Prolotherapy is a regenerative injection treatment used to stimulate the repair of a damaged or injured area when the body’s natural healing process is not able to do the job on its own. It is used in numerous musculoskeletal conditions, as an alternative to pain medications, surgery, and steroid shots, in order to permanently fix the originating cause of the pain.
Unlike steroid and surgical treatments which are known for long term degenerative effects, Prolotherapy is a regenerative treatment. Prolotherapy is a safe, affordable option that allows the patient to keep working and/or training, because it works synergistically with movement and activity.
How Prolotherapy works
The basic mechanism of Prolotherapy is simple. What most people are surprised to find out is that the body heals by inflammation. In other words, we need inflammation to heal our bodies. We inject Prolotherapy solutions into the affected ligaments, tendons, and/or joints, which leads to local inflammation in the injected area. The localized inflammation triggers a wound healing cascade, resulting in the deposition of new collagen, the material that ligaments and tendons are made of. New collagen shrinks as it matures. The shrinking collagen tightens the ligament that was injected and makes it stronger. Prolotherapy is very effective at eliminating pain and sports injuries that are a result of ligament and/or tendon weakness.
Prolotherapy with Ross Hauser, MD and Danielle Steilen, MMS, PA-C
Caring Medical and Rehabilitation Services is a full time Prolotherapy center. This is our specialty! Comprehensive Prolotherapy by a skilled practitioner can address the root cause of your problem and get you back to sports, work, and enjoying a full life again. Our Medical Director, Ross A. Hauser, MD was the apprentice of the late Gustav A. Hemwall, MD, one of the grandfathers of Prolotherapy. In fact, Caring Medical is located in the original office where Dr. Hemwall practiced. This office has been performing this treatment since the 1950′s. The two Prolotherapists at Caring Medical, Dr. Hauser and PA Danielle Steilen, have continued this Prolotherapy legacy as a leader in the field of regenerative treatments for chronic pain, arthritis, and sports injuries. One of our other passions, as you can see by the amount of material we publish on treating chronic pain, is writing articles to add to the scientific literature on Prolotherapy, such as Practical Pain Management and Journal of Prolotherapy, and others, including our Bone Marrow Prolotherapy patient study on Pubmed.
Solutions: What ingredients are used in Comprehensive Prolotherapy?
The ingredients used in Prolotherapy are, in the simplest terms, designed to create an inflammatory healing response and help to ease pain. One of the many benefits of coming to a Prolotherapy center like Caring Medical is we have decades of experience with various ingredients. Some patients have injuries that respond best to very strong solutions, such as adding a fatty acid or hormones to the solution. Sometimes Ceullular solutions using Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) or even Stem Cell therapy, using a person’s own bone marrow or fat cells to the basic dextrose Prolotherapy solution. Other patients respond best to a solution with additional anesthetic to help ease acute pain more immediately.
A potential problem with going to just any physician is you may get the “one solution fits all” approach. One of the reasons patients come to visit us is for “Comprehensive Prolotherapy.” An important part of this approach is getting a strong enough solution to help the body repair, as well as technique.
Technique matters when receiving Prolotherapy
The effectiveness of Prolotherapy does depend upon the technique of the individual Prolotherapist, as well as the overall health and dedication of the patient to encourage the healing process after each treatment. We use the Hackett-Hemwall dextrose Prolotherapy technique here at Caring Medical as the base for all regenerative injection treatments. One of the most important aspects of Prolotherapy is injecting enough of the solution into the injured and weakened areas. The Hackett-Hemwall technique does this, as it more aggressively targets the many points of pain and weakness in any given joint. To see examples of our comprehensive Prolotherapy technique, feel free to check out our videos on our Youtube Channel.
Why would anyone want more injections? The body is a series of bones held together with connective tissue – ligaments and tendons. Upon injury or overuse, the connective tissues become like overstretched rubber bands and cannot properly support the joint(s). Over time too much wear and tear on the surrounding structures of the joints, including cartilage, continue to degenerate the weakened joints. Think of Prolotherapy like spot welding for painful joints. You need to secure all the loose, weakened surrounding structures of the joints in order for those joints to be strong again. If a patient is only receiving a few injections to a large area, such as the low back, the results may not be seen as quickly, and the overall Prolotherapy results can be suboptimal.
In our experience, doing more injections within each session actually leads to faster pain relief with fewer treatments. When this type of Comprehensive Prolotherapy approach is taken, the likelihood of success is excellent.
Can Prolotherapy help you?
If you are interested in Prolotherapy at our office, and would like to ask us specific questions about your case, we’d love to help! Contact us online or give us a call at 708-848-7789.