Prolotherapy for steroid-free ligament and tendon healing

What is prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy uses the body’s natural healing process to decrease pain and improve function. It involves the injection of a mild irritant solution to stimulate a controlled healing process. By stimulating localized inflammation, a healing cascade is initiated that results in the deposition of new collagen. As the new collagen matures, it strengthens the cartilage ligament or tendon that was injected.

What is injected? How is it done?

Dr. Weiss uses a combination of dextrose (sugar water), lidocaine and sarapin when performing prolotherapy. Dextrose is not only a growth stimulant but an irritant to tissues. Lidocaine is a numbing medicine to reduce the discomfort of the injection. Sarapin, a water-based herbal extract of the Pitcher Plant, is a homeopathic treatment used to stimulate healing. This mixture is thought to “dehydrate” the injected tissues, causing an injury signal for the body.

Dr. Weiss uses ultrasound guidance to make the injections precise.

Why not use steroid?

Repeated injection of steroid into the same area can weaken ligaments and tendons. While steroids can be quite useful to decrease inflammation, the benefits are often temporary. Prolotherapy stimulates tissue growth and as a result, has the potential for long lasting relief.

What are the risks?

Prolotherapy is an extremely safe procedure. The risks are limited to infection and bleeding which are risks associated with any injection.

Am I a candidate?

You may be a candidate if you have recurrent pain, swelling or fullness involving a joint or muscular region.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments varies with each patient. The average person requires 4 to 6 treatment sessions given at 1-2 week intervals.

Does it hurt?

The injection is considered mild to moderately painful, and there is typically a “flare” of soreness for 2-3 days afterwards. A mild pain medication, such as Tylenol, is usually sufficient to control the discomfort.

What should I avoid after the injection?

Because prolotherapy requires inflammation to be effective, you should not take any anti-inflammatory medications. The area should not be strained for about 48 hours after the injection. Easy stretching is immediately okay. For the following 2-3 weeks strenuous activity should be avoided.

Why IV?

IV administration of nutrients achieves blood levels that are often impossible with oral supplementation and it has the added benefit of working instantaneously. The use of IV nutrients has increased over recent years.

Conditions that respond well to IV therapy?

Asthma, Migraine, Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Depression, Infections, Allergies, Athletic performance, headaches

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