What do you mean by chronic pain?
A person is said to have a chronic condition, or chronic pain, if their condition does not improve completely within three to six months. Those with chronic pain should consider prolotherapy because it stimulates the painful structure and repairs the affected area.
What is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is a treatment that stimulates the body to repair painful areas. It involves the injection of natural substances into painful areas to stimulate the body’s own repair mechanisms to strengthen and heal injured structures like ligaments and tendons. Ligament injury is presumed to be the preliminary cause of degeneration. Because most degenerated joints have tenderness at ligament attachments around the joint, degenerative arthritis and degenerated structures typically respond positively. It is a great treatment for pain arising from ligaments, tendons, and degenerated joints.
Prolotherapy and surgery—How do they compare?
Prolotherapy is a conservative alternative to surgery and to date; they have not been compared side by side in a scientific study. The initial recommendation from patients and Prolotherapists is that a person should try it before surgery in most cases. There are definitely emergency conditions that require immediate surgery.
Will there be soreness after Prolotherapy?
Yes. You can expect the soreness in your muscles to feel similar to the way they feel after a good workout. Typically, the area feels tighter and stronger immediately. You shouldn’t experience a high level of pain after treatment. If you do, please call your Prolotherapist’s office. Sometimes pain pills or muscle relaxers are needed for a short period of time.
What are the signs that it is working?
Signs you know that treatment is working:
- Pain level is decreasing
- The amount of pain medication required is decreasing
- Function or activity level is increasing
- Clicking or grinding of the joint is decreasing
- The area moves better and muscle spasms are decreasing
- Patient is happier
- Exercise level is increasing
- Tenderness in the area of pain is decreasing
Most people get treated until they are pain, or almost, pain free. It continues to regenerate structures for many months after the last treatment.
What if IT doesn’t work? Do you have any other solutions or tests you can do?
If a patient has not responded to their initial treatments, a second opinion may be obtained. Prolotherapists vary in experience, techniques and in the amount of solution administered. Many doctors believe healing can be enhanced by eating a proper diet, taking supplements, exercise and receiving natural hormone replacements.
Can IT regenerate cartilage?
There is some evidence that it can regenerate articular cartilage. Cases have been reported where people no longer need knee and hip replacements because of the treatments. While the results are preliminary, the Journal of Prolotherapy hopes to publish more case reports and x-ray/MRI evidence.
What are the risks?
Like all injection procedures, it carries with it a risk of infection. With treatments, there is a risk of increased pain, swelling, bleeding, bruising, and redness. Depending on the injection area, there can be a risk of pneumothorax (puncture of the lung), nerve injury, ligament injury, tendon injury, muscle spasms, spinal headache (spinal leak), and synovitis (joint swelling/pain). Please discuss these risks with your Prolotherapist.
What is the success rate?
In general, the success rates are excellent but vary and are relative to each patient’s condition. Upon the initial visit, the Prolotherapist will identify the typical and expected number of treatments and expected response. Again, medicine is not an exact science. An individual considering Prolotherapy should realize that the outcomes cannot be fully predicted.
For more information on Prolotherapy, call the experts at Lakeview Spine at 574-6000 or click here.