Most chronic pain is a result of ligament or tendon injury. These pains are not amenable to any surgical treatment. However, a procedure called prolotherapy has been developed that
encourages the natural healing processes of the body to cure or alleviate the pain through the regeneration of the damaged tissues.
Ligaments are small body tissues that connect bones to bones and hold the bones together with just the right tension. Tendons connect bones to muscles, and just like the ligaments aid in the movement of joints. These body tissues or parts have a poor source of blood supply, and as a result do not heal easily
or completely, once they have suffered any damage. Prolotherapy stimulates the natural process of healing of the injured tissues that have become a cause for pain.
It is a form of regeneration therapy that uses injections to kickstart healing. Prolotherapy renews the growth of body tissues. The process of prolotherapy involves the injecting of a solution that irritates the area with the damaged tissues so that the body’s healing mechanism is triggered. Once this process is activated the body starts the repair of the damaged ligaments, and they are strengthened over time.
This leads to the stabilization of the joint that is causing the discomfort. Ultimately, with the proper support of the joint, the pain can disappear. These irritants are solutions like sugar water, dextrose, or even platelet-rich plasma extracted from the blood of the pain sufferer.
In the first stage of recovery, there is an inflammatory reaction that is in itself healing, and which increases the flow of blood to the damaged area. This brings in nutrients, immune cells that encourage healing, and other growth factors that will help the area that has been injured to effect its own repairs.
The injection is carried out after administering local anesthesia and swabbing it with a sterilizing solution. The injection must be very precisely placed so that only the areas that require repair are given the dosages of the solution is injected.
This requires other investigations like X rays or other means to locate the exact area where the ligaments or tendons have been damaged. The person receiving this treatment is also required to stop taking any anti-inflammatory medicines 2 to 3 days before this therapy is attempted.
This can lead to some discomfort, but these medicines can prevent the prolotherapy from being effective. The therapy may require to be conducted anywhere between two and six times, at intervals of a few weeks.
Prolotherapy has been found to be very useful for sports injuries, while it has been effective in treating migraines, arthritis, rotator cuff pain, back pain and many other discomforts caused by muscle or joint pain. Studies have indicated that 80 percent of the patients who undergo this treatment have found substantial
benefits and often complete elimination of pain.
This allows them to resume their earlier activities that may have been restricted because of the damage to their tissues. It also helps prevent unnecessary surgeries that are costly and considered invasive.