Prolotherapy for Chronic Pain
Pain can be defined as a feeling of distress, suffering, or agony, caused by stimulation of specialized nerve endings in the body, resulting from injury or disease. Pain receptors, found in the skin and other tissues are nerve fibers that react to stimuli. Pain impulses enter the spinal cord and are transmitted to your brain, where they are interpreted as pain. The purpose of pain in a person’s body is chiefly protective; pain acts as a warning that tissues are being damaged. This tissue damage can be actual or potential.
There are two general categories of pain: acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain is intense and can last from a few seconds to hours or days. This severe pain should wane as healing of the injury or disease occurs. Chronic pain however, can range from mild to severe and can last weeks, months or longer. Chronic pain is pain that continues or recurs over a prolonged period. Under certain conditions the pain receptors in the body become more sensitive over a period of time. This means that as long as a traumatic stimulus persists, you will continue to be aware that damage to the tissues may still be occurring.
You might wonder why there is still pain in an injured area or why that area remains weak, even after healing for weeks, months or years. The answer is that both ligaments and tendons have very poor circulation. This lack of blood supply deprives these tissues of nutrients they need to heal properly.
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With the use of Prolotherapy, a proliferant (a mild irritant solution- dextrose, phenol, glycerin, etc.) that causes an inflammatory response is injected into the weakened areas which stimulates the healing process. This results in a stronger or larger tendon or ligament that can hold body structures in place more effectively. The weakened area heals, and the patient’s pain is reduced or eliminated. Prolotherapy is an excellent alternative to cortisone injections, which long-term studies show, can actually weaken tissue.
Many patients come to us tired of ‘managing’ their chronic pain with NSAID or narcotic medications, various therapies, and exercises. In many cases, these methods do not take care of the cause of the pain. Most of the time, musculoskeletal pain is due to weakness in the ligaments, tendons and possibly cartilage. Prolotherapy can regenerate these damaged tissues and ultimately alleviate the problem causing the pain. Our goal at OrthoRegen is for our patients to have an active, healthy, pain free life. Prolotherapy is a very safe, affordable option that allows you to keep working and training during the recovery process. It is one treatment that encourages movement post-treatment. Movement actually aids the healing process after Prolotherapy.
Athletes with sports injuries are especially interested in the use of Prolotherapy for treatment because it is an alternative to surgery, arthroscopy, cortisone shots, non-steroidal and anti-inflammatories, and chronic use of narcotic pain medications. These measures may not help, and often hinder or even prevent the healing process. Prolotherapy works because it stimulates an inflammatory reaction in the body. Solutions are injected into the affected ligaments, tendons, or joints, which leads to local inflammation in that specific area. The localized inflammation triggers the deposition of new collagen, the material in which ligaments and tendons are made. New collagen shrinks as it matures and tightens the ligament that was injected, making it stronger. The potential for Prolotherapy to eliminate pain is very high, especially in sports injuries that are a result of ligament and tendon weakness.
Whether your chronic pain is from a back injury, a work related injury, or a sports injury, Prolotherapy can help you. Contact us for a consultation to see if you are a candidate or get a second opinion for a recommended surgery. We see all levels of injury, simple to extensive. At OrthoRegen, we want to help you achieve your goals of optimal health and sustained wellness. We will use the most effective and least invasive methods in your treatment. Call today, (310) 453-1234.