Sports, Pain &
Prolotherapy Q & A
Prolotherapy is an alternative therapy that can help repair ligaments. It’s also known as regenerative injection therapy or proliferation therapy. This treatment is meant for injured joints and connective tissue. It’s also used to treat some people who have conditions like arthritis, whiplash, and degenerative disc disease. Prolotherapy can treat a number of areas of your body, including your back, neck, knees, shoulders, hips, pelvic floor, and hands.
Advantages of Prolotherapy
Medical professionals who support the use of prolotherapy believe that the strengthened joints will mean the pain is reduced. Also, the improved strength of the joint will help with stability and improve overall movement and function of the back and joints.
Prolotherapy is an all-natural, permanent treatment, as it relies on the body repairing itself to reduce pain. In contrast, pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications only provide temporary relief. Similarly, surgical options do not always work to stabilize a joint fully.
How Does Prolotherapy Work?
Prolotherapy is an injection that contains a potential irritant, such as a dextrose solution. The irritant is thought to trigger 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 several shots at the site of the injury or weakened area to be effective. An individual can expect anywhere from 4 to 15 shots per session, and for several sessions to occur over the course of 3 to 6 months. The injection must be precise so that the irritant is placed at the area or areas requiring ligament repair.
Risks of Prolotherapy
The risks of prolotherapy are significantly less than the risks of surgery. There is no need for general anesthesia or hospital stays. The recovery period is much shorter, and there’s a significant decrease in the chance of infection.
While prolotherapy is generally regarded as safe and seems to have positive effects, it’s still a newer therapy. That means the possibility of risks doctors aren’t aware of yet. Some experts, for example, have expressed concern that the dextrose in prolotherapy could cause a buildup of sugar molecules in joint tissues over a long period of time, which could potentially be damaging to those tissues.
In rare cases, infection may occur after treatment. Symptoms include pain and fever. Treatment in this case requires antibiotics. You should only ever receive prolotherapy treatments from a trained and certified professional.