When traditional pain management strategies – heat or cold packs, massage, ibuprofen, and more – do not work for extreme joint or back pain, you still have another option. Have you ever heard of prolotherapy? It is a unique and effective pain management strategy which you should try.
What is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is a unique pain management strategy in that it uses a natural irritant to trigger the body’s biological healing processes. Supporters of the treatment believe that it is highly effective for joint or back pain.
Joint and back pain are two of the most debilitating and disruptive aches. Missed days at work, decreased mobility – joint and back pain will affect all aspects of life. Many professionals in the medical field believe that prolotherapy is the most effective treatment for these incredibly crippling forms of pain.
Prolotherapy is short for proliferation (which means growth or formation) therapy. The treatment uses that term because it starts the construction of new ligament tissue in the treatment area. The structure of newer and stronger ligaments is the basis of the pain alleviation around the joints or the back.
How Does Prolotherapy Work Against Pain?
Prolotherapy is the process of injecting an irritant, such as a dextrose solution, into the treatment site. The simple injecting of an irritant in the treatment site will trigger a series of natural bodily functions.
The irritant will trigger the body’s healing capabilities by causing an influx of fibroblasts. The fibroblasts, in turn, initiates the formation of collagen at the injection site. Collagen production becomes a new ligament and tendon tissue.
Chronic joint and back pain may be due to weakened, injured, or loosened ligaments. The new ligament and tendon tissues will support the weakened joint. In short, prolotherapy works to relieve pain by strengthening and stabilizing the joint and muscle base.
Why You Need Prolotherapy to Treat Chronic Joint and Back Pain
Joints are the areas of the body where two or more bones connect for movement. Examples of the most prominent joints are the elbows, knees, shoulders, wrists, ankles, and the spine (which is made up of a long series of joints). Four primary parts make up a joint: bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
The bones are held together by structural rubber bands called ligaments. And the muscles that make it possible for the joints to move are connected to the bones through the tendons.
Both ligaments and tendons may get weak and injured, causing chronic pain. Both ligaments and tendons may not revert to their original strength because the blood supply, which carries nutrients essential for healing, is limited around the joints. Furthermore, joints may have several nerve endings that send pain signals to the brain when the ligaments and tendons are damaged.
Prolotherapy injects an irritant into the ligament or tendon right where it connects the bone. The injection causes inflammation in these soft areas, increasing blood supply to the damaged and painful ligaments or tendons. The increased blood and nutrient supply give the tissue the resources to begin healing.
The strengthening and reparation of the ligaments or tendons will help stabilize the joint. As soon as the joint is better supported, the pain will dissipate.
What Should You Expect from the Treatment
The very first thing you have to do is talk to a healthcare professional before having the treatment. The doctor should make a diagnosis before recommending the treatment.
Prolotherapy does not work for everyone, and even if it works, it works in different degrees of efficacy from person to person. You should be aware of the risks and benefits of the treatment.
Once you thoroughly the ins and outs of the treatment, you have to consent to the treatment. You will have to stop taking pain medications 2 to 3 days before the treatment. Pain medications can hinder the efficacy of the treatment.
It is vital that you eat well before the procedure. Experts suggest stacking up on protein to help the body create the necessary nutrients for healing.
The actual treatment happens on an exam table. The doctor preps and sterilizes the treatment site. Most of the time, the area will be injected with local anesthesia using a very fine needle.
Then, the doctor, nurse, or healthcare expert will administer the proliferation injection/s. The number of injections depends on the severity of the case. Finally, the treatment site is covered to prevent infection.
The injection site will likely ache and feel sore for the next one to three days. This pain is completely natural; it is the body’s healing capabilities at work. The joint might feel worse than before the treatment, but in a short while, it will feel better.
Avoid using steroids or pain medications for some days after the treatment; they will block the effects of prolotherapy. Also, avoid soaking the injection site in a bath or hot tub for 24 hours after the injections.
What Are the Risks and Benefits of the Prolotherapy Treatment?
Aside from the minimal soreness and discomfort after and during the injection, prolotherapy is minimally risky. Prolotherapy injections are mildly painful, like a flu shot. But with the help of a numbing cream or anesthesia, it can be rendered painless.
The worst prolotherapy side effect reported is an infection, which shows through fever and pain. But an infection is easily treated with antibiotics. Besides, the doctor will do their best to protect the injection site from infection.
The primary benefit of prolotherapy is that it relies on the body to do the grunt work. Unlike with other pain management strategies, prolotherapy is a more permanent solution (unless you manage to damage the joint again). The treatment is minimally invasive, generally safe, all-natural, and does more than relieve pain.
Prolotherapy also brings stability and improves the joint. Here are the conditions that prolotherapy can treat:
- Spinal arthritis
- Arthritis at any joint
- Back pain
- Degenerative disk disease
- Rotator cuff (shoulder joints) tears
- Sacroiliac instability
- Spinal defects
- Tennis elbow
- Shoulder separation
- Chronic joint instability
Do You Need Prolotherapy?
Biorestoration Medical Health & Aesthetics is the largest and most advanced health clinic in Utah. To get the best help for chronic joint or back pain, reach out to us at 801-501-9797 or via email at [email protected]