Prolotherapy is a non-surgical treatment that stimulates the body’s natural healing process so as to strengthen joints that have been weakened by traumatic or over-use injuries. Ligaments or tendons that have been stretched, torn, or fragmented can lose function and endurance, causing pain and discomfort. You will also hear prolotherapy referred to as “Regenerative Injection Therapy.” The word prolotherapy comes from “proliferation,” referring to the therapy inducing a rapid production of new cells, assisting the body’s own natural healing process.
Prolotherapy is an injection procedure that is very safe with the intent on beneficial long-term results. Most patients do not find the treatment painful, as it begins with anesthetic to the injured area, followed by a local injection of a safe and natural proliferative agent directly into the injured or weakened area. The injection creates a mild, controlled irritation to stimulate one’s natural healing mechanisms and encourage the growth of new ligament or tendon fibers, strengthening and tightening the injured structure. Most patient benefit from 2-3 treatments, allowing a gradual buildup of tissue.
For many patients, prolotherapy can be a great alternative to surgery by helping the weakened tissue heal itself by producing new fibrous connective tissues, stabilizing the joint and significantly decreasing pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs often fail at relieving the pain permanently. Unlike cortisone injections, prolotherapy does not potentially weaken connective tissue. Instead, it aims to restore normal strength, function, and strength to the ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and other connective tissues.
Conditions that respond favorably to prolotherapy:
- Acute joint injuries
- Chronic joint pain
- Chronic headaches
- Pain from whiplash
- Arthritis pain
- Knee pain
- Torn meniscus
- Low back pain
- Sprained ankles
- Rotator cuff injuries / tears
- Acute or chronic sacroiliac joint pain
- Degenerative joint and disc disease
- Labral tears (shoulder/hip)
- Tennis or golfer’s elbow
Some conditions that generally do not respond favorably to prolotherapy include:
- Chronic myofascial pain syndromes
- Pain from autoimmune diseases or cancer
- Severely herniated discs
- Complete rotator cuff tears
- Central spinal stenosis
- Frank Surgical Conditions
If you have questions about whether prolotherapy or naturopathic medicine would be medically appropriate for you, our naturopathic and sports medicine physicians would be happy to talk with you. Click here for more information on scheduling an appointment.