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Prolotherapy: How Do You Spell Relief?

For further information please visit: www.edmontonprolotherapy.com
Prolotherapy, also referred to as Regenerative Injection Therapy (RIT), is defined as both a “nonsurgical ligament reconstruction” therapy as well as a treatment for chronic musculoskeletal pain.

The word "Prolo" is short for proliferation as prolotherapy treatment enhances the growth and formation of new ligaments, tendons and cartilage in areas where there is weakness or excess scar tissue.

Any joint in the body can be treated successfully with prolotherapy regardless of when the injury happened. The treatment is also beneficial for most types of musculoskeletal pain.

Prolotherapy incorporates the use of a specialized dextrose (sugar) solution, which is injected into a ligament or tendon where it attaches to the bone.

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The initial reaction of the treatment is localized inflammation triggering a wound healing cascade leading to increased blood supply and flow of nutrients and growth factors. This stimulates the tissue to repair itself by deposition of new collagen, the material that ligaments and tendons are made of.

The new collagen then shrinks as it matures leading to ligament/tendon tightening and increased strength.

PRP (platelet Reduced Plasma)

PRP is injected in the same manner as prolotherapy; however, the substance injected is different.

About 50ml of blood is drawn from the patient and spun in a centrifuge to separate the blood components and from this serum is extracted. This serum is then injected back into the joint for treatment. This serum already has concentrated growth factors which lead to healing of the joint.

The treatment is slightly more painful than prolotherapy, however the healing power is faster, more enhanced and requires less treatments.

What Are Ligaments?

Ligaments can be described as "rubber bands" that actually hold bone to bone and allow flexible movement of joints. Injury, overstretching and degeneration/weakness of ligaments can cause them to become weak and damaged to a state of disrepair. The reason that ligaments don’t heal easily is largely due to the lack of blood supply to the area. As a result, healing is slow and not always complete. In addition, the nerve endings to ligaments can become impaired or damaged, so you may feel acute intense pain. This pain can then become chronic.

What Are Tendons?

Tendons are the name given to tissue which connects muscle to bone. Tendons may also be damaged in the same manner as ligaments which can result in pain and scar tissue development if not treated appropriately.

Why Is There Pain With The Treatments?

With Prolotherapy, an important concept to understand is that chronic pain leads to tissue destruction and acute pain leads to tissue regeneration. With this treatment, patients often say “I already have inflammation and you want to give me more?”

The idea behind this is that acute inflammation leads to healing. The ligament and tendon tissue which forms as a result of Prolotherapy is thicker and stronger than normal tissue, (up to 40% stronger in some cases).

The Injection Solution

The basic Prolotherapy solution is 12.5% to 20% dextrose with 1% procaine. The dextrose makes the solution more concentrated than blood, acting as a strong proliferant. Procaine is an anaesthetic that helps reinforce the diagnosis because the patient may experience immediate pain relief after the injection. The dextrose solution, in addition to being safe, will not affect a diabetic’s blood sugar level. Other injectables may be added such as hyaluronic acid or Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin).

The hyaluronic acid would be added in cases of osteoarthritis where cartilage regeneration is the desired outcome and methylcobalamin is used in nerve regeneration. Homeopathic remedies may also be added to help speed the healing process; however, these will vary depending on the type of injury.

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