Prolotherapy, (also known as sclerotherapy or ligament reconstructive therapy), is an orthopedic procedure that stimulates the natural healing mechanism of the body in order to strengthen joints damaged by arthritis or trauma. Joints become painful and are unable to move beyond their normal range when tendons and ligaments are fragmented, stretched, or torn.
Other methods of treatment such as surgery and anti-inflammatory drugs often fail to permanently relieve pain and stabilize the joints. Prolotherapy offers the best remedy because it directly addresses the cause of weakness and repairs the damaged area. In turn, this leads to the permanent stabilization of the joint.
How does Prolotherapy work?
When a mild irritant solution is injected into the exact area of pain or injury, it creates a small amount of inflammation which is designed to stimulate the natural healing mechanism of the body. This helps to create new ligament or tendon fibers, which strengthens the weakened area. Repeated treatments can stabilization and strengthen the joint and reduce or eliminate.
Surprisingly prolotherapy has not gained popularity in America, although its use dates back to the 1930s. According to studies, over 80% of pain patients get pain relief and improved function after prolotherapy. In addition, prolotherapy can reduce or even eliminate the use of painkillers after its application. This is an important benefit, because pain medications are expensive and can have serious side effects, especially if used for a prolonged period of time.
Prolotherapy can provide long-lasting pain relief by stimulating the natural healing processes of the body. Whereas most other forms of treatment only offer temporary relief.
In most cases, prolotherapy provides an alternative to surgery, helping patients avoid unnecessary risks, pain, and extended rehabilitation.
Effectiveness in rebuilding Collagen
Prolotherapy is very effective in rebuilding collagen. This therapy not only strengthens and restores joints, but it also provides a permanent pain relief.
The connective tissues that hold our muscles and bones together, are comprised of ligaments (connect bone to bone) and tendons (connect bones to muscles). Connective tissues also cover the joint capsule tissue and muscles. Collagen is the main material that makes up ligaments and tendons.
When these ligaments and tendons are damaged, the natural healing mechanism generates collagen to heal them. The key problem with this process is that the body provides little or low blood supply to the ligaments and tendons, which significantly reduces the chances of complete healing.
The white color that characterizes ligaments and tendons makes it very clear that they have a poor blood supply. Other body tissues, especially the muscles, are red due to a high supply of blood. Tendons and ligaments, therefore, have a small chance of complete healing after an injury because of low blood supply.
In healthy tendons and ligaments, collagen fibers are elastic and flexible. Although they are elastic, collagen fibers are not designed to stretch beyond certain limits. Injuries occur when these fibers are stretched too far. Injuries may also occur through the wear and tear of these fibers (as a result of repetitive motion).
Since tendons and ligaments have a poor blood supply, the inflammatory process that helps in healing may shut down, once again this may lead to the incomplete healing and ultimately to pain. Poor blood supply means lower collagen production.
The mild inflammation caused by prolotherapy results in granular tissue formation that results in new collagen being formed. The formed collagen creates threads that attach themselves to the injured tissue. By creating new collagen, it is possible to repair an injury and reverse damages caused by arthritis and other wear and tear disorders.
Prolotherapy, SI Joints and Arthritis
The Sacroiliac joint (SI) is the point where the spine connects to the pelvis in the lower area of the back. It absorbs the total upper body force and transfers it to hips and legs. The SI joint can be injured in a fall, the pelvis can also expand during pregnancy and never return to the normal position. This can lead to the overstretching of the ligaments, and their eventual loss of elasticity.
Over stretching of the ligaments makes the SI joint tend to over rotate and lock in one position, this changes the functioning of the back and causes severe pain especially when bending, twisting, or lifting heavy objects. Prolotherapy can be very helpful in treating the SI joint injury because it can lead to the strengthening of the damaged ligaments (repair of SI joint connective tissues).
Prolotherapy has also proven to be helpful in treating arthritis. Arthritis develops when cartilage degenerates. The weakening of the ligaments and tendons cause a further increase of force to the bones of the joints; this speeds up the arthritic process. The use of prolotherapy can help in restoring the worn out cartilage and strengthening the overstretched ligament; leading pain relief and improved range of motion.
Prolotherapy can also be used to treat shoulder and knee injuries. It is particularly helpful when the pain or injury has been present for several weeks or more.
If you feel you would benefit from Prolotherapy injections, please contact Texas Spine & Wellness today. We can talk over your options or help you schedule an appointment.