Prolotherapy injections are a non-surgical ligament and tendon reconstruction technique used to treat connective tissue injuries. You can get prolotherapy knee treatments, as well as prolotherapy for shoulder problems and prolotherapy for spine conditions. When performed by prolotherapy doctors, the goal is easing your pain and improving your function. Prolotherapy side effects are minimal and prolotherapy success rate is impressive.
Non-surgical prolotherapy injections treat damaged ligaments and tendons from the inside out. The term “prolotherapy” is the shortened form of “proliferation therapy,” indicating that the procedure encourages the proliferation of healing cells and tissues. When the ligaments or tendons in your back are stretched or torn, the joint connected to them can become destabilized and painful. The best NYC prolotherapy doctor promotes a healing response in small tears and weakened tissue through this procedure.
Prolotherapy injections involve local anesthetics, natural irritants to promote inflammation and plasma rich platelets (PRP), which signal for help from your local adult stem cells or from a bio-cellular solution, which consist of your own natural stem cells. These injections are administered by prolotherapy NYC specialists. These trained physicians may be:
- Orthopedic surgeons
- Pain management physicians
How Prolotherapy NYC Procedures Work
Prolotherapy works by causing a low-grade inflammation at the site of your injury. Normally, your body sends naturally produced stem cells to the area to affect healing. The prolotherapy injections merely encourage the natural healing process of your body. For some reason, your healing process has either halted, been compromised or needs to be sped up.
Prolotherapy doctors personalize your injection ingredients for your specific needs. Growth factors are often included, which activate the fibroblasts in the area to synthesize, eventually turning into mature collagen and reconnective tissue to heal your injury. The injection encourages epidermal, connective tissue and basic fibroblast growth. The regenerated cells become new tissue that replaces the weakened or injured tissue, reducing your pain.
Prolotherapy for Spine Conditions
The most common medical complaint, low back pain, affects up to 20 percent of the U.S. population. Most of the time, this pain comes from straining or overuse due to repetitive motions or poor weightlifting practices. Bulging discs, herniated discs or sciatic nerve compression are other causes.
Ligaments hold your discs in place, so when they weaken or are injured, you feel pain. If you don’t seek medical attention, the compromised ligament may lead to more serious disc problems. Prolotherapy for spine issues has been shown to be 80 to 90 percent effective, and the process has far fewer side effects than spinal fusion. Prolotherapy strengthens your tendons and ligaments, reducing your pain. Other spinal conditions that prolotherapy injections can treat include:
Prolotherapy for Shoulders and Knees
Your shoulder — with its complex series of cartilage, bone, ligaments and tendons — presents medical challenges. Your rotator cuff forms over the shoulder joint and holds your arm in place. Tears in your rotator cuff are common in cases of shoulder pain, as is arthritis. Chronic overuse, repetitive actions and advancing age can all produce small tears in your rotator cuff. Prolotherapy for shoulder pain, often in conjunction with PRP, has proven effective to repair tissue and control pain.
As the largest joints in your body, your knees are subjected to a wide variety of traumas, degeneration and misalignments over your lifetime. Meniscal injury, as well as ligament and tendon strains and tears are the most common causes of knee pain. Both adults and children are susceptible. Prolotherapy knee treatments have shown improvement in thickening and re-growing ligaments.
Prolotherapy NYC Procedures
When you come in for an office visit, your New York prolotherapy doctors give you a full medical exam that includes an assessment of your mobility and the extent of your pain. You may need some X-rays or an MRI. Your doctor may also order some blood work. A prolotherapy procedure may follow:
- A local anesthetic is often used prior to or in conjunction with the other ingredients to control your localized pain.
- Your NYC pain management specialist inserts a slender needle with the personalized mixture of ingredients next to the site of the injured or torn tissue.
You need a series of injections — anywhere from three to 30 — over a three to six-month period for the process to completely take effect. The average is only between four to 10 injections per person. Most occur at two- to three-week intervals.
Prolotherapy Side Effects
You can expect some swelling, accompanied by mild pain for two to three days, up to a couple of weeks, after your injection. Other possible prolotherapy side effects include intense pain, uncomfortable stiffness, headaches or allergic reaction, although these are uncommon. New York prolotherapy doctors often suggest the following treatments to minimize your discomfort:
- Ice packs, three to five times a day, as needed for 20 minutes
- Moderate exercise such as walking, but no strenuous exercise or heavy lifting
- Prescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, but no aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicines
- Follow-up with physical therapy
Enjoy the Prolotherapy Success Rate
You may be a candidate for prolotherapy if you still have pain after traditional treatments. Or medications recommended by your physician didn’t ease your pain. Instability, weakness or pain in your ligaments, tendons or joints has lasted more than six weeks. Physical therapy didn’t deliver lasting pain relief. You’ve had surgery without success. Or your joint pain gets worse with exercise and better with rest.
The benefits of prolotherapy include:
- Reduction or elimination of your pain
- Increased strength of your ligaments and tendons
- Reduced recurrence of the injury
- Improved — or a return to normal — functionality
- Risk of infection or allergic reaction is negligible
- Can be used for years as a long-term solution
Since the prolotherapy injections use natural products, often including your own stem cells, they work to repair the underlying condition of weak and painful joints. Prolotherapy success rates have been reported in the range of 80 to 90 percent.