Prolotherapy also known as proliferation therapy is an injection treatment to repair body tissue and relieve pain. It is widely used for treatment of tendinopathies, osteoarthritis of knee, some types of headaches, spinal and pelvic pain due to ligament dysfunction and other joints osteoarthritis.
Prolotherapy injection contains dextrose solution to stimulate body tissue to repair itself. The injection is given into the specific area where injury is occurred. It helps in reducing the pain, increasing mobility and function of joints and increasing strength of ligaments. It has been used in clinical practice for more than 80 years to treat various chronic musculoskeletal conditions.
Dextrose is irritant solution, after injecting, promote growth of normal cells and tissues.It is considered to be an ideal proliferant because it is water soluble, a normal constituent of blood chemistry, and can be injected safely into multiple areas and in large quantity. Hypertonic dextrose solutions act by dehydrating cells at the injection site, leading to local tissue trauma, which in turn attracts granulocytes and macrophages and promotes healing.
The mechanism of action behind prolotherapy is not completely understood. However, current theory holds that the injected proliferant mimics the natural healing process of the body by initiating a local inflammatory cascade, which triggers the release of growth factors and collagen deposition. This is accomplished when induced cytokines mediate chemomodulation, which leads to proliferation and strengthening of new connective tissue, joint stability, and a reduction in pain and dysfunction.
Your doctor might advise diagnostic images, including MRI scans and X-rays before opting for prolotherapy. It is a day care procedure and patient can go home within half hour after procedure. The doctor will clean the injection site with antiseptic solutions. Topical anaesthetic cream will be applied at the injection site to reduce pain during procedure. Then your doctor will inject the solution in the affected joint and ligaments. It usually takes 30 min including preparation. After procedure, your doctor may ask to apply ice packs to the treated areas for 10–15 minutes. Then you’ll be able to go home.
Prolotherapy is relatively safe procedure with no any serious side effects. Mild side effects may include mild pain at injection site, full feeling around and in the joint and numbness at injection site. It is important to take prolotherapy treatment from healthcare provider who is trained to give these injections. Patient with gout, septic arthritis, fracture, cellulitis should not receive prolotherapy.