Prolotherapy Questions and Answers
Mediworks Rejuvenation Centre offers Prolotherapy for damaged ligaments, tendons and connective tissue that relieves musculoskeletal pain. For more information, request an appointment or call us. Visit Mediworks Rejuvenation Centre at a location near you in South Surrey BC, and Burnaby BC.
Prolotherapy Vancouver: The Real Pain Solution!
Many people walk around in chronic pain and discomfort without knowing that there is real help out there. Anyone that has ever been injured and gone to there medical doctor for treatment, has probably never been told about this very effective and proven treatment. It is fast becoming a treatment that many people are seeking out in place of more well known alternatives.
What is Prolotherapy used for?
Prolotherapy is a non-surgical treatment for damaged ligaments, tendons and connective tissue that relieves musculoskeletal pain. It is an injection therapy that is a natural method of stimulating the body to heal injured tendons and ligaments that has been used for over 60 years. The word ‘prolo’ is short for proliferation. Quite often, chronic pain is the result of instabilities in joints and weaknesses in muscles cause by damaged ligaments and tendons.
The therapy involves injecting a simple solution of concentrated dextrose, saline, or another agent into soft tissues such as ligaments or tendons. The solution is referred to as a “proliferating agent” because it produces a “proliferation of inflammation” in the injured area. Prolotherapy is effective because inflammation leads to healing. This happens when the body’s anti-inflammatory chemicals, called macrophages, rush to respond to the inflammation, stimulating a natural healing response and promoting growth factors in the cells of the affected tendons and ligaments. Connective-tissue-builders called fibroblasts lay down new fibrous tissue wherever they detect damage, while other natural substances trigger the growth of new blood vessels and the flow of nutrients.
What is the success rate of Prolotherapy?
Every person has a different healing time. That is, until pain and function have normalized and the signs of joint instability and dysfunction are no longer detected. For some people only one injection is needed and other people need several. Repeated injections are performed between 1 and 6 weeks depending on the healing process.
The difference between prolotherapy and anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or even cortisone) is that although these medications may relieve pain temporarily, they also block some of the natural chemicals that can repair the underlying damage. In many cases, therefore, an injury never heals completely, and the pain becomes chronic and persistent. Many people with musculoskeletal pain enter a vicious cycle of pain, drugs, more pain, and more drugs. By contrast, because prolotherapy involves a cycle of controlled inflammation and healing, rather than just temporarily blocking pain sensations, it actually triggers the growth of new tissue, which permanently repairs the joint. With strong, tightened ligaments and tendons, the joint is re-stabilized, and no longer causes pain.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments varies with each patient. Many of our patients have reported partial or complete relief of pain after only one session. Patients with a healthy immune system generally require fewer treatments. The average person requires 4 to 6 treatment sessions given at 4 to 6 week intervals
Is Prolotherapy safe?
Prolotherapy is an extremely safe procedure. The risks are far less than taking aspirin or motrin for a lifetime to temporarily alleviate chronic pain. There is, of course, at least a slight risk involved in any medical procedure. In Prolotherapy, the risks and side effects will vary depending on the area being treated, and the doctor will discuss these possibilities fully with the patients during the pre-treatment consultation.
Prolotherapy stimulates the body to repair the painful area. For the patient who has localized areas of pain or the person who has had a recent injury from an accident, Prolotherapy is a very effective treatment to strengthen those specific areas and eliminate the pain. Realize, however, that Prolotherapy starts the growth of new healthy, strong tissue. Your body–your own immune system–grows the tissue. For the person who has terrible digestion, chronic fatigue, irritable bladder; and a host of other chronic nutritional, hormonal, allergic problems, these deficiencies and illnesses should be corrected so the body will be able to respond to Prolotherapy.
The ideal Prolotherapy candidate has the following:
- Pain originating from a ligament or tendon
- Strong immune system
- Willingness to improve and receive follow-up visits
- Healthy diet
- Positive mental outlook
Things to Consider After Your Prolotherapy Treatment
Post injection soreness:
Typically, post-injection stiffness and soreness can be expected and is necessary for the healing process to begin. A patient is generally sore for a couple of days after Prolotherapy. This is because the injections have to go through some muscles to get to the ligaments and tendons. To help the muscle soreness resolve itself sooner, massage therapy and moist heat applied to the area is recommended. Heat usually soothes the soreness, but ice will slow the healing Prolotherapy stimulates. No anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) medications may not be used once treatment begins because they interfere with the healing process that the prolotherapy injections started. They include all of the following:
Advil, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Robaxacet, Vioxx, Celebrex, Prednisone, Aspirin, Cortisone etc
An exception to this is for those who take a baby aspirin each day for their heart. Regular use of narcotic drugs should be avoided because they will inhibit the immune system and slow the healing. Tylenol may be used for a short period of time. If you are not sure whether a medication you are taking interferes with your prolotherapy treatment, bring it to our attention and we will help you out. Remember, it is important to treat the source of the pain through strengthening the damaged areas rather then just cover it up with chronic pain medications. Specific supplements to assist the healing process may be recommended.
Should I exercise following prolotherapy? What should I avoid doing?
Controlled exercise and mobilization of the treated area promotes tissue healing and results in faster recovery after the treatment. For this reason, movement and exercise are recommended as soon as possible. The general rule is if a certain activity or exercise hurts significantly, switch to a different one. A small amount of pain is expected while recovering from an injury, but not significant pain. The amount will depend on your level of fitness before and on how many areas were treated. Frequent high-velocity chiropractic adjustments should be avoided because they do not allow the joints treatment with prolotherapy to stabilize. Massage and other similar therapies are compatible with prolotherapy.
When should I return to work?
In most cases, depending on your job, you may return to work or school the same day as your treatment. If, however, your job places a great deal of stress on the treated area or if you have significant post-injection discomfort, you should not return to work the same day. A few days is recommended before returning to strenuous athletic activity.
Visit Mediworks Rejuvenation Centre for prolotherapy. We serve clients from South Surrey BC, Burnaby BC, Langley City BC, White Rock BC, New Westminster BC, and Vancouver BC.