By: Dr. Jonathan Tait – 7/31/17
Prolotherapy is a reconstructive ligament therapy that treats knee conditions like osteoarthritis and other chronic pain issues. This type of treatment targets parts of the knee that are particularly sensitive or have weakened over time. And it includes joints, ligaments or tendons in the knee area. Find out how knee prolotherapy injections help relieve pain and discomfort.
The primary Prolotherapy procedure works by injecting a solution (typically dextrose) into the affected joint. In the case of a knee injury or damage, the solution is injected into the joints and tendons in the knee area. The shot is typically scattered through multiple small injections clustered around a single area to fully stimulate the joint.
Prolotherapy is somewhat controversial. And some doctors refuse to recognize it as a standard or necessary medical intervention. However, a growing number of doctors and patients are seeing the value in prolotherapy procedures and view it as a safe, natural alternative.
Prolotherapy has been around for 75 years, so it’s hardly a new development. As doctors and patients try to find natural ways to treat common injuries and ailments, prolotherapy has once again surfaced as a viable way to address joint injuries and deterioration.
Is Prolotherapy Effective?
In a blind study conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Health and Public Medicine, prolotherapy was put to the test. During this study, some patients with knee osteoarthritis were treated with Prolotherapy using the typical dextrose solution.
A second group was treated with a salt water solution. Neither group knew which they were receiving, and all received the same number of treatments throughout the trial. Meanwhile, a third group was directed to resolve their pain problems through directed knee exercises they could perform at home.
Consider the Trial
At the end of the trial, showed a 24 percent improvement overall, while those receiving the salt water solution had an 11 percent improvement. The exercise group had a 12 percent improvement, which is half that experienced by the actual Prolotherapy group.
Other studies, smaller in scope, have shown the effectiveness of prolotherapy, and future studies may likely prove the practice’s effectiveness. It has also been studied as a treatment for chronic back pain and showed marked benefits for participants.
The Prolotherapy Treatment Schedule
When you use Prolotherapy for the treatment of knee pain, you can expect a series of appointments. At the appointments, you’ll receive a series of injections in the knee joints, ligaments, and tendons.
What to Expect
During each treatment, you’ll receive anywhere from 15-30 injections. These include anesthetic shots that numb the area before the actual prolotherapy injections. A local anesthetic reduces the overall discomfort that accompanies each subsequent injection.
Once you are sufficiently numbed, you’ll receive the prolotherapy injections, which are delivered superficially to the affected areas. Not all injections will be placed in the same area. Rather, they will be scattered – or “peppered” – throughout the injury area to provide the best distribution.
A Series of Prolotherapy Treatments
One Prolotherapy treatment is hardly sufficient to help you recover from a knee trauma or arthritis. For this reason, it’s necessary to return for further Prolotherapy treatments to provide the best possible outcome.
Ongoing Treatment for Marked Improvement
Many physicians will treat patients through Prolotherapy over the period of a few months. Appointments are scheduled every three weeks or at the month mark. You may be examined by an imaging test – x-ray, CT, MRI, etc. – in between treatments. Tests are done to assess your condition and determine whether further Prolotherapy is required.
Benefits of Prolotherapy
Patients who receive prolotherapy treatments report greater comfort and range of motion in the affected joints, ligaments, and tendons. While not every patient progresses at the same rate or has the same prognosis, chances are Prolotherapy will work to reduce your pain, too.
Improve Collagen Content
Prolotherapy has been shown to improve the collagen content in the affected tissue, which improves the overall health at the injury point or in your arthritic joint. Collagen is an incredibly important component of building strong joints and improving their resilience.
When you’ve completed Prolotherapy treatments, you’ll likely notice a drop off in your pain level. Or perhaps it will leave altogether for a period. You may be able to take pain medications less frequently.
Improved Range of Motion
Additionally, you should notice an improvement in your range of motion and joint endurance following your prolotherapy injections. Over time, this should help you to get back into your normal activities or sporting events that you participated in before your injury or arthritis flare up.
For more information on Prolotherapy injections and what Rejuv can do for you, contact us to learn more about our restorative therapies. A consultation at one of our offices can give you a better idea as to whether you’re a good candidate for prolotherapy injections.
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