Prolotherapy is a type of “regenerative therapy” that helps strengthen joints and relieve pain. Sometimes when the body is injured, the healing process completes before the injury is healed. The patient is left with a joint that is painful, unstable, and weaker than before the injury. Sometimes, osteopathic manipulation is insufficient to resolve these areas, whereas prolotherapy can help restart the healing process so the body can finish what it started when the injury first occurred.
The Benefits of Prolotherapy
Prolotherapy helps tissues by stimulating muscle and joint repair. The solutions used in prolotherapy create irritation, which triggers the body to start the healing process. The result is an increase in strength and function of the joint along with improved stabilization. Instability is a common cause of joint pain, which is why prolotherapy can help relieve pain. Pain is often caused by weak or damaged connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, cartilage), most of which are found in and around joints. Connective tissue can become weakened or damaged in a variety of ways, such as repetitive movement or through degeneration associated with aging.
Prolotherapy injections can be used on most joints such as the shoulder, knee, back, sacrum, hands, and feet. The complete process usually takes between 4-6 injections done four weeks apart to maximize the healing effects. While some patients experience relief after the first injection, others may require the full regimen. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cells are coming more in vogue; however, studies show that traditional solutions work about as well as these newer injections. While more injections may be required, prolotherapy tends to be less uncomfortable (and much less expensive) compared to similar injections such as PRP. Overall, prolotherapy has been found to be as effective or better than similar injection therapies such as steroid injections and hyaluronic acid injections.
The procedure is well-tolerated. But because the injection is irritating to the area being treated, post-injection soreness is typically present for 2-3 days. This can be longer or shorter depending on the individual and area being treated. Patients are discouraged from using NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen during the first two weeks after the injection, as these medications can affect the body’s healing process. Ice and Tylenol are preferred for post-injection soreness.
Returning to Normal Activity After Prolotherapy
A common question is when can you return to activity after having prolotherapy injections. Typically, patients are able to return to activity immediately following their injection. Follow-ups are scheduled to ensure that proper healing is taking place and to monitor the progression of recovery.
For more information about prolotherapy injections and treatments as well as how it can be beneficial for your body, be sure to contact us today!
What Our Patients Say
“I was in so much pain in my jaw and face from tmj issues and a bad sinus infection and found Dr. Hennenhoefer on the web. I booked an apptmt right away and am so thankful I went to see him! As soon as he started working on me, I could tell he knew exactly what he was doing. He brought immense relief to my jaw, adjusted my sacrum, neck and cranium and when I left I was ecstatic to have full range of motion again in my neck and jaw! I highly recommend his practice to anyone dealing with musculoskeletal issues and I will definitely be going back there and bringing my family members with issues! On top of it, Dr. Hennenhoefer was very professional, informative and personable. Thank you for coming to Chapel Hill!!” - Sacha