Chronic musculoskeletal pain is the number one cause of chronic disability in North America and chronic back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under the age of 45. This rampaging epidemic of pain can conceivably be eliminated in 80-90% of sufferers with prolotherapy. This treatment which relies on the body’s own healing process is performed by specially trained medical doctors. It has been shown to be effective for pain associated with: the back, the neck, all joints throughout the body, arthritis, migraines, fibromyalgia, sciatica, herniated discs, tension headaches, sports injuries, fibromyalgia, loose joints, TMJ Syndrome, tendinitis, sciatica and degenerated joints. Many people have been able to avoid spinal surgery or joint replacement with this much safer and often more effective treatment.
Prolotherapy relies on the body’s own healing process to eliminate pain. Most neck, back and other musculoskeletal pain is due to weakness of ligaments and tendons. Since ligaments and tendons are the connective tissue that hold our muscles to bone, and bone to bone, both must be taut and strong.
Back pain results when weak ligaments and tendons cause the spine to become “unstable.” Vertebrae begin to slip, move and rotate from their proper position, causing pressure on the nerves. Limited results in pain alleviation may be achieved with cortisone and other anti-inflammatory agents but these do not address the cause of the pain. Temporary pain suppression is not a cure for the underlying problem: ligament and tendon weakness. Advocates of the technique say Prolotherapy is the long-term solution to chronic pain because it strengthens the ligaments and tendons so they can move the vertebrae back into their proper places.
Prolotherapy involves the injection of an “irritant” solution such as dextrose, salt solution or cod liver oil into the area where the ligaments have either been weakened or damaged through injury, degeneration or aging. The injection is given at the point where the ligament connects to the bone. With this injection, the Prolotherapy doctor causes the body to heal itself through the process of inflammation.
When an irritant is introduced, at the site of injury, the immune system is summoned to the area. The body begins a healing process exactly where the painful area is located. New fibrous tissue is laid, repairing and strengthening the ligaments so that they can pull the vertebrae back where they belong and alleviate pain.
Prolotherapy treatment sessions are generally given every four to six weeks to allow time for the growth of the new connective tissue. Patients usually require four to six treatment sessions for complete recovery, some experience more immediate results.
Standard medical and surgical procedures cannot match Prolotherapys 80-90% effectiveness in eliminating chronic pain, nor can standard medicine match the relative low cost of treatment. Prolotherapy treatments can range from $100-$500, where a typical surgical procedure may cost over 100 times that amount!
There are currently about 300 physicians who practice Prolotherapy in the United States. With the recent rise in popularity, however, this number is expected to multiply greatly within the next few years. A list of doctors in each state can be found at www.getprolo.com