What is Prolotherapy?
Proliferation Injection Therapy, or Prolotherapy is the injection procedure used to stimulate natural healing. These injections (a mixture of dextrose, saline and anesthetic) are placed into the targeted damaged tissue areas and promote a “proliferative” response by encouraging the body’s immune system to flood into the area and trigger the natural healing cascade. Prolotherapy has been practiced in the United States safely for over 70 years.
How Does Prolotherapy Work?
Prolotherapy works by stimulating the body’s natural healing mechanisms to lay down new tissue in the weakened tissue/structure. This is created by direct stimulation with a needle and the concentrated dextrose solution causing a mild localized healing inflammatory response at the site of injection. The increased inflammation sends a signal to the body’s inflammatory-fighting centers to send increased volume of healing cells, platelets and specialized proteins, to the area. These cells stimulate repair and growth. Additional treatments to repeat this process allow a gradual build-up of tissue to restore the original strength of the area.
What is is the Solution Injected?
We use a solution that consists of local anesthetic (ropivicaine), concentrated dextrose and preservative free saline.
Is Prolotherapy Treatment Painful?
The pain related to the treatment can vary depending on the structure or joint being treated and the patients tolerance but is typically tolerable. The treatment may result in temporary increase in pain and swelling/stiffness as the natural healing mechanisms are initiated. The discomfort can typically last 2-3 days on average. Tylenol can be used for discomfort as needed. Anti-inflammatory medications are not typically recommended early on as they may suppress the desired inflammatory healing response.
How Often Are Treatments Needed?
Treatment intervals may vary depending on the specific problem and severity of the problem being treated. The typical intervals between treatments tend to be 4 weeks, for a total of 3-6 treatments depending on individual response.
What Conditions May Benefit From Prolotherapy?
- Ligament laxity of the spine, sacroiliac joint, or peripheral joints
- Osteoarthritic joints
- Nerve irritation
- We also use it as a pre-injection to activate the healing response prior to some of our 3 step protocol utilizing bone marrow concentrate treatment for osteoarthritic joints.