Prolotherapy is a treatment that aims to relieve chronic pain by applying a solution designed to stimulate local healing. The main ingredient in a prolotherapy solution is dextrose, a sugar that when injected acts to activate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration.
When a prolotherapy solution is injected into an injured or diseased area of the body, there is an increase of blood flow to that area. This increased blood flow brings with it elevated concentrations of red and white blood cells, platelets, nutrients and growth factors.
The goal of these injections is to stimulate your body to regenerate new tissues utilizing the body’s own innate healing mechanics to accelerate and enhance the natural process of healing. Prolotherapy was established on the belief that the body can heal itself.
The question is – does it work? In this article, we answer two of the most common questions about prolotherapy treatments in Calgary: how effective is prolotherapy and does it work for everyone?
What Does Prolotherapy Treat?
The first thing to be familiar with when it comes to prolotherapy treatments is what the procedure is used for. Prolotherapy can help relieve pain associated with:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Sacroiliac joint instability/dysfunction
- Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ)
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Foot, knee, and ankle pain or instability
- Other musculoskeletal pain or injury
How Effective is Prolotherapy?
The answer to this question depends on many variables, including the patient’s medical history and their ability to heal. The type of solution used also plays an important factor.
One academic review on the topic of the use of prolotherapy in primary care had noted:
- A 50% improvement in patients with lower back pain
- Up to an 88% improvement in patients with Achilles tendinopathy
- 20 out of 24 subjects experiencing no pain after prolotherapy treatment for hip adductor tendinopathy
There is a myriad of additional studies available that have been conducted in the past few decades, generally illustrating a positive therapeutic response with prolotherapy with respect to treating the aforementioned conditions.
Is Prolotherapy Right for You?
Perhaps a better question to ask when determining the effectiveness of prolotherapy treatments would be if prolotherapy will work for you. Just like any medical procedure, all patients must be evaluated before your doctor can decide to include prolotherapy in your care plan.
The success of prolotherapy treatments on your specific condition will depend on the extent of the damage to the area, your overall health, and any other underlying deficiencies or lifestyle factors that may impact the effectiveness of treatments.
The Bottom Line
Prolotherapy treatments should only be administered by an experienced practitioner after a thorough assessment. In patients that are suitable for the procedure, prolotherapy has a high success rate and may be part of a comprehensive care plan that can reduce or eliminate pain from many conditions and injuries.