapy, otherwise known as Comprehensive Prolotherapy.
What is injected during Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy involves the injection of orthobiologics, which are substances designed to induce healing in the body. There are two types of orthobiologics, those that come from the body (cellular), such as platelet rich plasma (PRP) and stem cells (bone marrow and fat), and those that naturally induce healing such as dextrose ( which is chemically identical to d-glucose in the body). Cellular Prolotherapy involves the injection of orthobiologics that come from the patient’s own body such as PRP and stem cells. The reason this type of Prolotherapy is used is because the pain is caused from a cellular deficiency such as bone on bone arthritis, where for example, a deficiency of cartilage cells exists. Comprehensive dextrose Prolotherapy involves the injection of natural substances such as dextrose, which is d-glucose or the normal substrate used by almost all cells of the body for energy. Dextrose is the most studied proliferant worldwide and is extremely safe and effective. Dextrose can be used at high concentrations involving a lot of injections, covering a wide area, so the entire painful area can be treated at one visit.
What conditions are treated with Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is used in the field of musculoskeletal or orthopedic medicine to treat musculoskeletal conditions where the origin of the painful condition is related to an underlying instability or looseness of the ligaments and tendons, or where a deficiency in cartilage exists.
Prolotherapy has been successfully used to treat a wide array of conditions including but not limited to the following:
1.Knee Pain: arthritis, meniscus tears, chondromalacia patella, runner’s knee, ACL/MCL tears
2.Back Pain: post surgery pain, alternative to laminectomy, degenerative disc disease, arthritis
3.Neck Pain: headaches, disc problems, cervical instability, osteoarthritis, pinched nerves, chronic muscle spasms
4.Shoulder Pain: labral tears, impingement syndrome, frozen shoulder, osteoarthritis, post fracture, bursitis
5.Hip Pain: degenerative joint disease, labral tears, osteoarthritis, avascular necrosis, post hip fracture pain, bursitis
6.Ankle & Foot Pain: strains or sprains, chronic ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, Morton’s neuroma, tarsal tunnel syndrome, Achilles tendinosis or tendonitis
7.Wrist Pain: carpal tunnel syndrome, overuse injuries, sports injuries, strains, sprains, tendonitis, bursitis
8.Elbow Pain: tennis or golfer’s elbow, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, strains and sprains
9.Body pain: Ehler’s Danlos, Congenital hypermobility syndrome, fibromyalgia
Why is Prolotherapy not used more frequently for pain and sports injuries?
Although this treatment option has been around for many years, it is still considered by many to be an “alternative” treatment option for pain and injury because mainstream medicine still does not fully recognize it as a treatment option for soft tissue injuries. That being said, more and more practitioners are adding it to their medical practices and are using it with a high degree of success for relieving pain and injury in many patients, often with cure rates upwards of 80-90%, in the hands of a skilled Prolotherapy practitioner.
Taken from: http://www.prolotherapy.org/what-is-prolotherapy/
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