What is prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is a treatment that activates the natural healing process within the body. This procedure is used to help repair and strengthen joints that have been damaged due to injury or overuse. It addresses various issues related to weakness and instability in joints by creating new fibrous tissues and is used instead of invasive surgery and drug treatments. Often prolotherapy can help to permanently stabilize a joint, correcting imbalances and strengthening it.
How does prolotherapy work?
Prolotherapy, which utilizes the body’s inherent ability to heal itself, is administered to a patient through injections. These injections are made in an area where ligament or tendon damage has been identified. The injection results in a slight injury to the tissue, which then stimulates the body’s healing mechanisms. The body then begins to create new tissue, helping the damaged area to heal. As ligament and tendon growth is stimulated, additional injections are used to activate further tissue generation, which occurs over a course of time at a slow and steady pace. Eventually the damaged area is repaired and strengthened.
What type of solution this used in prolotherapy?
Glucose is the primary component in prolotherapy treatment. In addition, each prolotherapy injection includes painkilling elements and natural constituents that are utilized to promote the body’s intrinsic healing process. What agents are included in your treatment will depend upon the type of injury you have sustained, its severity, and your desired results. Your physician will work with you to determine what mixture of components that will be most beneficial.
Can prolotherapy treatment benefit everyone?
Before prolotherapy can be recommended, a patient must be completely evaluated to see if this type of treatment is an option that will provide positive results. Your examination will include a review of your medical history, physical examination, x-rays, and lab tests. There are numerous factors that your physician will weigh in order to determine if you are a good candidate for prolotherapy. These include your overall physical health, age, the history of your injury and amount of damage sustained, nutritional deficiencies that may impede healing, and other factors that may inhibit recovery.
For what conditions and disorders is prolotherapy utilized?
Prolotherapy may be used for a variety of health issues that are associated with injuries to joints, ligaments, tendons, and the overall musculoskeletal system. Treatments may be targeted to the neck, arms, back, shoulders, legs, and knees. Weakness, pain, and damage to muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments respond to this treatment. In addition, prolotherapy is used in cases involving issues related to blood vessels, such as varicose veins, spider veins, and hemorrhoids.
Is the procedure painful?
This is not considered to be a painful procedure. Usually, mild discomfort is felt during the procedure and, afterwards, slight pain and swelling may be experienced in the area treated. If this does occur, these side effects may be treated with over-the-counter painkillers and cold packs. In addressing pain issues, Tylenol may be used but anti-inflammatory medications, including ibuprofen and aspirin, should be avoided, as they will negate the inflammatory process that is key to healing. Factors that influence the amount of discomfort one may feel include the skill of the doctor, the type of solution being injected, and the site of the injury.
How much risk is involved with prolotherapy?
When undergoing treatment administered by a doctor who is trained and experienced in prolotherapy the risk factor is very low. Although injections are made in an area where nerves and blood vessels are located, the areas targeted by your doctor are those involving the bone.
Possible side effects and risks associated with prolotherapy include:
- Increase in pain
- Possibility of infection
- Numbness in the treated area
- Allergic reactions
- Headache, dizziness, and nausea
Extreme side effects or complications are very rare in treatments involving prolotherapy.
How often will I need prolotherapy treatments?
Often treatments using prolotherapy are given over a one- to three-week period. How often and how many treatments you’ll require will depend upon the location of your injury, the extent of the damage, and other factors.
What is the success rate for this type of treatment?
Success rates vary and are influenced by the type of injury being treated, how much damage has been sustained, how long the person has had the injury, and the overall health of the patient. Also, the skill and experience of the doctor administering the treatment is a factor. In terms of types of injuries, someone who has low back pain but is still mobile will see 85% to 95% of their pain eliminated, while varicose veins are 90% to 100% eliminated and spider veins can be improved by 70% to 90%.
What results can I expect?
After undergoing prolotherapy, a large number of patients experience better mobility and a reduction in pain. The goal is to improve the quality of life of the patient while weighing that improvement against the medical problem being addressed. In situations involving joint, tendon, ligament, and muscle damage, patients often find that after treatment they have less pain, better strength, and greater mobility. Results depend upon many factors, such as the type of injury, the amount of damage, and the patient’s age, ability to heal, and lifestyle.