What is Prolotherapy? Prolotherapy is the treatment of soft-tissue damage using injections. The injections lead to inflammation in the area, and the body reacts by increasing the blood supply and sending more nutrients to the area, resulting in tissue repair. The term Prolotherapy is derived from the word prolo, short for proliferation. The therapy is intended to proliferate healthy tissue growth in the damaged area. This therapy fits well with one of the basic principles of naturopathic medicine: the healing power of nature, or “vis medicatrix naturae”, is based on the principle that the body has the inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. The healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force. The physician’s role is to facilitate and augment this process, to act to identify and remove obstacles to health and recovery, and to support the creation of a healthy internal and external environment.
What are the benefits of Prolotherapy? Prolotherapy is very helpful in chronic pain, especially when tendons and ligaments are involved. Many patients come for treatment when they have exhausted all options and are considering surgery. Adult patients of all ages may benefit. In addition, individuals on drugs can often go without these medications following a series of Prolotherapy. It is a great treatment for sports injuries for all ages!
What Does Prolotherapy involve? Prolotherapy involves injection of a proliferative solution directly into injured tissue. These areas are often weakened or stretched due to overuse or injury. This injection causes a temporary inflammation, which the body tries to heal. This therapy can often alleviate pain and increase strength to the area.
How Many Treatments Do I Need? The number of injections depends on the area treated and each person’s response. Areas that are more complicated in structure usually require more injections. The back is more complex and usually involves several treatments. On the other hand, the elbow may require less. Return visits usually are from three to six weeks apart depending on the severity of the problem and location. Usually, visits average every six weeks. Sometimes therapy only involves a visit once every three to six months. The number of sessions and expected results will be discussed at the initial visit.
What Can I Expect Following the Treatments? There might be pain and soreness during and after the injections. Pain usually is temporary lasting for 24 to 48 hours. This is due to the inflammation caused by the therapy. Anti-inflammatory medications are not to be used during the proliferation period. On the third to fifth day patients usually begin to feel positive results.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
PRP functions as a tissue sealant and drug delivery system with the platelets initiating wound repair by releasing locally acting growth factors. Procedure is similar to Prolotherapy; however, requires a blood draw.