What is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy, or proliferation therapy, is the injection of a solution to stimulate the growth of new cells to heal painful areas. Ligaments and tendons are the most common sites for injection.
Will I benefit from this treatment?
It is important that you see your doctor or physiotherapist for proper assessment. Patients with a history of injury consistent with ligament sprain that responds well to stabilization with bracing or taping generally respond well to prolotherapy.
What are the injections?
The injections consist of a mixture of a local anesthetic and Dextrose. The Dextrose solution is a strong enough concentration to irritate the ligaments. This stimulates mild inflammation in the area, which is the first part of the healing process. The contents of the injection are very safe.
What are the risks?
The common risks when puncturing our skin, namely infection and bleeding, are very rare due to the small diameter of the needle. The other risk of consequence is the possibility of puncturing a lung, when injecting the upper part of your back. This is rare. A very small percentage of the population is allergic to local anesthetic agents. An even smaller percentage of people are allergic to sugar, which is the source of medical Dextrose.
Is it painful?
The injections are uncomfortable, but the local anesthetic removes the pain quickly. Most local patients are able to drive themselves to and from the treatment and are able to return to work afterwards. Out of town patients should have a driver for their first treatment so they are able to change position as needed for the long drive home. Most patients will feel stiff for a day or two afterwards. Changing position regularly, gentle activity, stretching, and heat are recommended.
What follow up treatment is needed?
It is very important to see your physiotherapist two to seven days after prolotherapy. This is to check joint mobility and settle any muscle spasm. Physiotherapy is also important one to two months after the last injection when the ligaments are tightening. At that time, you will get longer lasting relief from the IMS (intramuscular stimulation) and be ready to start increasing your stretching and strengthening program.
If you have questions or are interested, please call Tarpon Interventional Pain & Spine Care at 972-596-1059 or visit our website at www.TarponPA.com.