Prolotherapy, formerly recognized as sclerotherapy, has been utilized in some form for centuries to relieve joint pain and to strengthen and restore connective tissue and damaged and painful joints. Also known as proliferative therapy, or non-surgical ligament and tendon reconstruction and regenerative joint injection, it is an orthopedic technique that effectively stimulates the body’s innate healing processes through direct targeting of injured ligaments or tendons.
Stretched or torn connective tissues weaken the joints and cause pain. Prolotherapy produces new collagen tissue that stabilizes sites and resolves the pain. Injections address joints, ligaments and tendons. Sclerotherapy focuses on varicose veins, vascular abnormalities, spider veins and hemorrhoids.
By directing the prolotherapy injection to the injury, a slight inflammatory response is triggered, and new tissue is added to the weakened area. Repeat treatments cause a buildup of tissue to restore strength to the damaged site.
Prolotherapy injections are specifically tailored to the individual patient so ingredients can range from local anesthetics, saline, dextrose, lidocaine and platelet rich plasma (PRP). Pain is typically minimal and depends upon the type of injection administered and the skill of the physician. Any discomfort is temporary and can usually be relieved with acetaminophen or other prescription medication. Anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen and aspirin are not advocated as they overturn the anticipated inflammatory healing process.
Treatment is recommended every 3-6 weeks, but depends upon the severity of the problem and the particular area being healed. On average, sessions are conducted monthly, with a total of 4-6 treatments administered.
Many areas of the body can substantially benefit from prolotherapy injections. They include, but are not limited to:
- Knees, meniscal tears
- Mid and lower back, including sacroiliac issues and degenerative disc disease
- Wrists and hands
- Shoulders and rotator cuffs
- Feet and plantar fasciitis
- Ankle instability and pain
- TMJ or temporal mandibular joint syndrome
There are numerous welcome benefits to choosing prolotherapy over another more invasive procedure to address joint pain. They include:
- More complete healing in a less aggressive manner
- Lack of unwelcome side effects
- Only about 1 day’s downtime, compared to weeks and months associated with surgery
- Much less expensive than surgery, cost of physical therapy, recovery time and lost wages
- Treatment is completed in a doctor’s office rather than in a hospital
- Anti-inflammatory medications only offer temporary relief
For additional information about prolotherapy and how it can offer relief for your joint pain, call the medical team at McQuinn Naturopathic at (425)905-2487. We would be happy to discuss your situation during a private consultation.