What Is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is a treatment that utilizes your own body’s ability to heal to treat a chronically painful condition. Prolotherapy is a form of Regenerative Injection Therapy (or RIT) – an exciting new area of treatment for chronic pain that works to heal chronic injury and pain, rather than cover it up with “band-aid” temporary fixes. Prolotherapy is most effective when an injury or damage to a ligament is the cause of your pain.
What Does Prolotherapy Treat?
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Joint pain
- Sacroiliac joint slippage or pain
- Ligament laxity (looseness) or damage
- Plantar Fasciitis
How Does Prolotherapy Work?
If a ligament injury is suspected, a solution containing highly concentrated sugar and a local anesthetic will be injected to stimulate the repair process. This begins with inflammation. While we commonly think of inflammation as being an unwanted condition (hence the common use of anti-inflammatory medications), all healing begins with inflammation. Controlled inflammation is a very important and necessary part of our normal function, and accounts for our bodies’ ability to self-repair. This inflammatory phase of healing will last for several days, and is followed by actual tissue regrowth and regeneration.
What Should I Expect From Prolotherapy Treatment?
Prolotherapy injections are placed at the attachment of the involved ligaments with the bone, so they can be fairly deep. Therefore, the needle has to traverse a lot of tissue, and the injections can be painful. Local anesthesia is given first to reduce this discomfort. During the first several days following the treatment, you may experience an increase in pain, due to the initial expected and beneficial inflammatory response. After a few days, this pain will resolve, and the healing process begins. Healing can take up to four weeks to reach a plateau. At this time, you will be re-evaluated by Dr. Greenberg to determine if further injections are needed to complete the process. Sometimes only one or two injections are needed; other times up to six in a given area may be required.
For pain relief, Tylenol is usually adequate. Following the injection it is imperative that no anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, Aleve, Motrin, etc. be taken, as these drugs inhibit the necessary inflammatory response that leads to healing. Proper diet with adequate protein intake, and progressive physical activity are important as well. Structures heal best when they are being used normally, so activity is encouraged during the healing process.
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