Question:

I have arthritis in my knees and sometimes the pain is excruciating. Is there anything I can do besides the cortisone injections recommended by my doctor?

Answer:

Yes! Prolotherapy is a great alternative choice.

Prolotherapy is a simple, natural method used to repair a soft tissue injury or painful joints, by assisting the body’s natural healing process “Prolo” is short for proliferation, because the treatment causes the proliferation (growth) of new connective tissue in areas that have become weak or damaged. This alternative technique offers a less invasive and potentially longer lasting option, versus medications, steroid injections or more drastic measures such as surgery or joint replacement.

Ligaments are the structural “rubber bands” that hold bones to bones in joints. Ligaments can become weak or injured and may not heal back to their original strength or endurance. This is largely because the blood supply to ligaments is limited, and therefore healing is slow and not always complete. To further complicate this, ligaments also have many nerve endings and therefore the person will feel pain at the areas where the ligaments are damaged or loose.

Tendons are the name given to tissues which connects muscles to bones, and in the same manner tendons may also become injured, and cause pain.

How Prolotherapy Works

When an injury occurs to tissue, natural inflammation occurs. Since ligaments, tendons and cartilage (joints) have very poor blood supplies, incomplete healing results. This incomplete healing results in connective tissue becoming relaxed and weak. In addition, connective tissue also has many nerve endings, which will cause pain when damaged or loosened.

Prolotherapy is a highly effective method of treating chronic pain. The treatment, performed as an office procedure, involves injecting a concentrated dextrose (sugar water) solution into the affected area. This localized injection causes inflammation that directly stimulates the growth of healthy strong tissues by increasing the blood supply. As the tendons and ligaments repair/heal and grow stronger, the chronic pain is thus reduced and joints become more stable, reducing the degenerative changes that occur with arthritis.

How long will it take to complete a course of treatments?

The response to treatment varies from person to person, and depends upon one’s healing ability. Some people may only need a few treatments while others may need several. The average number of treatments is 4-6 for an area treated. The best thing to do is get an evaluation by a trained physician to see if you are an appropriate candidate. Once you begin treatment, your doctor can determine how you are responding and give you an accurate estimate.

Assisting Natural Healing

The body’s natural healing process can also be impeded when injuries are treated with anti-inflammatory medications, such as Motrin, Advil, or Ibuprofen for pain management. Prolotherapy injections, given over the course of several weeks to months, are meant to provide a long lasting benefit by stimulating the body into initiating the healing process on its own without the use of oral medications.

You may be a candidate for Prolotherapy if you experience any of the following musculoskeletal pain:

  • Sports Injuries
  • Degenerated or Herniated Discs
  • Tendon Injuries
    • Tennis elbow
    • Achilles tendonitis
    • Patellar tendonitis (jumpers knee)
    • Rotator cuff injuries, partial tears
    • Cervical whiplash injury
  • Ligament Injuries
    • Ankle sprain
    • Ankle instability
    • Knee sprain
    • Foot pains/plantar fasciitis
    • Wrist pain
    • Sacroiliac joint pain
  • Arthritic Conditions
    • Neck and back pain
    • Knee pains/meniscal tears
    • Hip pain
    • Sciatica
    • Joint pain

Consider Prolotherapy first…and surgery last!

The recovery time following Prolotherapy is minimal and rehabilitation is generally not necessary. Patients are encouraged to remain active and resume their activities with the guidance following treatment being “use it-do not abuse it”. Because Prolotherapy works with the body and stimulates a healing process, the results are often progressive and permanent.

The information contained in this article is for information and education purposes only and is not medical advice. Do not use this information as an alternative to obtaining medical advice from your physician or other professional healthcare provider. Always consult with your physician or other professional healthcare provider about any medical conditions you are experiencing. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, contact your local emergency services for help.

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