Ligaments are the structural “rubber bands” that hold bones to bones in joints. Tendons are tissues which connect muscles to bones.
Ligaments and tendons can become weak or injured and may not heal back to their original strength largely because the blood supply to them is limited, and therefore healing is slow and not always complete.
Prolotherapy is a non-surgical ligament and tendon reconstruction therapy, and is a permanent treatment for chronic pain. “Prolo” is short for proliferation, because the treatment causes the proliferation (regeneration) of new ligament and tendon tissue in areas where they have become weak or partially torn.
Prolotherapy is based on a very simple principle: the body has the capacity to heal itself when stimulated. Prolotherapy uses a sugar-based solution (dextrose) as the stimulus. Dextrose is injected into the area where ligament or tendon attach to the bone, causing the body to respond with its own healing cycle. It does this by “tricking” the body into healing by creating a directed, local irritation and temporary inflammation at the site of injury. This stimulates the body to send blood and repair cells as well as to increase the activity of growth factors to make new fibres and collagen that will repair the weak and painful areas. Prolotherapy can remove the source of the pain, rather than covering it up, because it helps the ligaments and tendons heal.
In nearly five decades, no serious side effects from prolotherapy have been reported in the medical literature despite millions of prolotherapy treatments given. Prolotherapy is not dangerous, it significantly reduces, and at times will completely cure chronic pain.
The following criteria are necessary for someone to be considered a good candidate:
Most conditions are treated with 4-8 visits, but may take more. The timing of visits varies from weekly to every 4-6 weeks or more. Rarely, 10-15 visits may be required as long as progress is being made. Patients occasionally experience a great deal of relief after their first injection; most, however, note improvement after 3-4 injections, with the duration of treatment then determined by the rate of progress.