Prolotherapy, also known as prolo therapy, proliferative therapy, or prolo injections, is a non-surgical treatment that is designed to stimulate healing of joints, ligaments, tendons, and soft tissue. Because of this, prolotherapy injections are also commonly referred to as nonsurgical ligament and tendon reconstruction, or regenerative injection therapy. Since prolotherapy has proved to be successful for so many chronic pain injuries, it is no surprise why pain management doctors across the world have made sure to make it an important part of their arsenal.
Here at Purety Family Medical Clinic in Santa Barbara, our prolotherapy doctors specially design all of our prolotherapy injections for each individual patient. We also make it a priority to take our time with all of our patients to make the treatment as minimally painful as possible, and as comprehensive as possible for maximizing healing.
1. Prolotherapy Works For Pain Management as a long-term solution because it works by healing and strengthening your tissue.
Prolotherapy works for pain management, pain healing, and tissue restoration because biochemically it stimulates a proliferative effect at the targeted injury site. This occurs because the prolo therapy solution causes a temporary, low-grade inflammation at the injection site and causes secondary growth factor elevation. This then causes fibroblasts in the area to activate. Fibroblast activation synthesizes precursors of mature collagen that reinforces connective tissue. Research has proven that direct exposure of fibroblasts to growth factors causes new cell growth and collagen deposition. Prolotherapy is an ideal alternative to steroid injections because it actual heals the injury permanently as opposed to weakening it long-term.
2. Prolotherapy decreases pain by increasing circulation to areas of chronic pain.
Joints, ligaments, tendons, and chronic sites of pain are known to be areas in our body with lower amounts of circulation. This in turn creates a cycle of increased lactic acid production, and difficulty in healing. The stimulus that Prolotherapy creates by increasing growth factors can resume or initiate new connective tissue repair that may have been prematurely stopped or that never begun. Biopsies of tissue treated with Prolotherapy show ligament thickening, increased volume of the attachments of previously injured tendons to bone, and stronger organized tendons and ligaments. These studies prove the importance of prolo injections for musculoskeletal conditions such as a chronic back pain treatment, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis, and any other tendon, ligament, or joint issue.
Prolotherapy injections are used for pain or injury that has not resolved after eight weeks, or if more rapid healing is desired beforehand. Prolotherapy can be used years after the initial injury, and is a long-term solution as opposed to the alternative of drugs or steroid (cortisone) injections. Treatments are given every 2-4 weeks, and the response depends on the area and chronicity of the injury. Many people will gain relief with just 1 treatment, and the general recommendation is to plan for 4-6 treatments to begin with.
3. Prolotherapy is a non-surgical treatment, minimally painful, with little to no downtime.
We take our time with every prolotherapy treatment to make sure it is minimally painful, and you leave in as little pain as possible. After your prolotherapy treatment at Purety Medical Clinic here in Santa Barbara, you will have very little downtime. Many times patients will be back in action within the day, and soreness at the injections sites will only last up to 3 days. As an alternative to the down-time of surgery our patients are delighted.
4. Prolotherapy was discovered by Medical Doctors after healing their own injuries, and so became their choice of treatment for themselves.
Prolotherapy injections have been used since the early 1900s. In the 1930’s, Dr. Earl Gedney, an osteopathic surgeon successfully treated his own severe hand injury with prolotherapy. This paved the way for its modern applications in the 1950s when prolo injection protocols were formally organized by George Hackett, a general surgeon in the U.S. based on over 30 years of his clinical experience. Since then, the detail of protocols, types of solutions, and method of treatment has continued to become more and more sophisticated for pain management success. According to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2831229/ , a 1993 survey of 95 practitioners in the United States had performed prolotherapy on an estimated 450,000 patients. Now there is estimated to be over 2,000 prolotherapists just in the United States, with much growing interest internationally. The name prolotherapy used to be ‘sclerotherapy’ because it was orginially thought that early solutions were scar-forming. We now know of the proliferative effects and non-scar effects of the prolotherapy injections. Prolotherapy has also evolved into other potentially stronger regenerative injection therapy, or RIT. For enhanced healing benefit, we also offer platelet rich plasma (PRP), prolozone, and amniotic stem cell injections.
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