Did you know?

  • Inflammation is a healing process and without inflammation there would be no healing
  • Ice, anti-inflammatories, and corticosteroids (cortisone shots) will slow (and in many cases prevent) healing, but they will reduce pain
  • reduction in pain does not mean that an injury is healed, in fact cortisone shots (the most potent of the anti-inflammatories) put an athlete at risk of a tendon rupture due to weakening of the tissue
  • muscle (muscle belly, not tendon) injury is one of the few cases where inflammation should be suppressed due to the risk of compartment syndrome, but muscle has extensive blood flow and will rapidly heal itself despite the suppression of inflammation
  • most sports injuries are to tendons or ligaments, not muscle, and if the injury lasts more than a couple of weeks it is almost definitely tendon, ligament, cartilage, meniscus, or bone, and any of the anti-inflammatory techniques (including ice) will decrease healing to these tissues
  • ice and anti-inflammatories are still the most recommended treatments for sports injuries, yet there is no evidence to support their use in healing of an injury, only in reducing pain and a reduction in swelling (muscle only), and weak evidence for speeding up return to play (mostly due to pain reduction)
  • oh yes, if you sever a body part you might want to put it on ice while you are transported to the emergency department. Even though some might argue this theory applies to sports injury, the benefit of ice to slow the death of tissue that has been severed from the body (and has zero blood supply) does not translate to preventing further damage in a connective tissue injury
  • anti-inflammatories will speed up the destruction of cartilage in “arthritis”, but they may decrease the pain
  • chronic inflammation (arthritis, tendinitis, etc) is most likely caused by a tissue that has not been able to heal properly and the level of inflammation is too low to heal the damaged tissue and may only be able to slow any further damage; in these cases the inflammatory process has to be re-stimulated in order to fully heal the injury and only then will the low level of inflammation (and resulting pain) go away

Prolotherapy is a safe and effective way to selectively stimulate the bodies inflammatory process in the area of injury, to speed up the healing process or to re-stimulate an area that previously failed to repair itself