Prolotherapy was being practiced as early as the fifth century by Hippocrates who used hot branding irons to help fuse together torn ligaments in the shoulder joint. Since then, modern medicine has significantly improved the technique and the success of this treatment. It’s also become a lot more comfortable.
Prolotherapy is a non-surgical treatment, which stimulates the body’s natural healing process to strengthen joints that have been weakened by traumatic or over-use injuries. When the attached ligaments or tendons are stretched, torn, or fragmented, joints often become degenerated and painful. Surgery and anti-inflammatory drugs often fail at stabilizing the joint and relieving the pain permanently. Prolotherapy is a great alternative to surgery because it has the ability to directly address the cause of the instability. It aids in repairing the weakened sites by producing new fibrous tissues. The result is a more stabilized joint and significantly less pain for most.
Prolotherapy is an amazing therapy when applied appropriately to the right condition and patient. Many people suffer from chronic pain and the most frequent cause of this is ligamentous tissue. Ligaments and tendons already have a poor blood supply, and when they are injured or overstretched, they don’t receive the proper attention they need to heal. This is often made worse by instructions to “put ice on it” or “take ibuprofen.” Both of these actions shut down the body’s natural inflammatory response. The injured area needs this inflammatory response activated in its entirety if the wound is going to heal properly.
Prolotherapy places a precise injection of a mild irritant solution directly into the torn or stretched ligament or tendon. This creates a mild, controlled injury that stimulates the body’s natural healing mechanisms to lay down new tissue on the weakened area. The mild inflammatory response (created by the injection) encourages growth of new ligament or tendon fibers, resulting in a tightening of the weakened structure. Additional treatments repeat this process, allowing a gradual buildup of tissue to restore the original strength to the area.
Simulating the body’s natural ability to heal is activated by the Prolotherapy solution. However, the needle itself also has a big impact on healing. It causes micro-trauma and micro-bleeding to the area, ushering in the much-needed healing blood. This new supply of blood causes an activation in growth factors. The goal of this the injection is to cause the body to naturally respond to the needling and to the solution and prompt the fibroblasts to start producing collagen and the chondrocytes to produce more cartilage. When the fibro-osseous junction, where ligament and tendons are connected to bone, are injected with a solution, the body “wakes-up” and begins to take notice of that area and starts to regenerate collagen. Sometimes these tissues have been injured by trauma; sometimes they are just stretched out from decades of de-conditioning or improper biomechanics.
Prolo-therapy comes from the word “Prolo” which is short for proliferation. Proliferation means to grow by rapid production of new parts, cells, or offspring. Doctors—depending on their specialty—sometimes label Prolotherapy differently, so please read our blog “Regenerative Injection Therapy” for more clarification. Simply put, Prolotherapy is used to treat chronic pain, stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal itself, and is a time/cost efficient alternative to surgery.
Dr. Tyna Moore is an expert at diagnosing, treating pain, and restoring functions lost due to injury, chronic pain or disabling conditions. Dr. Moore’s goal is to treat the whole person—not just the symptoms. She strives to provide the best non-surgical treatments available.
If you are interested in becoming a patient or simply having a conversation about your pain, would like me to review your case or would like a referral to a practitioner in your area, this can be done via an Online Consultation.
Due to the high volume of requests, I am unable to answer individual requests for specific doctor referrals in your area. To find a doctor in your area who offers these therapies, please refer to my PRP 101 Insiders Cheat Sheet and Free Academy.
There is a tremendous amount of information on my website about these therapies, so please have a look around and see if you can’t find answers to your questions there. We have testimonials on every page and even a Research page with supporting studies. Enjoy!
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