What is Prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy is a nonsurgical procedure that stimulates and enhances the body’s healing process to strengthen and repair injured joints and connective tissue.  Simply put, Protherapy is a treatment used to treat connective tissue injuries  like tendons, ligaments and intervertebral discs that have not healed either by rest or other therapies.  When these connective tissues like  are stretched or torn, it can destabilize the joint they are attached to, causing pain, laxity and improper moments of the joint.  Due to the fact that these tendons and ligaments have a poor blood supply,  it can take a prolonged period of time for them to heal, if they heal at all.  Prolotherapy uses natural, safe, and effective substances to accelerate the body’s own healing process to repair these connective tissues to strength and stabilize the body’s joints and movements.

What is in a Prolotherapy Injection?

The most common ingredient injected for prolotherapy is dextrose at a concentration of 12.5% – 25%.   Dextrose is a natural sugar that causes an inflammatory response to happen locally, increasing the circulation and bringing with it oxygen and other nutrients to heal the damaged tissues.  While each provider will use formulations that they find effective, here at Denver Acupuncture & Sports Medicine we use a combination of Dextrose, B12 (hydroxocobolamin), Lidocaine (to ease the patient’s discomfit), and homeopathic formulations specific to the area we are injecting.  These solutions will be different for joints, tendons, ligaments or herniated / bulging discs.  By using natural substances that the body can recognize, it aids the body in healing and reduces the chance of a patient reacting to the injection.

Does Prolotherapy Hurt?

Prolotherapy works by eliciting a local inflammatory response.  Therefore, it is very important that patient do not take NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) for at least the next three days.  This includes Celebrex, Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, and Motrin.  During this time there is usually a dull achiness surrounding the area that was injected.  This is normal and indicates that the body is responding to the treatment.  Most people find this annoying but tolerable.

What Area of the Body Can Be Treated?

In general, any area that has damaged conective tissues, especially damages tendons and ligaments.  A sprained ankle is a very common condition to treat.  Other areas include low back or mid-back pain including degenerative disc disease and sacro-iliac joint instability/dysfunction, neck pain, knee pain, knee meniscal tears, wrist or hand pain, osteoarthritis, shoulder pain including rotator cuff tears, elbow pain including golfers or tennis elbow, foot pain including plantar fasciitis, ankle pain or instability, hypermobility, and IT band syndrome.  If you have an area that you would like to know if prolotherapy will work for, or want to know if prolotherapy is right for you, please feel free to contact us.