What is prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy, also known as regenerative injection therapy, is a treatment in which your doctor injects a natural substance that activates your body’s healing response. Though your treatment may contain several substances, most prolotherapy injections consist of sugar and a local anesthetic.
When the physician injects a small amount of sugar, the sugar irritates the targeted tissues. This mild irritation then triggers a healing reaction, and your body automatically sends regenerative cells, such as platelets and stem cells, to the injured area.
How does prolotherapy promote healing?
Platelets release growth factors that support and accelerate healing, while stem cells regenerate the new tissues needed to repair your injuries. Working together, growth factors and stem cells:
- Relieve pain
- Regulate inflammation
- Promote new cell growth
- Stimulate new blood vessel growth
- Regenerate new ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and muscles
In some cases, a prolotherapy injection may contain platelets obtained from your own blood to provide extra support for injured tissues.
What conditions are treated with prolotherapy?
Louisiana Pain Specialists primarily use prolotherapy to heal damaged ligaments and tendons. Prolotherapy can treat these structures in many areas of your body, including your knees, shoulders, neck, and back.
With prolotherapy’s ability to accelerate healing, your doctor may recommend this treatment for slow-healing injuries, chronic pain, and severe injuries that overwhelm your body’s natural healing response. Prolotherapy also helps to treat health conditions like arthritis and degenerative disc disease.
What should I expect during prolotherapy treatment?
Using real-time imaging to guide the needle to the precise area of your injury, your doctor injects the solution, and it starts the healing reaction. You may need a series of prolotherapy injections to continue activating healing, depending on the severity of your damaged tissues.
After your prolotherapy injection, you’ll feel sore for several days because inflammation develops during the first stage of healing. You’ll be able to resume your normal activities as the inflammation goes down.