Prolotherapy is a regenerative injection therapy (RIT) that offers tendons, ligaments, and cartilage the opportunity to repair and regenerate themselves, by increasing protein synthesis, collagen formation, and thus cell proliferation. RIT is a non-surgical alternative, recommended when loss of ligament integrity has caused adjoining structures to become unstable.
These injections involve pre-anesthetizing the area of damage and then injecting a proliferant solution of 15 - 25% dextrose (along with an anesthetic) into the areas where tendons and ligaments attach to bone, and in places where cartilage is worn or damaged. The purpose of doing this, is to repair and strengthen tendons, ligaments and cartilage of the joint space. What results is a localized controlled inflammatory response that stimulates the repair mechanism to heal and regenerate the damaged tissue. Connective tissue is what makes up the supporting structure of bones (ligaments), the connections of muscle to bone (tendons), and the sliding surfaces of the joint (cartilage). Improved collagen fibre organization is the goal of treatment.
Prolotherapy is effective for acute or chronic pain, arthritis, and unresolved injuries that do not respond to rest or other less restorative treatments (surgical, anti-inflammatory medications, or cortisone injections).
I am board-certified in prolotherapy, and the areas of the body that I treat with this therapy are the shoulder, elbow, wrist, thumb, knee, ankle and hip. For those who want to receive PRP (platelet-rich plasma) or autologous stem cell therapy as the proliferant injectable, I would refer you to practitioners in the lower mainland who are presently using these types of proliferants.
Prolotherapy, even with 25% dextrose, is typically a painful procedure, and more so in certain areas of the body. While some people experience pain relief immediately after treatment (most often due to the anesthetic), pain relief and improved mobility typically occur between 3 - 6 months post-treatment. It takes time for repair and regeneration to occur. The number of treatment injections needed and the efficacy of treatment, depends upon the nature of the problem, the ability of the body to repair itself, the nutrient status of the person, and the compliance of the person in following pre-treatment and post-care instructions.
To maximize the efficacy of these treatments, performing Qi Gong exercises can improve circulation, nutrients, and energy to the areas of the body being treated. Tendons, ligaments and cartilage, are notorious for having very poor blood supply going to these structures, and when injuries occur, or with just plain old wear and tear on these structures, healing is sometimes difficult and slow. Gentle Qi Gong movements improve blood supply, and therefore supply nutrients to these ligaments, tendons and joints more efficiently.