Prolotherapy involves the treatment of two types of tissue, tendons (which attach muscle to bone and involves the movement of the joint) and ligaments (which attach bone to bone and are responsible for the stability of a joint).
When these tissues are injured suddenly or over time, the result is a weak, painful and unstable joint. Because ligaments and tendons generally have a poor blood supply, incomplete healing is common after an injury. In fact, the overuse of ice and anti-inflammatory medications can dampen our bodies normal immune response and may decrease the healing response. See Inflammation: Friend or Foe.
Prolotherapy is an injection technique that initiates an immune response in a given area, promoting our body’s ability to heal itself. The physiology behind the technique is actually quite simple. “Prolo” is short for proliferation, as it causes the formation and growth of new tissue at the insertion of ligaments and tendons. The injection of dextrose (corn sugar) causes a localized inflammatory reaction at precise areas that are injected. Inflammation increases blood flow to the area, brings in healing elements and stimulates the healing cascade. Research has shown that prolotherapy causes dilation of the blood vessels and brings in fibroblasts (healing cells) to the injured area. The fibroblasts lay down collagen, an essential building block necessary to repair the area. MRI imaging before and after prolotherapy show that it does regenerate the joint tissue. Because new tissue is created, the results seen on imaging are permanent.
Prolotherapy is less invasive, less expensive and requires less recovery time when compared to surgery. So if you have instability or pain in or around a joint, regardless of the cause, prolotherapy may be an option to help you regain pain-free movement and start enjoying activities again.
Licensed physicians are allowed to perform this therapy only after specialized training.
Check the areas that are treated by Prolotherapy.