What is Prolozone Therapy?
Prolozone is a form of non-surgical ligament reconstruction and is a permanent treatment for chronic pain. Prolozone is a connective tissue injection therapy of collagen producing substances and ozone gas which can reconstruct damaged or weakened connective tissue in and around joints. These substances are injected into the damaged connective tissue in and around a joint to rebuild the damaged areas.
By repairing the connective tissue, this is all that is needed to permanently reverse chronic pain. Prolozone therapy is an injection technique similar to prolotherapy, but adds ozone. The use of ozone causes the joint to heal much more quickly than in traditional prolotherapy. This is because ozone is a highly reactive molecule and when injected into a joint capsule it is able to stimulate the fibroblastic joint repairing abilities.
Prolozone is derived from the word ozone and the Latin word “proli” which means to regenerate or re-build. It literally means re-building tissues with ozone. It is important to understand what the word prolozone actually means. “Prolo” is short for proliferation, because the treatment causes the proliferation (growth, formation) or new ligament tissue in areas where it has become weak.
Ligaments are the structural “rubber bands” that hold bones to bones in joints – acting like the body’s shock absorbers. Ligaments can become weak or injured and may not heal back to their original strength or endurance. Ligaments will also not tighten on their own to their original length once injured. 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.
We can think of our joints as the hinge on a door. Until the hinge is fixed, the door just isn’t going to open or close right, and it’s the same exact story with our joints. If we are athletic or if we are just getting older, there is some gradual and natural degeneration of the moving parts of the body due to ongoing recurrent mechanical stress and failure of tissues to repair. When this happens, the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage become dehydrated and weaker. This results in laxity and more abnormal mechanical stress and shearing forces on the joint. Abnormal shearing forces and torsion cayse more joint dysfunction. This leads to progressive separation of the ligaments from the superficial covering on the bone called the periosteum. This pulling on the periosteum creates a space, which the body fills in with new bone. These new parts of bone are called osteophytes. They are the premier signs of degenerativve arthritis in and around the joint. Osteophytes and joint laxity result in a reduced range of motion, which causes strain on surrounding muscles which then become either over or under worked leading to more dysfunction and pain.
Prolozone causes repair and tightening of the lax structures, partially torn connective tissue, and ligaments. Prolozone halts the pain/inflammation cycle allowing for better circulation, increased blood flow carrying nutrition, and hydration of the damaged tissues. This promotes a healing environment within the joint to develop and results in increased range of motion and decreased pain.
A lot of my patients come to me with pain caused by inflammation. For example, arthritis is an inflammatory process. An important component in halting the inflammation cycle, along with Prolozone therapy, is proper nutrition. What we choose to eat every day is so powerful that it can either bring us closer to health or closer to disease. When we eat fresh, whole food devoid of refined flours and sugars, it promotes and maintains health by nourishing the body at a deep level. This reduces total body inflammation and allows the body to function optimally. Eating properly in conjunction with Prolozone therapy will help to maximize results.
Who is a Candidate for This Program?
- Low back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Rotator cuff tears
- Knee injuries
- Individuals wanting to avoid knee and hip replacement
Because Prolozone treatments also result in cartilage regeneration, the technique is also remarkably effective even for severe cases of osteo-arthritis of the hip or knee. The good thing about Prolozone therapy is that it is not just a treatment for pain. The results can actually represent a permanent fix.
Once the doctor takes a detailed history of your injury and looks at your MRI report, she will be able to tell you if Prolozone is right for you.
Conditions Commonly Treated with Prolozone Therapy Include:
- Chronic back pain
- Bulging or herniated disks
- Overused joint injuries
- Weakened joints from prior injury
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Tennis elbow
How Does It Work?
Pain will persist as long as connective tissue in a joint remains damaged. Connective tissue can be scarred, torn, or overly stretched. Prolozone injections stimulate tissue to repair itself, strengthening and tightening, and ultimately stabilizing the joint. Prolozone therapy involves the injections of ozone into soft tissues, liagments, and tendons. This causes a localized inflammation in these weak areas, which then increases the blood supply and flow of nutrients, the stimulation of anabolic cells, fibroblasts, osteoblasts, and chondroblasts. These effects stimulate the tissue to repair itself, strengthening and tightening, and thereby stabilizing the area.
What Do I Have to Know Before I Get Started?
It is important that the patient use no anti-inflammatory medications before and during the 48 hours after the injection. For this same reason, areas that have been treated with a steroid or cortisone injections cannot be treated with Prolozone until the injections have worn off.
What Can I Expect?
The response to treatment varies from individual to individual and depends on one’s healing ability and level of injury. Some people may only need one to two treatments, while others may need as many as six or seven. Once you begin treatment, the doctor can analyze how you are responding and will then be able to give you an accurate estimate of what you can expect from further treatments. The injection process is repeated once a month until maximum improvement is noted. Prolozone therapy typically results in the complete absence of symptoms, even in severe pain conditions that have been present for years. And, the most amazing thing about it is that the results usually represent a permanent fix.
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.