Prolotherapy is an injection that contains a natural irritant, such as a dextrose solution. The irritant is injected into the soft tissue of an injured joint which triggers the body’s healing response. Once activated, the body will start to strengthen and repair damaged ligaments in the joint. The strengthening of the ligaments, over time, helps to stabilize the joint. Once the joint is better supported, the pain can disappear.
Prolotherapy usually requires 1 or 2 injections per site. The injection must be precise so that the irritant is placed at the area or areas requiring ligament repair. Our specialist does this procedure under ultrasound guidance to ensure the accuracy of the injection. Needling may also be performed at the same time. Our patients have shown marked improvement with regards to reduced pain, increased mobility and better sleep.
This treatment is suitable for patients who have injured their joints or ligaments. While it is most commonly used for the back, we also use it to heal injuries of other joints and ligaments.
Some of the most common conditions that will benefit from our Prolotherapy are:
- Low back pain
- Knee pain
- Golfers and tennis elbows
- Tendinosis or tendinosis
- Rotator cuff tendon problems
- Plantar fasciitis or foot pain
- Ankle pain
- Toe pain
- Neck pain
- Musculoskeletal headaches
How will Prolotherapy Help?
Prolotherapy works by providing a stimulus which causes the body to respond by reactivating and completing the healing process in previously unhealed areas, subsequently reducing or eliminating pain. The stimulus is at the level of the injured ligaments and tendons, and activates growth factors to come to the sites where healing needs to occur.
Prolotherapy helps to strengthen the joints and reduce pain. The improved strength of the joint will help with stability and improve overall movement and function of the back and joints. It is a much better option than pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications that only provide temporary relief. Similarly, surgical options do not always work to stabilize a joint fully.
The anaesthetic in the solution used during Prolotherapy sessions often provides immediate pain relief. The pain relief may continue after the effect of the anaesthetic subsides due to the stabilizing of the treated joints because of the inflammation caused by the Prolotherapy injections. The Prolotherapy treatment itself is considered diagnostic in that the patient often feels significant relief immediately after the treatment because the area causing the pain was injected.
The average patient requires three to six Prolotherapy treatments at 4–6-week intervals. Some patients require only one to two treatments to reach complete healing, which are typically younger patients or those who have sought Prolotherapy right away after an injury. Other patients require six or more treatments, for more severe cases.
As healing progresses, the number of injections required per treatment usually decreases. The pain generally continues to diminish with each treatment to the point where the patient is at 100% function.