What is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy refers to an injection whose primary intent is to repair connective tissue (that is, ligament, tendon or cartilage). The term proli is Latin for “to grow.”Ligaments in the spine and pelvis provide stability to the joints and discs. These ligaments can be overstretched or torn putting extra stress on the spine that causes pain. Prolotherapy (also called Sclerosant injections) works by causing mild inflammation of the injected tissues through injection of an irritant solution. This is thought to stimulate a healing process leading to the body producing new fibres, making the affected ligament thicker and stronger.
How Does Prolotherapy Work?
Dextrose injection (12.5% to 25% concentration) stimulates a pathway inflammation. After an injury, the body uses primarily inflammation to try to repair the damage. Prolotherapy causes no significant damage, because there is no stretching or tearing of fibers, but the body still begins a repair process, which allows the structure to become stronger and tighter rather than first becoming weaker and looser.
Why do some people get better quickly with prolotherapy?
Healing takes months, but some patients get better quickly. This is likely because dextrose and other solutions have effects on nerves as well. However, this is by a different mechanism and is not the primary goal of prolotherapy (see below).
What about injecting solutions other than dextrose?
There are other solutions that stimulate the same type of inflammation, such as phenol, and they are also used. However, when cells are removed from the human body and then reinjected, that is termed “Bioregenerative Injection”(BRI). The primary goal is still repair but it is by use of tissue from living sources. This includes injection of whole blood, stem cell injection and platelet rich plasma injection.
What does it involve?
What is injected at the clinic?
Sclerosant solution are usually a mix of two products phenol and dextrose at high concentrations supplied as a readymade solution such as P2G (mixture of phenol 2%, glycerol 30% and glucose 30%) or can be made up together by the professional just before injecting. Both injections are always accompanied by local ananesthetic.
Does it work?
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