There are many reasons why people suffer with unstable ligaments, tendons, and joints – genetics, active lifestyles, disease processes, and injuries – all wear our body down, causing pain and affecting our quality of life negatively. These injuries have traditionally been treated with anti-inflammatory medicines and temporary pain relief but what if there was a treatment available that could begin to repair the damage and give you your life back without surgery. If any of this sounds like you, you may be a candidate for Prolotherapy (Proliferative Therapy), also known as Non-Surgical Ligament and Tendon Reconstruction and Regenerative Joint Injection.
At Synergy Health Centre, our comprehensive and innovative health and wellness team works with the latest in physiotherapy technologies in Victoria, including prolotherapy to address a wide range of issues.
According to the American Osteopathic Association of Prolotherapy Regenerative Medicine, prolotherapy is a recognized orthopedic procedure that stimulates the body’s healing processes to strengthen and repair injured and painful joints and connective tissue. It is based on the fact that when ligaments or tendons (connective tissue) are stretched or torn, the joint they are holding destabilizes and can become painful.
The original term used for this therapy was “sclerotherapy”, coined in the 1930’s when this treatment was discovered, and included both joint and vein injections. Today the term “prolotherapy” is used for joint, ligament and tendon injections, while “sclerotherapy” is used for the treatment of varicose veins, spider veins, hemorrhoids and other vascular abnormalities.
The anticipated rate of success depends on a number of variables, including the patient’s history and ability to heal, and the type of solution used. In patients with low back pain, studies have shown that 85 to 95 percent of patients experience improvement with prolotherapy, compared to studies showing a 52 percent improvement with back surgery. Many studies done over the years show a high success rate when prolotherapy is used for various ligament, tendon, or joint injuries. When sclerotherapy is used for varicose veins, these can usually be 90 to 100 percent eliminated. Spider veins can usually be improved 70 to 90 percent.
Prolotherapy works by stimulating the body’s natural healing mechanisms to lay down new tissue in the weakened area. This is done by a directed injection to the injury site, tricking the body to repair again. The mild inflammatory response which is created by the injection encourages growth of new, normal ligament or tendon fibers, resulting in a tightening of the weakened structure. Additional treatments repeat this process, allowing a gradual buildup of tissue to restore the original strength to the area. Once the joint is stabilized, pain usually resolves.
Prolotherapy injections contain natural substances that stimulate the healing response, as well as local anesthetic agents to help with the pain of the injection. Traditional formulas include ingredients such as dextrose, saline, sarapin, and procaine or lidocaine.
Some areas or problems can be more challenging than others, and it is therefore important to be evaluated by a physician trained and experienced in this procedure so that an accurate assessment and treatment plan can be given. If you think that prolotherapy could be the answer to your daily pain, visit one of our physiotherapy professionals at Synergy Health Centre at 250-727-3737 in Victoria today and speak to a knowledgeable treatment provider.