Prolotherapy: Reactivate Your Bodies Healing
Prolotherapy is a nonsurgical treatment which stimulates healing. Prolotherapy, short for “proliferation therapy,” is also known as nonsurgical ligament and tendon reconstruction, or regenerative injection therapy. It works by stimulating the body’s own natural healing mechanisms to repair injured musculoskeletal tissue. This treatment works best to repair weak or painful joint areas.
*Results can vary by patient.
How Prolotherapy Works
Prolotherapy is an injection that is done in our office. Prolotherapy works by causing a temporary, low grade inflammation at the injection site, activating fibroblasts to the area, which, in turn, synthesize precursors to mature collagen and thus reinforce connective tissue. In other words, it can stimulate your body to heal itself. Medical research shows that direct exposure of fibroblasts to growth factors (either endogenous or exogenous) causes new cell growth and collagen deposition. Inflammation creates secondary growth factor elevation. The inflammatory stimulus of Prolotherapy raises the level of growth factors to resume or initiate a new connective tissue repair sequence which had prematurely aborted or never started (causing pain). Biopsy studies show ligament thickening, enlargement of the tendinous junction, and strengthening of the tendon or ligament after Prolotherapy injections.
Prolotherapy is used for musculoskeletal pain or injury which is either unresolved after eight weeks, or (if earlier) where enhanced healing is desired. Prolotherapy works by raising growth factor levels or effectiveness to promote tissue repair or growth. It can be used years after the initial pain or problem began, as long as the person is healthy. Because Prolotherapy works to repair weak and painful joint areas, it is a long-term solution rather than a temporary measure such as drugs or Cortisone.
History of Prolotherapy
Thanks to Dr. Earl Gedney, an osteopathic physician and surgeon, prolotherapy was discovered. In the early 1930s, Dr. Gedney caught his thumb in closing surgical suite doors thereby stretching the joint and causing severe pain and instability. His colleagues insisted that nothing could be done for his condition and that his surgical career was over, Gedney did his own research and decided to “be his own doctor.” He knew of a group of doctors called “herniologists” that used irritating solutions to stimulate the repair of the distended connective tissue ring in hernias. He extrapolated this knowledge to inject his injured thumb and was able to fully rehabilitate it.
The first publishing of Prolotherapy (called “Sclerotherapy for the article) in medical literature was published in 1937, by Gedney called “The Hypermobile Joint,”. The article gave a preliminary protocol and two case reports – one of a patient with knee pain and another with low back pain – with both successfully treated with this method. In February 1938, Gedney followed up this paper with a presentation at the meeting of the Osteopathic Clinical Society of Philadelphia which outlined the technique. The solutions used then (and now) are primarily dextrose-based, although other formulas are used and can be effective. The former US Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop endorsed this therapy as it helped him and he uses it at his practice. Practiced by physicians in the U.S. and worldwide, Prolotherapy has been shown effective in treating many musculoskeletal conditions – such as back and neck pain, ligament sprains, tendinopathies, tennis/golfers elbow, ankle pain, joint laxity and instability, plantar fasciitis, shoulder, knee pain and other joint pain.
Are you suffering from injury or chronic pain? Call Newport Regenerative Medicine to see if Prolotherapy can help your condition today (949) 416-8339