What is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is a natural non-surgical method of assisting the body to heal injured tendons and ligaments and is a very effective treatment for chronic pain.
First, it is important to understand what the word prolotherapy itself means. “Prole” 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. 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 tissue which connects muscles to bones, and in the same manner tendons may also become injured and cause pain.
Prolotherapy uses a dextrose (sugar water) solution, which is injected into the ligament or tendon where it attaches to the bone. This causes a localized inflammation in these weak areas that then increases the blood supply and flow of nutrients and stimulates the tissue to repair itself.
Historical review shows that Hippocrates first used a version of this technique on soldiers with dislocated, torn shoulder joints. He would stick a hot poker into the joint, and it would then miraculously heal normally. Of course, we don’t use hot pokers today, but the principle is similar – get the body to repair itself, an innate ability that the body has.
What Conditions Can Prolotherapy Help?
This treatment is useful for many different types of muscle and skeletal pain including:
- Back pain
- Chronic tendonitis
- Partially torn tendons and ligaments
- Degenerated or herniated discs
- Patellar tracking disorders
- Sports injuries
- Unresolved whiplash injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Plantar fascitis
- Meniscus and cartilage tears
How Long Will It Take to Complete a Course of Treatments?
The response to treatment varies from individual to individual and depends on 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 a treated area. 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, the doctor can determine how you are responding and give you an accurate estimate.
Consider Prolotherapy First and Surgery Last!
The recovery time following Prolotherapy is minimal and rehabilitation is generally not necessary. Patients arc 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.
Don’t just take our word for it! Here is what some of our patients had to say about their experience:
“I highly recommend prolotherapy. I suffered with back pain and headaches for many years. After about the first month of treatments I could not believe how well it worked. Dr. G is the best very professional and explains everything in terms that anyone can understand. Her and her staff rock.” ~ Anonymous Patient
“Dr. Gemie has provided with the absolute best care. Her prolotherapy for my shoulder was life changing and provided me the mobility to regain my active lifestyle. I truly trust her with my life and health.” ~ Kim
“Dr. McLeod is highly skilled (with extensive training and experience) in prolotherapy. I have greatly benefited from her expertise, caring and sensitive approach to dealing with joint pain. She also has great expertise in nutrition, diet and other natural ways to improve health and well being. I am grateful she moved her practice to northern Arizona.” ~ Sandra C.