What Is Prolotherapy?
Proliferative therapy, more commonly referred to as prolotherapy, is a type of regenerative therapy used to naturally heal, strengthen, and repair ligaments, joints, and tendons without surgery.
Though it has been gaining popularity amongst the medical community and illustriousness with press in recent years, it is one of the oldest methods of healing. Prolotherapy actually dates back to ancient medical practices and is rooted in Chinese acupuncture.
How Does Prolotherapy Work?
Using tiny filaments (about the width of 3 hairs), magnets, electricity, and heat, acupuncture can shift our bodies into balance, and remove inflammation, infection and balance hypo-and-hyper function. It is typically conducted by gently inserting tiny needles into specific points on the body and manipulating them to promote balance in the body.
Prolotherapy stimulates a process that speeds up healing and enables the body to strengthen tendons, ligaments, and joints. It can reduce or even eliminate pain and inflammation naturally, without NSAIDS or surgery.
Prolotherapy is performed by injecting a solution of dextrose (sugar) and procaine (a local anesthetic) into and onto joints, ligaments, and tendons. The ligament and tendon cells absorb the solution, stimulating the body to send healing blood components to the injection site. Proteins that serve as connective tissue, called collagen, are stimulated, which signals the body’s natural process to strengthen and restore joint function.
What is Prolotherapy Used For?
Prolotherapy is a natural, effective, and incredibly useful therapy for many different types of musculoskeletal pain, including:
Old injuries to knees, ankles, hips, elbows, wrists, shoulders, fingers, and feet
Back, neck, and rib pain of ligament and tendon origin
Chronic tendonitis or inflammation of tendons
Sports injuries of many kinds, including leg, arm, back, and shoulder injuries
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ) causing jaw, facial, and shoulder pain
Carpal tunnel syndrome, causing numbness and muscle weakness
Degenerative Disk Disease
Why Does Prolotherapy Work?
Ligaments are the structural “hinges” that hold bone to bone to create a joint. When ligaments become weak or injured they may not heal back to their original strength or endurance. Because ligaments have so many nerve endings, ligament injuries can become extremely painful. Tendons attach muscles to bones. When they are injured they can become very painful and can be very difficult to heal due to continued usage.
Luckily, our bodies are incredibly intuitive. They recognize inflammation and irritation as signs to send healing cells to the troubled area and repair it. Continued uses and NSAIDs used to reduce inflammation inhibit that function.
The solution injected during the prolotherapy treatment acts as an irritant, triggering the body’s healing response. The injected area becomes stronger and more stable and the patient can experience permanent relief since the body is being healed rather than simply masking the symptoms.