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The human body is held together by an intricate network of ligaments and tendons that are highly effective in function, and yet vulnerable to injury through exercise, sports injuries, accidents and daily wear-and-tear. As we age, the cumulative effect of these injuries may be expressed through chronic joint pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. For individuals that suffer from chronic joint pain due to connective tissue injury but don’t want invasive surgery, prolotherapy may be the light at the end of the tunnel.
Prolotherapy is a simple injection technique that stimulates the body to repair connective tissue even years after the injury occurred. The basic mechanism of prolotherapy is simple. It reactivates the body’s own healing process by injecting a mildly irritating natural solution – commonly a concentrated sugar solution, Dextrose – into the injured area to stimulate low-grade inflammation of the ligament and/or tendon.
The localized inflammation triggers a wound-healing process, resulting in the deposition of new collagen and the growth of healthy, strong tissue. The new collagen, the material that ligaments and tendons are made of, shrinks as it matures. The shrinking collagen tightens the ligament that was injected and makes it stronger and healthier, stabilizing the joint. Prolotherapy injections, given over the course of several months, are meant to treat pain at its structural source and provide a permanent benefit to the patient. Unlike many drugs, or surgery, prolotherapy has minimal side-effects when performed by an experienced practitioner.
There have been dozens of studies showing the benefits of prolotherapy for people with chronic pain as well as those with sports and exercise injuries. Whether it’s your jaw, your knee, your shoulder or back, prolotherapy may help you ease the pain.
Are you interested in learning more about prolotherapy? Contact College Pharmacy to request additional information, as well as a practitioner referral in your community. In addition, a state-by-state listing of prolotherapy practitioners can be found at http://www.getprolo.com.