Prolotherapy: Injections to Kick-Start Tissue Repair
People who suffer from chronic pain due to injured ligaments or tendons may be able to find pain relief without surgery thanks to a procedure known as prolotherapy.
What Is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is a series of injections designed to stimulate the body’s natural healing response to inflammation. A mildly-irritating substance, such as a concentrated sugar solution, is injected into an area that contains previous ligament or tendon damage, causing a low-level inflammation. The inflammation then stimulates the body to send blood loaded with healing growth factors to the injury site. The growth factors cause new tissue to be produced that can strengthen and stabilize the old, damaged connective tissue.
This technique is especially helpful in treating old ligament and tendon injuries because ligaments, tendons, and cartilage have very poor blood supplies naturally, which may result in incomplete healing without treatment. Anti-inflammatory pain relievers may also have interfered with the healing process after the initial injury. Incomplete healing and repeat injuries can cause these connective tissues to become lax over time. This is why, for example, an ankle that you sprained once can be easily sprained again or cause chronic joint pain.
Prolotherapy can be used to help heal ligaments and tendons that have become lax and no longer support a variety of joints, including those found in shoulders, wrists, neck, back, jaw, ankles, fingers, and toes.