Prolotherapy is a therapy that uses injections to stimulate your body’s natural ability to heal. It is specifically used for the treatment of musculoskeletal pain and works by getting your body to increase levels of growth factor around the site of injury in order to generate tissue repair.
Your body can normally heal by itself; however, injuries such as the ones listed above involve damage to connective tissues such as ligaments and tendons. One of the quirks about your body is that some of these connective tissues have reduced blood supply, especially cartilage within a joint, which reduces healing capacity. When healthy, these tissues hold your bones together (ligaments) and hold your muscles to your bones (tendons). But when your ligaments and tendons get stretched, they tend to stay that way because regeneration is not something humans are blessed with in great sums. To compensate for this loosening of your joints, your muscles tighten up (even to the point of spasms). As a result, your joints wear faster, get stiffer, and become painful.
Conservative therapy ie. physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractic etc. can help in the healing process after injury. But what happens when you’re not progressing as “normal” and you’re still hurting and dysfunctional?
The key to PRP and Prolotherapy is the injection of a “proliferant” solution at the site of injury to complete the tissue repair. Normally, this means placing small amounts of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) or Dextrose (Prolotherapy) to create very specific sites of inflammation where the ligament or tendon attaches. It is this focused approach of growth factor and other subtance that stimulates healing and accelerates recovery from injury.
Many people have never heard of PRP or Prolotherapy. Although Prolotherapy has been around since the the mid 1800’s and PRP since the 1990’s, they are just recently gaining in popularity – particularly amongst athletes who are looking for non-surgical treatment of their sports injuries.
Perhaps one of the reasons that these components are still relatively unknown is that there has been too little attention paid to connective tissue healing sufficiently with respect to pain while most of the focus has been paid to muscles and bones. And even when there ligaments and tendons are suspected, imaging technologies such as MRI can be misleading.
Because the aim of the treatment is to resolve the injury, PRP and Prolotherapy are long-term solutions whereas pain-killers and anti-inflammatory drugs only mask your pain symptoms. Many patients are even able to avoid surgery after a course of successful PRP or prolotherapy. If you are experiencing chronic or acute pain, contact Performax Health Group to see if PRP/Prolotherapy may be appropriate for your condition.
Some conditions that are commonly treated with prolotherapy include:
- osteoarthritis of the knee, hip and other regions (OA)
- low back pain
- neck pain
- rotator cuff tear
- meniscal tear
- whiplash injuries
- chronic sprains and strains
- tennis elbow/golfer’s elbow
- chronic tendonitis/tendonosis