Prolotherapy consists of the injection of a proliferant solution into joints, ligaments, or tendons to activate the body’s ability to regenerate and restructure connective tissue to its pre-injury state. The restored connective tissue provides strength to the ligaments, tendons, and joints, eliminates the excessive stimulation of the nerves that cause pain, and eliminates the muscle spasm that has been created to protect the joint.
PRP is a variation of prolotherapy that uses platelet rich plasma (PRP) as the proliferant solution. The PRP contains concentrated growth factors that stimulate the regrowth of connective tissue. With PRP therapy you can go straight from the painful inflammation phase that the body is stuck in to the regeneration phase. PRP therapy has been shown to be superior in pain reduction to corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid 3 months after the therapy is performed. In fact, PRP treatment has been shown consistently to promote continued pain reduction between 1 and 2 years after the therapy is performed, whereas corticosteroid and hyaluronic acid pain reduction returns to pre-treatment levels between 3 and 6 months.
Ozone prolotherapy (sometimes referred to as Prolozone) is gaining popularity for it’s ability to cover larger areas with much fewer injections. The results can even be superior to regular prolotherapy and some prolotherapists are using Prolozone almost exclusively in their practice. At Red Cedar Health we have found that ozone can be superior in many cases but PRP or regular prolotherapy is still the treatment of choice for certain situations where they are still giving exceptional results.
Prolotherapy is used to successfully treat conditions such as pain in the low back, knee, elbow, neck, and ankle, as well as plantar fasciitis, osteoarthritis, tennis and golfer’s elbow, rotator cuff injuries, sports injuries, and chronic pain that appears with age. Even pain brought on from herniated discs can be successfully treated with prolotherapy.
Prolotherapy has traditionally been used as a treatment for damaged ligaments and tendons but has more recently been proven effective in treating cartilage and meniscal injuries as well. There are a number of characteristic symptoms indicating ligament, tendon, or joint structure injury. These include one or more of the following:
Chronic shoulder pain, troubles lifting the arm, or troubles sleeping on the affected shoulder
Any joint dislocations
A joint that is worse with activity and better with rest
Grinding, popping, or clicking joints
Failed joint surgeries
Diagnosed ligament or tendon injuries
Deep ache or pulling pain on joint
Excessive joint movement
Chronic muscle tightness
Temporary relief from chiropractic adjustments, physiotherapy, massage therapy, or acupuncture
Chronic muscle tightness
If you would like to get rid of your chronic pain once and for all, or you want a recent injury to heal quicker and more completely, then call us at Red Cedar Health and set up your prolotherapy assessment visit today.
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 by temporarily reducing inflammation
- 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
- *PRP without white blood cells is thought to bypass the need to re-start the inflammatory part of the healing process and push the body straight into phase 2 of healing; the regeneration phase. PRP therapy can therefore eliminate the need to go back through the painful inflammatory phase of healing.
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
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