How Prolotherapy Helps Heal Painful Musculoskeletal Conditions
Are you living with chronic joint pain, lower backache, sports injury, and physical therapy,
medications, chiropractor, are all failing to help? Prolotherapy may be an option for you. A
safe, effective, proven treatment of painful musculoskeletal conditions.
It is another name for proliferation therapy, a therapy that helps to heal. It is one of the
methods used in regenerative medicine, others being platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP),
and stem cell therapy.
Prolotherapy is about injecting irritants at the site of injury or pain. Injecting irritant
results in small and controlled inflammation in the region. Researchers think that it is this
controlled inflammatory response that is behind the healing properties of this therapy. For
the purpose of treatment, the specialist would usually inject a substance (at the site of
pain) that is safe but causes local inflammation. Dextrose and P2G (combination of
phenol, glucose, and glycerin), are commonly used for the purpose. However, choice of
substance is not limited to these.
Does it work? Yes, indeed, the only controversy could be regarding the extent of benefit,
or in what conditions to use. It is not a new kind of therapy; in various countries, it has
been in use since the 1930s. It means that Prolotherapy has been subject to many clinical
trials, and there is mounting evidence that it works. It has been tested in low back pain,
in tendinopathies, and even osteoarthritis. It is often used in conjunction with other
traditional and non-traditional treatments.
In early days Prolotherapy, PRP, and stem cell therapies were regarded as similar
therapies. However, now they are all known to work quite differently. Prolotherapy works
by inducing local inflammatory responses leading to local healing. PRP causes local
inflammation along with providing useful cellular components. Stem cell therapy is highly
regulated as it involves the use of cells that can change into just any other body cell and
thus help in healing.
Prolotherapy is used (though not limited to):
- Spine and neck pain
- Herniated disc
- Whiplash injury
- Treating chronic shoulder pain/frozen shoulder
- Sprained ankles and other musculoskeletal injuries
- Injuries or painful conditions of hands and feet (like carpal tunnel syndrome)
Are there any side effects and risks? It is quite a safe therapy, although a person may feel
an increase in pain after an injection. It happens due to the escalation in inflammatory
responses. Some people may develop a mild fever. The procedure is generally not painful,
though lots would depend on the expertise of the specialist. One should not take antiinflammatory
medications like aspirin or ibuprofen as they would reduce the effectiveness
of therapy. Usually, pain caused by treatment would subside by itself within days, leading
to local healing.
How long would treatment last? Duration of treatment would depend on too many
factors. Thus some may feel benefit within a month, while others may need 3-6 months to
feel the usefulness of therapy. Depending on the condition treated, one may need 3-30
injections in total, with one injection administered every 2 to 3 weeks.
In summary, patients with chronic pain and musculoskeletal injuries use prolotherapy as a
safe and effective treatment to accelerate the body’s healing process. Call us at
610-616-2500 if you have questions or would like to learn if prolotherapy is right for you.