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Prolotherapy is a regenerative injection therapy that is a non-surgical treatment option for chronic pain and musculoskeletal injuries. This technique involves an injection into damaged ligaments, tendons, and joints to stimulate the body’s natural healing response. At Princeton Brain, Spine & Sports Medicine, we use prolotherapy to effectively treat conditions such as arthritis, back pain, sports injuries, and more with minimal side effects compared to traditional treatments. Prolotherapy is sometimes used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

What is Prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy is a medical treatment used to alleviate chronic pain by stimulating the body’s natural healing processes. It involves injecting a solution—typically containing dextrose or other irritants—into damaged ligaments, tendons, or joints to promote tissue repair and reduce inflammation.

This is a non-surgical procedure that works by triggering a controlled inflammatory response in the targeted area which then stimulates the production of new collagen and tissue growth. Over time, this helps strengthen the weakened structures and improve the stability of the affected joint.

Prolotherapy is commonly used to treat conditions such as osteoarthritis, tendonitis, ligament injuries, and chronic back pain. It can provide long-lasting relief for patients who have not found success with traditional treatments like medication or physical therapy. Overall, prolotherapy offers a safe and effective alternative for those seeking relief from persistent pain without resorting to more invasive methods.

Conditions Treated with Prolotherapy

Prolotherapy is used to treat a wide variety of painful musculoskeletal conditions and injuries, including:

  • Ligament and Tendon Injuries: Prolotherapy can strengthen and repair damaged ligaments and tendons, reducing pain and improving function.
  • Osteoarthritis: Prolotherapy injections can help alleviate pain and stiffness in joints affected by osteoarthritis, promoting better joint function.
  • Chronic Back Pain: Prolotherapy is used to target and treat the underlying causes of chronic back pain, such as weakened ligaments or spinal instability.
  • Sports Injuries: Athletes often receive prolotherapy to accelerate the healing of sports-related injuries like sprains, strains, and joint instability.
  • Joint Instability: Prolotherapy can help stabilize joints affected by instability, reducing the risk of further injury, and improving joint function.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease: Prolotherapy injections may help reduce pain and improve mobility in individuals with degenerative disc disease by strengthening supporting structures.
  • Tendonitis and Bursitis: To reduce inflammation and promote healing, prolotherapy can be used for inflamed tendons (tendonitis) and bursae (bursitis).
  • Plantar Fasciitis: Prolotherapy injections may help relieve pain and improve function in individuals with plantar fasciitis, a common cause of heel pain.
  • Chronic Pain Syndromes: Prolotherapy is sometimes used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for chronic pain syndromes like fibromyalgia, providing targeted pain relief and promoting tissue healing.

Prolotherapy Overview

Prolotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure that helps stimulate the body’s natural healing processes to repair damaged tissue and alleviate chronic pain. It involves injecting a solution that typically consists of a type of sugar into the affected area to promote inflammation and trigger the body’s natural healing response.

Prolo injection therapy is commonly used for musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis, ligament injuries, and joint pain. Prolotherapy works by creating localized irritation at the site of injury, which in turn stimulates the production of new collagen fibers and strengthens weakened or damaged tissues.

One of the key benefits of prolotherapy is that it can provide long-lasting relief from chronic pain without the need for surgery or prescription medication. Many patients report significant improvement in their symptoms after just a few treatments, with results lasting for months or even years.

Recovery and Side Effects from Prolotherapy

Many of our patients experience relief from their symptoms after undergoing prolotherapy, and it’s particularly beneficial for those seeking a non-invasive treatment plan.

Prolotherapy is a relatively straightforward procedure with minimal downtime. After receiving injections, it’s important to avoid vigorous physical activity for two days, but most people are able to return to work immediately. You may feel pain and soreness for a week after the treatment. The initial inflammatory phase lasts for seven days, and the secondary phase can continue for up to 14 days.

After prolotherapy injections, you may experience discomfort for five to seven days due to your body’s natural response. This can include temporary bruising, swelling, and tenderness at the injection site, which are normal signs of healing. Here are some tips for a successful recovery from prolotherapy treatment:

  • Avoid using ice, as it can slow down the healing process.
  • Don’t take NSAIDs like ibuprofen for at least 10 days after treatment, unless prescribed otherwise by your doctor. If you take aspirin for heart health, continue as directed and inform your doctor about all medications you use.
  • Use over-the-counter acetaminophen (like Tylenol) for pain relief but avoid alcohol while taking it. Do not exceed 3000 mg in a 24-hour period.
  • Refrain from swimming, hot tubs, or submerging the injected area in water for 48 hours. Showers are fine.
  • Seek medical attention if you experience fever, chills, increased swelling, redness, or signs of infection.

In some cases, you may also find that the prolo injection causes your symptoms to get worse temporarily. This is known as a “flare-up” reaction and is typically a sign that the body is responding to the injections and beginning the healing process.

Prolotherapy is an effective way to treat painful musculoskeletal conditions without resorting to surgery. To find out if you would benefit from this innovative treatment, contact us to schedule an appointment at Princeton Brain, Spine & Sports Medicine today.

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