Prolotherapy is the first option in a family of injections called Regenerative Injection Therapies (RIT). Prolotherapy (Proliferative Therapy), also known as Regenerative Joint Injection, Non-Surgical Ligament and Tendon Reconstruction is a recognized orthopedic procedure that stimulates the body’s healing processes to strengthen and repair injured and painful joints and connective tissue. It is based on the fact that when ligaments or tendons (connective tissue) are stretched or torn, the joint they are holding destabilizes and can become painful.
Prolotherapy, with its unique ability to directly address the cause of the instability, can repair the weakened sites and produce new collagen tissue, resulting in permanent stabilization of the joint. Once the joint is stabilized, pain usually resolves. Traditional approaches with surgery have more risk and may fail to stabilize the joint and relieve pain, and anti-inflammatory or other pain relievers only act temporarily. The original term used for this therapy was “sclerotherapy”, coined in the 1930’s when this treatment was discovered, and included both joint and vein injections. Today the term “prolotherapy” is used for joint, ligament and tendon injections, while “sclerotherapy” is used for the treatment of varicose veins, spider veins, hemorrhoids and other vascular abnormalities.
Prolotherapy injections contain natural substances that stimulate the healing response, as well as local anesthetic agents to help with the pain of the injection. Traditional formulas include ingredients such as lidocaine, dextrose, procaine or saline. Most recently, newer formulas include Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and autologous (from the same person) cell sources, typically taken from adipose (fat) tissue or bone marrow. Here at AZ Wellness Center, Dr. Simonson tailors the selection of the appropriate formula according to the patient’s need.