|Search treatments and conditions|
Prolotherapy is a method of regrowing and strengthening ligaments and tendons by an injection technique which treats very common sources of chronic pain. Pain from auto accidents, athletic injuries and overuse injuries often arise from injury to the soft tissues in the body. These soft tissues, which include ligaments, muscles, tendons and joint capsules, are called connective tissues because they connect structures to bone, thereby supporting the skeleton. Prolotherapy causes these connections to be rebuilt and strengthened. Prolotherapy, also called ligament reconstructive therapy, stimulated ligament repair, sclerotherpay, and non-surgical joint repair, can help or cure the following conditions:
Medications and other forms of passive treatment such as ultrasound, ice, heat, massage, acupuncture and manipulation may give minimal lasting benefits because the primary problem is not being addressed, namely the loose and injured ligaments. Stretching and strengthening exercises usually can provide some relief from chronic pain, but this is often only temporary. When these exercises have failed to increase the support sufficiently to diminish pain and improve function, a chronic pain cycle ensues. Prolotherapy will work on injuries regardless of their age. Very old injuries respond as readily to prolotherapy as more recent injuries, unless the problem has become more widespread over time as a result of repeated injury.
When rest and pain medications fail, other types of treatment become necessary.
Physical therapists often use muscle strengthening as the means to stabilize joints and reduce pain. However, it is primarily the ligaments that stabilize a joint. When they fail, strengthening muscles to do the ligaments' job, though helpful, is not dealing with the cause of the problem.
Why not go to the cause of the problem, and strengthen the ligaments themselves? Most doctors are not aware that this can be done. Other types of treatment such as chiropractic care, massage therapy and acupuncture treatments may only give temporary relief.
Prolotherapy has been in use for since the 1930s and treatment results have often been amazing. As many as 85-90% of patients have received good to excellent results when assessing their pain relief and improved function. Just as importantly, pain medications can be greatly reduced or even eliminated. Prolotherapy often produces long-lasting relief, naturally. Most other types of treatment provide only temporary relief; prolotherapy can be an alternative to surgery in many cases. George Hackett M.D., a prolotherapy pioneer, proved that strengthening connective tissue relieves soft tissue pain. A research study in the respected medical journal, the Lancet, demonstrated the effectiveness of prolotherapy.
The healing that prolotherapy encourages seems to occur in stages over a six week period. Reevaluation of the injured site, after prolotherapy treatment, can confidently be made after 6 weeks.
Stage 1 (Inflammation): Increased blood flow, swelling and pain. Cells are called in to remove damaged tissue: this occurs during the first week.
Stage 2 (Fibroblastic Cells): The swelling and pain begin to subside with new blood vessels forming. Fibroblasts increase in number at the sites of injection and over the course of four to six weeks secrete a substance called collagen which is a very strong and relatively inelastic substance. The new collagen makes the ligaments thicker, denser and stronger, providing more support to the joints.
Stage 3 (Completed Healing): New blood vessels mature and tissue is stronger and pain subsides. Collagen density and diameter are increased. The strength of the injected ligaments can increase up to 40% above normal. Stability is increased as pain and muscle spasm decrease. The newly formed tissue continues to mature for one and one-half years.
So why don't more people know about prolotherapy?
|May do some good|
|Likely to help|
Anti-inflammatory: Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms, without directly acting on the cause of inflammation, e.g., glucocorticoids, aspirin.
Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint, usually accompanied by pain, swelling, and stiffness, and resulting from infection, trauma, degenerative changes, metabolic disturbances, or other causes. It occurs in various forms, such as bacterial arthritis, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common form, is characterized by a gradual loss of cartilage and often an overgrowth of bone at the joints.
Chronic: Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.
Collagen: The primary protein within white fibers of connective tissue and the organic substance found in tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, teeth and bone.
Fibroblast: Any cell or corpuscle from which connective tissue is developed. Fibroblasts produce collagen and elastin.
Fibromyalgia: (FMS): Originally named fibrositis, it is a mysteriously debilitating syndrome that attacks women more often than men. It is not physically damaging to the body in any way, but is characterized by the constant presence of widespread pain that often moves about the body. Fibromyalgia can be so severe that it is often incapacitating.
Prolotherapy: A single or series of injections that stimulates the body to regrow, tighten, and strengthen ligaments or tendons. It is unequaled for pain relief and restoration of normal function for any body joint where connective tissue is weak or has been damaged.
Spasm: Involuntary contraction of one or more muscle groups.
TMJ: Tempero-mandibular joint - hinge of the jaw.