Prolotherapy is the term used for “proliferation therapy” or “regenerative injection therapy” and is a safe and effective option for the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, osteoarthritis and chronic pain.
The treatment originated in the 1930s when Dr. Earl Gedney, an osteopathic surgeon, successfully treated his own severe hand injury using prolotherapy.
Prolotherapy works by stimulating the body’s natural repair mechanisms to heal injured or degenerative tissues. It causes a temporary, low-grade inflammatory response at the injection site, which activates cells called fibroblasts. These fibroblasts then synthesize mature collagen and thus reinforce connective tissue. It is well documented in the scientific literature that direct exposure of fibroblasts to growth factors (either endogenous or exogenous) causes cellular proliferation and collagen deposition. The inflammatory stimulus from Prolotherapy raises the level of growth factors to resume or initiate a new connective tissue repair sequence. Biopsy studies confirm ligament thickening, enlargement of the tendon-osseous junction, and strengthening of the tendon or ligament after Prolotherapy injections.
Prolotherapy utilises a substance which is injected into the affected ligaments, tendons or joints. Historically, the solutions injected into these structures were irritants, such as dextrose, saline, etc. Dextrose is still used and is a powerful component that promotes healing.
With the emergence of Orthobiologic therapies such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Mesenchymal Stem Cell therapies, the possibilities and applications for Prolotherapy have intensified and it is a great non-surgical option for patients suffering from musculoskeletal conditions. With a high success rate, the field of Regenerative Musculoskeletal Medicine and is exploding.
Prolotherapy is a safe, non-invasive, drug-free and affordable treatment for those suffering chronic musculoskeletal pain and/or injury. Typically, 2-4 sessions are needed to help you reach maximum relief. Each session includes multiple injections to the affected area. The amount of sessions needed depends on the extent and chronicity of your injury.
IS PROLOTHERAPY PAINFUL?
In our Prolotherapy injection solution, we add local anaesthetic so most patients tolerate the procedure well. You may experience some stiffness or soreness for 3-5 days following the injection due to the mild inflammatory reaction induced by the injection. Pain relief medication (not anti-inflammatories) can be taken if needed.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS DO I NEED?
Most patients respond to 3-4 treatments depending on how long the injury has been present, as well as the extent of tissue damage. Each patient is unique, and therefore responses may vary. Treatments are usually spaced 2-3 weeks apart, depending on the condition being treated and the patient’s response to the procedure.
CAN I RESUME NORMAL ACTIVITIES AFTER TREATMENT?
There is no restriction on activities immediately after the treatment. However, most patients reduce their activity for 1-2 days, depending on the inflammatory response created by the therapy. We may advise on physical therapy exercises in conjunction with your Prolotherapy treatments.
IS PROLOTHERAPY SAFE?
Prolotherapy is considered very safe when practised by a properly trained physician. All injections are performed under sterile conditions to minimize the risk of infection. Possible adverse effects include local swelling, bruising and mild localised pain.
CAN I GET A STEROID INJECTION INSTEAD?
Steroid (cortisone) injections only provide temporary pain relief by inhibiting inflammation. In contrast, Prolotherapy induces a mild inflammatory response to stimulate healing. Cortisone causes degeneration of tissues with repeated use over time. Prolotherapy works to repair weak and painful joint areas and is a long-term option rather than a temporary analgesic treatment. Zaid often utilises steroid injection inside the joint and perform Prolotherapy to treat the ligaments and to support joint structures.
WHAT CONDITIONS ARE TREATED WITH PROLOTHERAPY?
Prolotherapy is effective in treating musculoskeletal conditions involving lax or weak tendons and ligaments in several areas including the knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, neck and back.
You may find these websites helpful regarding Prolotherapy.