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TN Regenerative Sports Medicine

About Prolotherapy

What is Prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy is an injection technique that is used to repair and tighten ligaments, tendons, and joint structures. “Prolo” is short for proliferation, because the treatment causes the proliferation (growth, formation) of new ligament or tendon tissue in areas where it has become weak. When injured, ligaments or tendons don’t always heal to their original strength due to limited blood supply where they attach to the bone. The attachments have many small nerve endings that may cause pain when injured. These injuries can often lead to muscle weakness and joint instability.

 


How does Prolotherapy Work?

Golfers ElbowProlotherapy uses a dextrose (high concentrated sugar water) solution and is strategically injected into the injured ligament or tendon. These injections cause localized areas of inflammation-triggering the body to increase blood supply to the area, allowing reparative cells called Fibroblasts to lay down collagen strengthening the structure. So, in essence, we recreate selective areas of inflammation with Prolotherapy triggering the body’s own reparative process and then back away allowing the body to heal in injury.

Is Prolotherapy New?

Prolotherapy is not a new technique. In ancient times, Hippocrates first used a variant of this technique on soldiers and Olympic javelin throwers who would often dislocate their shoulders. In the past 60 years, research has helped doctors (MDs and DOs) improve injection techniques to more successfully treat pain caused by instability.

How long does Prolotherapy take to work?

The response to Prolotherapy varies from individual to individual and depends upon one’s healing ability. Some people may only need a few treatments while others may need 7 or 8. Patients will typically need a series of 3 to 6 injections over a period of time. Each session separated by 3-4 wk intervals. This time allows the body to repair the area after the injection, stimulating the healing response. Most insurance carriers do not cover Prolotherapy, so check with your individual provider to determine.

 

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