Prolotherapy

What is Prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy is short for proliferation therapy, a nonsurgical way to treat lower back pain, tendinitis, osteoarthritis and some sports injuries. These injections are made up of natural substances as well as anesthetics to reduce the discomfort of the procedure. Injection formulas contain naturally occurring substances such dextrose (a 10-chain sugar derived from corn), saline, Sarapin (an extract from the pitcher plant), as well as numbing agents like Ropivacaine. The prolotherapy injection causes localized inflammation to essentially “trick” the body to jump-start and optimize the natural healing process to repair and rebuild damaged tissue such as ligaments, tendons, joints, and muscles. With the prolotherapy injection’s initiation, the body creates new, stronger tissue over damaged areas. Structures such as ligaments (that connect bones) and tendons (that attach muscles to bones) as well as joint cartilage are often a major source of pain and disability because of their poor healing ability in adults; Prolotherapy works by directing growth factors in the blood via the localized inflammation to damaged connective tissue to effect more efficient repair than would occur if left alone.

What is the Prolotherapy procedure?

Prolotherapy injection procedures are similar to other injections commonly seen in medicine . Before the  Prolotherapy solution is administered, injections of an anesthetic under the skin with a small, thin needle will be given to decrease the discomfort of the procedure. Once the numbing agent is working, a small needle is injected into the tissues that require treatment (in many cases, at the attachment sites of ligaments and tendons to bone). Depending on the area of the body and severity of the damaged area a series of injections may be needed, typically about 3 to 4 weeks apart. The number of sessions needed can be as few as one or two or as many as six to eight. After the procedure, patients are typically prescribed certain pain medications to help with the post injection discomfort, and are recommended to use the MEAT (Movement, Exercise, Analgesia, and Treatment) protocol, as the healing process continues.

Why choose Prolotherapy?

We offer this procedure to patients who wish to avoid surgeries and to decrease or get off of pain medications, and aid in helping reduce the disability associated with painful musculoskeletal problems. Some of the conditions that may be treated include (but are not limited to): tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, joint osteoarthritis, chronic neck or back pain, pelvic pain, meniscal tears and many other musculoskeletal ailments. Most doctors practicing Prolotherapy concur that 80 % to 90%  of patients report positive results and less discomfort overall. Modern Prolotherapy has been in existence for over 75 years and has treated everyday people, professional athletes, even a former Surgeon General of the United States, who afterwards recommended it to his colleagues. The end result is a healthier patient on fewer medications, which translates to lower risk of side effects and physician related complications, the ability to avoid more painful, riskier invasive procedures, and ultimately a better quality of life!

What is Neural Prolotherapy?

Neural prolotherapy is another method to help ease pain in patients with neuropathy symptoms. This treatment is a more specific version of traditional prolotherapy because it targets neurogenic inflammation, in superficial nerves – in other words, irritated, painful nerves just under the skin. These nerves can be a significant cause of pain, numbness, burning, tingling and other discomfort when injuries and certain chronic conditions such as peripheral neuropathy form.  The injections contain low concentrations of dextrose or mannitol (natural sugars)that are administered just under the skin at multiple selected points along the pathways of the inflamed nerves to both decrease the symptoms and promote healing. Dextrose, one of the most common substances found in traditional prolotherapy, is presumed to decrease the production of proteins that amplify pain (e.g. substance P, CGRP) and upregulate substances that promote pain reduction and healing (e.g. galanin, somatostatin) .  Injecting directly into these painful nerves just under the skin can go so far as to affect the symptoms felt in deeper structures like joints and muscles.

What is the procedure for Neural Prolotherapy?

After your provider has completed a thorough history and physical examination, the patient may set a date and prepare for the treatment.  For the best success, we typically recommend treatments twice per week for five weeks for an average of 10 treatments depending on the severity of the neuropathy.