Prolotherapy: A Chronic Pain & Sports Injury Treatment
Prolotherapy involves precision injections of a solution directly into areas where tendons and ligaments attach to bone. It can also be used in places where cartilage is worn or damaged. It repairs and strengthens tendons, ligaments and cartilage. It is an ideal chronic pain treatment and sports injury treatment.
This process creates a localized, controlled inflammatory process that stimulates the body’s own repair mechanisms to heal the damaged tissue. This leads to repair at the exact site of injury. The reason why it works as a sports injury treatment is because it addresses the root cause of chronic pain, which is ligament and tendon weakness.
Normally, the body will attempt to heal damaged connective tissues. However, tendons, ligament and cartilage have a poor blood supply by nature. Low blood supply actually impedes optimal healing; this often leads to incompletely healed/chronically injured tissues that become a source of pain and disability.
Compared to the costs and dangers of surgery and a lifetime of pain medications, prolo injections are a highly cost effective solution. Surgery is invasive, expensive and takes a long time to recover from.
Pain medications used for chronic pain and sports injury treatment actually prevent the tissue from repairing itself.
Prolotherapy heals by stimulating repair and regeneration. The solutions used create inflammation, which is the body’s way of healing damaged tissue. This leads to the creation of new collagen, the protein that makes up ligaments, tendons and cartilage.
Additionally, properly supporting the repair process with specific nutrients is important. We want to ensure that your body has ALL of the raw materials it needs to repair itself, or healing may be delayed or incomplete.
We like to use Ligament Restore along with prolotherapy because it supplies the foundational building blocks of cartilage, tendons and ligaments.
During the course of prolotherapy treatment, we discourage patients from using any anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, aleve, etc); these will limit the healing process that the prolotherapy procedure is trying to produce. For pain after the treatment, we use a lot of Wobenzyme. It's an enzyme preparation that stops pain, but without the heavy anti-inflammatory effects of drugs.
Lastly, we use Joint Support to help support the newly repaired connective tissue, and as a mild anti-inflammatory to reduce pain once you get back into your activity.
By doing this, the structures are made stronger. A commonly used analogy is that this is similar to spot-welding; ligament and tendon attachments to bone are made much stronger, just as spot welding can strongly attach two pieces of steel together with great strength.
This is useful for chronic pain treatment throughout all the joints of the body; the majority of muscle/skeletal pain is thought to originate from weakened ligaments and tendons.
This is because when these tissues are weak, they are not fully supporting the muscles of the body and therefore the muscles are forced to contract and tighten as a way to take over the job of the connective tissues. After being continually tight, the results are pain, spasm, and disability.
These injections work based on a simple mechanism. The injected solution creates localized inflammation, during which the body produces new connective tissue at the site of injection. The new tissue makes the weak or damaged tendons and ligaments stronger and thicker, thereby resolving pain and joint dysfunction resulting from injury.
Prolotherapy works on the premise that the majority of pain in the muscle and skeletal system is caused by weak or damaged connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, cartilage), most of which is found in and around joints. Connective tissue can become weakened or damaged in a variety of ways, whether through repetitive movement (sports) or through degeneration associated with aging, or just suboptimal health.
You can read more about Prolotherapy here
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