Proliferative therapy, more commonly known as prolotherapy, has been used by osteopathic doctors to alleviate musculoskeletal pain since the beginning of the 20th century. Recognized by the American Association of Orthopedic Medicine, prolotherapy offers patients an alternative approach to pain management instead of possible habit-forming drugs.
What Does Prolotherapy Treat?
Prolotherapy is used to treat joint and ligament pain throughout the body by stabilizing the joint and facilitating collagen production. Conditions commonly treated with prolotherapy include:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
- IT band syndrome
- Rotator cuff tears
- Meniscal tears
- Tennis elbow
- Plantar fasciitis
- Piriformis syndrome
- Temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome
- Other joint and ligament pain in the hands, wrists, feet, ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, back, and neck
How Does It Work?
Prolotherapy is a nonsurgical procedure that involves the injection of an irritant at the site of joint pain or injury. The irritant is comprised of a natural solution and a local anesthetic, often a combination of ingredients such as dextrose, saline, and lidocaine. Newer formulas may also include platelet-rich plasma or adult stem cells retrieved from the patient’s own body; the exact formula is selected by the doctor and varies according to patient needs.
The solution works by activating the healing mechanisms within the affected area and encouraging the growth of ligament fibers and strengthening of the joints. Over the course of several treatments, the body may continue reconstruction of the joints,leading to more permanent stabilization.
What Can Patients Expect From the Procedure?
Prolotherapy is administered in sessions. At each session, a doctor will give the patient several injections, usually anywhere from four to fifteen, depending on the condition being treated. These sessions are repeated over the course of three to six months as the physician recommends based on the patient’s particular concerns and the efficacy of the healing process.
Pain associated with prolotherapy is typically minimal. Patients may experience temporary swelling or stiffness at the injection site and may take an over-the-counter pain reliever, but they should avoid taking anti-inflammatories since these counteract the inflammatory process.
If you’re suffering from a chronic pain disorder or joint injury, prolotherapy may be the right pain management treatment for you. The team of medical professionals at Alpha Care Medical is dedicated to providing residents of the Dover area with quality primary care and safe, effective pain management. Give us a call today at (800) 818-8680 or schedule your appointment online.