Prolotherapy is a recognized orthopedic procedure that stimulates the body’s healing process to strengthen and repair injured and painful joints and connective tissue like tendons and ligaments. When ligaments and tendons are stretched or torn, the joint they are holding destabilizes and can be painful. Thus, prolotherapy results in permanent stabilization of the joint.
The prolotherapy solution contains most often dextrose (d-glucose), which is a natural form of glucose normally found in the body with other possible combinations such as normal saline and an anesthetic. Other combinations with dextrose can also be utilized. The prolotherapy solution aids in transporting growth factors to the area to be treated, which enhances the healing process.
Are there Any Downsides?
There are no significant downsides to prolotherapy. You may experience slight soreness for a week. If you take a blood thinner medication such as coumadin and xarelto, you would need to stop those medications for at least three days prior to the procedure with the consent of your cardiologist or primary care physician.
Prolotherapy can treat:
- Neck pain, mid back pain, and low back pain
- Knee pain
- Wrist or hand pain
- Shoulder pain
- Elbow pain, including golf or tennis elbow
- Foot pain, including plantar fasciitis
- Ankle pain or instability
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
- Many other musculoskeletal painful conditions
Severe Low Back Pain Story
Barbara is a 61 year old female with constant low back pain for a very long time. The pain radiated down her left leg, and she had frequent painful muscle spasms in her low back and left leg. She had difficulty walking and standing, which increased her pain. Barbara underwent physical therapy, epidural injections, and radiofrequency ablation in the past without any relief. She even had two back surgeries, which unfortunately did not help. Barbara had to use a walker to get around.
I performed four prolotherapy treatments on her lower back. She did not have any further radiation of pain down her left leg. Barbara said, “I don’t feel low back pain most of the time”. She is functioning much better. She does not have to use a walker anymore! She was symptom-free and able to do her normal activities of daily living.
Prolotherapy Injections for Chronic Pain
Dr. Bieber performs Prolotherapy, or ligament reconstructive therapy, which is a safe, non-surgical treatment for your your loved one’s chronic pain, injury and arthritis. Common problems treated with Prolotherapy include joint arthritis, TMJ dysfunction, chronic neck and back pain, shoulder injuries, Fibromyalgia, injuries to the wrists, elbows, knees and ankles, and whiplash-type injuries. Prolotherapy targets the joint, ligaments and tendons that are weakened and stretched out from injury or aging and actually promotes healing and repair. This stimulation of the body’s healing mechanism helps to restore strength and integrity to the damaged area. The procedure involves injecting a solution into your damaged joint, ligament or tendon. This stimulates your body to begin the healing process to also restore strength and function. With Prolotherapy, the pain is NOT covered up. The injury and source of the pain is healed.
How Does it Work? Prolotherapy Injections for Back Pain Relief
Prolotherapy and PRP work on a very simple principle. Injecting a stimulating solution at the sites of your pain, weakness and breakdown will stimulates the body’s own healing mechanism! Your body can repair and rebuild injured tissue. This repair process leads to a stronger and more supportive structure.
When injuries occur, the area may not heal completely due to poor blood supply or from lack of proper treatment. For this reason, ligaments, joints and tendons heal very slowly. If left untreated, damaged ligaments become loose, allowing bones in the joint to swing out of alignment and cause pain, muscle spasms, and eventually arthritis.
Arthritis development occurs in the joints and spine as a result of instability in the ligaments and the supporting structures. Through years of dysfunctional movement, the joints start to wear themselves out. This is where Prolotherapy and PRP can intervene and stabilize the structures, decreasing the progression of pain and aging.
When stretched, small nerve fibers in these damaged ligaments transmit pain impulses to the brain. Through a subconscious reflex, the surrounding muscles go into a tight and painful spasm in an attempt to stabilize the joint. This causes the region to feel tight, stiff, achy, burning, tingling, numb, fatigued, and painful. The individual will often notice painful knots within the impacted muscles. These muscles become tight and painful as they try to compensate for the weak and damaged underlying tissue structures. The spasms reduce blood flow, causing more pain. Not only are these symptoms felt locally, but they are often referred through nerve pathways into the legs and feet, arms and hands, and head (headaches).
Dr. Bieber strongly believes that treatment should be initiated as soon as possible, before your problem progresses. The most basic Prolotherapy solution contains a naturally occurring sugar (dextrose) combined with an anesthetic (lidocaine). Other common, natural substances can also be used effectively. This solution does NOT contain cortisone, which is known to decrease inflammation but will also slow or stop the healing process. Acute pain may be relieved with cortisone, but repeated use causes a weakening of the tissues and chronic pain will develop. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is often used in Prolotherapy. PRP is created from blood drawn from you, the patient. The blood is then put in a centrifuge machine that separates out the activated platelets, growth factors and the healing cells. Rich in healing cells and growth factors, the PRP is then injected back into the areas needing repair.