Prolotherapy is a physical rehabilitation procedure which involves injections of solutions into ligaments and tendons. The solution injected is an irritant, often dextrose (glucose) and water. This triggers the natural inflammation response of the body, which then rebuilds the target area. Inflammation is in fact the process by which the body heals. As this happens, the tissue deposits new collagen, the substance that ligaments and tendons are made of. The new collagen soon shrinks, strengthening the treated ligament and reducing or eliminating pain.
Prolotherapy can benefit anyone suffering from:
- back pain, especially involving the lower area or sciatic pain
- joint laxity or weakness
- swelling or tenderness at a joint
- pain as a result of complications from surgery
- degenerative disc disease
- idiopathic spine pain
- headaches resulting from neck problems
- cartilage injury
- acute trauma, such as sports injuries
- other musculoskeletal injuries or conditions
Treatments usually involve three to six sessions with a doctor. This can be done in the office without x-ray or fluoroscopic guidance. It is possible to treat multiple areas in one session. Sessions are usually two to six weeks apart.
Neural prolotherapy, also known as perineural subcutaneous injections, differs from structural prolotherapy in that it does not target the ligaments and tendons. Instead, it is focuses on the neural network just underneath the skin. This is done with a very small needle, and does not require any anesthetic. These injections release scar tissue and create a glucose-rich environment required for the neural network to repair itself.
Scientific Research on Benefits of Prolotherapy