Promoting Healing and Reducing Pain: The Benefits of Prolotherapy

July 31, 2023Kolton Opdahl
ProlotherapySurgery Alternatives

What is Prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy is a medical treatment that involves injecting a solution into damaged or weakened connective tissue. Ex: ligaments or tendons. The goal of prolotherapy is to promote healing and reduce pain. The solution typically contains a substance that stimulates the growth and repair of tissue. This can include dextrose, saline, or a combination of the two.

Alternative to Surgery

One of the primary benefits of prolotherapy is that it can be an effective alternative to surgery. Many people who suffer from chronic pain or injury are excellent candidates. Because the treatment promotes natural healing processes, it can help to strengthen and stabilize the affected area over time, without the need for invasive procedures.

Patients are frequently advised to undergo surgery for degenerative conditions such as degenerative joint disease and degenerative disc disease. Arthroscopy, the most common surgical procedure for knee arthritis, has been shown in various medical studies to be no more effective than a placebo. Despite this, hundreds of thousands of joint replacements and surgeries for degenerative disc disease continue to be performed annually.

Interestingly, inducing advanced arthritis in animals can be accomplished by damaging the ligaments around a joint. This creates instability, which increases pressure in the joint and accelerates the degenerative process. The body responds by stabilizing the segment with muscle spasms, leading to chronic neck or back tension. Over time, the body overgrows bone to stabilize the joint. Which can be seen on x-rays as bone spurs, spondylosis, or fused joints.

Prolotherapy addresses the root cause of the degenerative process, which is often ligament injury. Football players, for example, frequently require knee replacement surgery at a young age due to the injuries they sustain on the field. They then undergo treatments such as steroid injections and anti-inflammatory medications. This only accelerate the degenerative process by blocking inflammation, which is necessary for healing. In contrast, prolotherapy stimulates inflammation, which in turn stimulates healing. In the absence of inflammation, injuries to cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and muscles will not heal.


Prolotherapy for Athletes

Prolotherapy can also be a valuable tool for athletes and others who are looking to improve their performance or recover from injuries more quickly. As we discussed earlier, prolotherapy can be a viable option to avoid surgery. Another benefit to this is the downtime involved with the treatment. After the procedure most patients are able to go back to there daily activities with little to no downtime. This is opposed to surgery where it may take weeks or months of rehab. By promoting the growth of new tissue and reducing inflammation, prolotherapy can help athletes to get back to their training regimen sooner and with less pain.

Low Risks and Side Effects

Another benefit of prolotherapy is that it is a relatively low-risk procedure, with few side effects. In most cases, patients can return to their normal activities right away or within a few days of receiving treatment.

As with any medical treatment, there are potential risks associated with prolotherapy. However, these risks are generally considered to be low. Some common risks of prolotherapy treatment include:

  • Pain and discomfort: Prolotherapy involves injections of a solution into the affected area, which can cause temporary pain and discomfort.
  • Infection: There is a small risk of infection associated with any injection procedure. However, prolotherapy uses a sterile solution and the risk of infection is low.
  • Allergic reaction: Some individuals may be allergic to the solution used in prolotherapy. Your doctor will take a medical history and perform a physical exam to determine if you are at risk for an allergic reaction.
  • Tissue damage: There is a small risk of damage to surrounding tissues or structures during the injection process.

It is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of prolotherapy with your healthcare provider to determine if it is a suitable treatment option for you. Your doctor can also help you understand the likelihood of experiencing any adverse effects from the treatment.

Overall, prolotherapy is a safe and effective treatment option for a wide range of conditions, including joint pain, back pain, and sports injuries. By stimulating natural healing processes, reducing pain, and promoting long-term tissue repair, prolotherapy can help patients to regain their mobility, reduce their reliance on pain medication, and improve their overall quality of life.

Prolotherapy Case Study

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