Prolotherapy, Is It Right For You?

Prolotherapy, Is It Right For You?

Prolotherapy, which is shorthand for proliferative therapy, refers to a variety of techniques for healing or repairing damaged ligaments and tendons. Earliest reports of this practice date back to Hippocrates, who used a hot poker to repair the rotator cuffs of javelin throwers, and a hot needle lanced in and around the vertebra to cure back pain.  Seemingly barbaric, it is thought that this stimulated inflammation, and the body’s natural healing response.

“stimulate a natural healing”

Modern prolotherapy does not use hot pokers, today practitioners use a variety of injectable substances to generate local inflammation and stimulate a natural healing. Often dextrose, phenol, glycerin, and others are used to trigger the cascade of events that occur with normal wound healing.

This is particularly useful in the case of ligaments and tendons. These strong connective tissues have a very minimal blood supply, which results in very slow healing. When there is an injury, the healing of ligaments and tendons lags far behind muscles and bones, which enjoy a rich blood supply.

“heal in a stretched out, non-functional condition”

Remember, ligaments connect bone to bone, and stabilize your joints. Tendons connect muscle to bone, and give your joints a smooth action. In many cases, after an injury when patients are anxious to return to activity, these tissues never heal completely. Or, they may heal in a stretched out, non-functional condition. This allows ongoing pain, and if a joint is involved, abnormal motion and early arthritis.

Prolotherapy is not only used after an injury. It is also useful for people with ligamentous laxity. Some people have extremely loose ligaments that fail to hold the bones in proper position.

This can occur naturally, which is more common in women, or it can occur because of lifestyle.  Things such as poor posture, or a lifetime of lifting and bending can cause chronically stretched out and lax ligaments.  Prolotherapy is reported to shorten and strengthen these damaged structures.

“proliferants, irritants, and particulates”

Injection techniques, solutions, and theories vary among practitioners. In general, the solutions injected can be separated into three categories, proliferants, irritants, and particulates. Proliferants and irritants work by damaging a few cells, which stimulates the inflammation and begins the wound healing cascade. Particulates work by attracting macrophages to the area which begins a series of events resulting in collagen production.

The newest advance in prolotherapy is the injection of growth factors. They are used to directly stimulate the cells leading to a proliferation of fibroblasts and collagen generation.

“Success rates with prolotherapy vary…”

Success rates with prolotherapy vary, depending on who you talk to. Proponents claim a 85-95% success rate, but the reports are mostly anecdotal, and well controlled independent studies are lacking. Acceptance into modern medicine requires the gold standard study, a double blind comparison, using large numbers of people.

Prolotherapy is not widely accepted in the United States medical community, but this does not mean, that it does not work. It only means that adequate studies have not been done, and doctors have not embraced the procedure.

Designing a large scale, double blind, high quality study for prolotherapy is a difficult task. A double blind study requires an adequate control or placebo for comparison to the procedure being studied. This is easy enough when studying oral medications, because you can make two different pills look exactly the same. This becomes much more difficult with procedures, and especially procedures involving an injection. Prior studies of similar procedures have always rendered confusing and inconclusive results.

“reviewed five studies of prolotherapy”

A scientific group, The Cochrane Collaboration, reviewed five studies of prolotherapy for low back pain. They determined that three studies showed prolotherapy was not useful in the treatment of low back pain. Two studies showed that it may help when combined with other treatments, such as spinal manipulation, and exercise.

The risks of prolotherapy are low, with infection being the most serious possibility. This risk is well controlled with adequate precautions. The most common side effect is soreness and stiffness for a few days to a few weeks after the injection.

“The answer is “it depends”

Should you get prolotherapy? The answer is “it depends”. If you have chronic pain , ask your doctor or orthopedic surgeon if you have ligamentous laxity. Or if there was an injury, could you have injured a tendon or ligament.

When you consider the low risk, and the potential for great benefits, prolotherapy may be worth considering.

David Stevens PA-C

David Stevens is a physician assistant with 12 years experience working with a spine surgeon and he has recently taken a position with a pain management physician. He brings a special perspective to caring for his patients with pain, because he has been living with back pain ever since a motorcycle accident as a teenager crushed two vertebrae in his spine. His website at Living with Back Pain provides information and inspiration for people living with back pain. Learn more about the treatments for back pain at Back Pain Treatments.

Ross Hauser, MD demonstrates a typical Prolotherapy procedure to the low back, asdone at Caring Medical and Rehabilitation Services in Oak Park, Illinois. Dr. Hauser treats patients from around the globe with Hackett-Hemwall Prolotherapy and has found it is an excellent alternative to back surgery, including spinal fusion and discectomy, in addition to offering permanent solution for chronic pain typically not seen with traditional anti-inflammatory treatment, such as NSAIDs and cortisone injections. If you would like to see our other videos on Prolotherapy, or would like to email Dr. Hauser to see if Prolotherapy can help your low back pain, please visit Prolotherapy can be successful in treating almost all chronic back pain conditions and injuries, including: sports injuries, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, tendon injury, ligament injury, bulging disc, herniated disc, sciatica, sacroiliac pain, spondylolisthesis, pinched nerve, and radiculopathy.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Joint Pain Signs and Symptoms That You Should Know

Joint Pain Signs and Symptoms That You Should Know

Today in every part of this developing world there exist common problem of joint pain. This condition is not a disease but only a symptom. But eventually it has become a part of every body’s life and especially aged people get affected by this problem. It may be also defined as the symptom or condition of inflammation or the bursa which is a fluid filled space. This condition is also known as arthralgia and it can affect one or more joints. Mostly the joints of legs and arms are commonly affected. The problem of pain in the joint is experienced by most of the people in their lives.

