In some cases tissues may have been damaged beyond the body’s ability to heal itself by trauma such as a fall or car accident. The body will repair itself as best it can, but altered tissue motion, and its subsequent discomfort or pain, will not resolve with osteopathic manipulation or with medication/surgery. In addition to the many forms of hands-on diagnosis and treatment that are offered, we also offer a number of injection therapies to assist in the patients’ healing process:
What is Prolotherapy?
Used specifically to restart the healing process of tendons, ligaments and joints, proliferative therapy (prolo) has been used for centuries to help the body to restart and continue to repair damaged tissues. It can be very useful in chronic pain conditions that have failed to respond to other methods of treatment such as whiplash and low back pain.
“Prolo” is short for proliferation, because the treatment causes the proliferation (growth, formation) of new ligament tissue in areas where it has become weak.
Ligaments are the structural “rubber bands” that hold bones to bones in joints. Ligaments can become injured or weak and may not heal back to their original strength or endurance. This is largely because the blood supply to ligaments is limited, which can cause slow and incomplete healing. Taking anti-inflammatory medications after an injury can add to the damage by stopping the healing process. To further complicate this, ligaments also have many nerve endings that signal the body that there is damage (pain) at the areas where the ligaments are injured or loose.
Tendons are the name given to tissue which connects muscles to bones, and in the same manner tendons may also become injured, and cause pain.
Developed into its current form by George Hackett, M.D., prolotherapy uses dextrose (sugar water), vitamins, local anesthetic and an arachadonic acid solution, which is injected into the ligament or tendon where it attaches to the bone. This causes a localized inflammation in these weak areas which then increases the blood supply and flow of nutrients and stimulates the tissue to repair itself.
How long will it take to complete a course of treatments?
The response to treatment varies from individual to individual, and depends upon one’s healing ability. Some people may only need a few treatments while others may need 10 or more. The average number of treatments is 4-6 for an area treated. Once you begin treatment, your doctor can tell better how you are responding and give you an accurate estimate.