Prolotherapy is a safe, effective, non-surgical treatment for chronically injured ligaments and tendons. Prolotherapy involves the injection of hypertonic dextrose, mixed with local anesthetic. The procedure works by first disrupting tendon and ligament tissue that did not heal optimally when initially injured. Prolotherapy then stimulates the body’s own healing cascade in the ‘proliferation’ of tissue and the repair of loose or damaged tissue.
At our clinic, a state-of-the-art ultrasound machine is used during the procedure to accurately guide the needle placement into the damaged tissue.
Prolotherapy can be administered by specially-trained nurse practitioners, physicians and naturopaths. Physiotherapists cannot administer prolotherapy.
Clinical research studies have shown prolotherapy’s effectiveness in reducing pain and increasing function. Conditions that have been treated successfully with prolotherapy include joint hypermobility, ligament laxity, osteoarthritis, or tendon overuse injuries. This novel medical treatment has been shown to have even greater results when coupled with manual physiotherapy and ‘dry-needling’ or IMS.
The response to treatment varies from individual to individual, and depends upon one’s healing ability.
Multiple treatment sessions are necessary to have a cumulative effect on the injured tissue. Research has shown that men tend to require between 4 and 6 treatment sessions, whereas women need 6 to 9 treatment sessions. We like to have our patients have their treatments scheduled about 2 to 4 weeks apart to ensure adequate progression.
After receiving a prolotherapy treatment, you can expect local soreness, heaviness, and ache in the treated area. This post-treatment soreness can last up to three days following the treatment. You should plan to see a physiotherapist, who is experienced with prolotherapy patients, in between each treatment to ensure proper joint mobility, treat residual muscle tightness, and advise you on progressive-tailored exercises.
One must remember that anti-inflammatory medications (like ibuprofen, diclofenac, or naproxen) are not to be taken while undergoing this treatment because they can blunt the effect that we are trying to stimulate. Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) based products can be taken to ease the post-treatment soreness, although not necessary. It is also prudent to avoid bathing in a hot tub or swimming for 24 hours following a treatment to avoid potential infection of the treatment sites.
Upon completion of your course of prolotherapy, the goal is to have you return to rehabilitation exercises so that you can activate your muscles in the correct pattern and prevent re-injury to these previously injured tissues.
- Whiplash, requiring frequent spinal manipulation
- Sacroiliac joint instability with tight gluteal muscles
- Ankle instability usually from multiple sprains
- Achilles tendinosis
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Patellar tendinosis
- Tennis elbow
- Golfer’s elbow
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Thumb and digit osteoarthritis
- Wrist instability that benefits from splinting
- Shoulder instability
- Rotator cuff tendinopathy
- TMJ dysfunction