What is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is a simple, natural technique that stimulates the body to repair the painful area when the natural healing process needs a little assistance. “A little assistance” is all that is necessary, because often, the body can do the rest on its own. In most cases, commonly prescribed anti-inflammatory medications and more drastic measures like surgery and joint replacement may not help, and often hinder or even prevent the healing process.
The basic mechanism of Prolotherapy is simple. A substance (a proliferant) is injected into the affected ligaments or tendons, which leads to local inflammation. The localized inflammation triggers a wound healing cascade, resulting in the deposition of new collagen. New collagen shrinks as it matures. The shrinking collagen tightens the ligament that was injected and makes it stronger; up to 40% stronger. When performed correctly, Prolotherapy has the potential of being 100 percent effective at eliminating chronic pain due to ligament and tendon weakness.
Prolotherapy involves the treatment of two specific kinds of tissue: tendons and ligaments. A tendon attaches a muscle to the bone and involves movement of the joint. A ligament connects two bones and is involved in the stability of the joint. Once these structures are injured, the immune system is stimulated to repair the injured area. Because ligaments and tendons generally have a poor blood supply, incomplete healing is common after injury. The relaxed and inefficient ligament or tendon then becomes the source of chronic pain and weakness.
The greatest stresses to the ligaments and tendons are where they attach to the bone, the fibro-osseous junction. The most sensitive structures that produce pain are the periosteum (covering of the bone) and the ligaments. This is where the Prolotherapy injections occur, and thus eliminate the chronic pain of many conditions including arthritis, mechanical low back pain, degenerative disc disease, cartilage injury, and sports injuries. Cartilage contains no sensory nerve endings, and therefore, is never the culprit of pain.
What is PRP-Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
Harnessing the innate power of the body to heal is one of the keys to optimal repair and regeneration. Natural substances found in the plasma are necessary to healing damaged cells and tissues. Platelet-rich plasma therapy utilizes these substances, providing areas of injury or disease with a concentrated dose of the body’s own specific platelets, proteins and growth factors.
Platelets are best known for their ability to coagulate to stop bleeding; however, new evidence indicates that platelets also produce growth factors needed to mend and strengthen damaged tissues. By extracting a patient’s plasma and centrifuging it, these important substances can be isolated. After separation, they are placed in a syringe and injected into a specific area or joint, such as the knee or hip, giving the damaged tissues more than enough healing factors to begin the process of repair.
Results and Side Effects of Prolotherapy & PRP
With Prolotherapy, you may have mild pain and swelling at the injection site for a couple of days. Generally, clients are able to resume their normal activities within 2-3 days. Most often, more than one prolotherapy session will be necessary to obtain 100% recovery.
PRP is generally more painful than Prolotherapy and typically takes a few more days of recovery. Most clients feel relief from chronic pain soon after the injection is administered. Results can last a year or more, as the body is using a concentrated dose of its own building blocks.
Conditions Commonly Treated with Prolotherapy & PRP
Shoulder: Rotator Cuff Tendinitis or Tear, Rotator Cuff Impingement Syndrome or Bursitis, Bicipital Tendinitis, Labrum tears, Arthritis, Instability
Wrist/Hand: DeQuervaine’s Tenosynovitis, Arthritis, Wrist or Finger Tendinitis, Ligament tears, or Dysfunction of the fingers
Elbow: Medial and Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis & Golfers elbow)
Hip: IIliotibial Band Tendinitis (ITB Syndrome), Psoas Tendinitis and Bursitis, Greater Trochanteric Bursitis, Labrum tears, Piriformis Syndrome, Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction, Arthritis
Knee: Patellar Tendinitis, Patellar Femoral Syndrome, Chondromalacia Patella, Partially torn or strained major ligaments of knee (ACL/LCL/MCL), Meniscus tears, Arthritis, Patellar instability
Ankle/Foot: Achilles Tendinitis, Peroneal Tendinitis, Arthritis, Recurrent ankle sprains, Other foot or ankle tendinitis
Neck: Whiplash injuries, Headaches related to the neck, Arthritis
Back: Facet joint arthritis, Rib problems, Pain associated with Scoliosis