Numbers of conditions or injuries are responsible for the problem of pain in the joint. They may be rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune disease and involves stiffness in the joint. The other cause is osteoarthritis which involves painful bone spurs and degeneration of cartilage in a joint. Usually it affects the adults of 45 years and above. Some infectious diseases like measles and mumps also cause the problem of pain in the joint.

Some of its main and common causes of this signs and symptom are –

1. Excessive strain on the joint.
2. Injury to joint.
3. Inflammation of the bursa known as bursitis.
4. Inflammation of the tendons which supports the joint called as tendonitis.
5. Inflammation of joints which is known as arthritis.

Sometimes the joint pain may be quite bothersome but in some case it may be unbearable. Whatever may be the cause of the joint pain, the intensity of the pain and its duration is variable in different case. The pain starts increasing with the use of the affected joint. The other signs and symptoms of the joint pain are numbness, weakness, sleeping difficulties and tingling. Sometimes the signs and symptoms of pain in the joints are also accompanied by lack of energy and depression. In many case the pain lasts for more than six months. In this case and condition, the problem of pain in the joint is considered to be chronic. It is very difficult to treat the chronic pain of joint.

In some cases, conventional medical treatments may help in relieving the signs and symptoms of joint pain. In many cases, natural medicine treatments are also very effective. It eliminates the pain permanently by the treatment like Prolotherapy. For many joint pain especially caused due to gout, diet also plays an important role in increasing and reducing the problem. In many case, exercise, yoga and walking are also very effective.

Read about effective Joint Pain Relief supplements. Find how Joint Pain Massage Oil helps to reduce inflammation and pain. Also know useful Home Remedies for Joint Pain.

A Path To Faster Recovery With Rehab Equipment

A Path To Faster Recovery With Rehab Equipment

Injuries happen to everyone. In some cases, patient will have to undergo extensive rehabilitation therapy to get back to their previous physical capabilities. Whether it is an athlete recovering from a sports injury or a geriatric patient is getting over a hip surgery, they will all need the right rehabilitation equipment to fully recover. Depending upon the recommendations of the physician, that rehab equipment can take many forms. An informed patient will be better able to select the proper equipment for his needs. This will expedite his full recover and return to an active life.

Injuries often lead to the need for some sort of physical therapy. Physical therapy’s primary goal is to return the patient to his former strength level in the injured body part. This usually means that the patient will undergo exercises to rebuild the muscle lost during that convalescence. The physical therapist might require rehabilitation equipment in such cases to take the form of balance boards, or physical therapy tables. Other types of equipment used by physical therapists could include general exercise equipment such as resistance bands and exercise balls. Exercises prescribed by the physical therapist should be carefully followed by the patient if he is continuing his therapy at home. The patient’s form while doing the activities needs to be paid careful attention, since poor form could result in further injury. Continued compliance with the therapist’s recommendations is necessary in order to properly rebuild the muscle and prevent one side of the body being stronger than the other. This could lead to poor posture and pain or increased risk for injury.

There are other forms of rehab equipment. During rehabilitation, many patients have moderate to high levels of pain. While pain medications might be prescribed by their physicians, these might not be enough or they might have adverse side effects, rending them harmful to the patient’s use. In such instances, the patients might consider using electrotherapy. This can take many forms and it can be delivered in different ways. Some of these include electrical stimulation units, peripheral nerve stimulation units, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) units. These all deliver a mild shock which stimulates the nerves to help relieve pain. These methods are non addictive, and they have been proven safe for most patients. Patients who are pregnant, nursing, have metal implants, have high blood pressure or heart disease should discuss using this form of rehabilitation equipment. Those who have a pace maker should not use electrotherapy as a means of pain relief since the treatment could interfere with the pace maker resulting in potentially life-threatening fibrillations.

A certified rehab specialist will not only assist you with a speedy recovery, but will also help you to maintain your physical health once you had completed rehab therapy. Talk to your doctor or therapist about continuing your rehab program at home. Your rehab specialist can recommend a series of at-home exercises and a choice of appropriate rehabilitative equipment for at-home use to set you on a permanent pass to recovery, such as;

- Balance Boards
- Cardio Equipment
- Dumbells
- Exercise Balls
- Exercise Pulley & Stretching Equipment
- Fingers & Hand Exercisers
- Floor Mats & Platforms
- Foam Rollers
- General Exercise Products
- Intracells
- Resistance Bands
- Resistance Tubing
- Resistance Weight Lifting Equipment
- Resistant Cords
- Shape Belts
- Treadmills
- Wrist & Ankle Weights

To learn more visit our rehabilitation equipment section or read more about the benefits physical rehab equipment.

Electrotherapy in Physiotherapy – Pulsed Shortwave Diathermy
Video Rating: 4 / 5