Prolotherapy involves a series of injections of a dextrose solution (a solution of sugar and water) to injured ligaments and tendons that surround your bone or muscle. Ligaments are what hold one bone to another and tendons are what connect the muscle to the bone. The injection of this solution triggers inflammation, which is actually a part of the natural healing process of the body. This low level of inflammation increases circulation in the injected area. The increase of circulation stimulates the production of growth factor materials that are carried in the blood to the injured area which promotes healing. The healing and growth spurred from Prolotherapy Injections are done to strengthen the injured connective tissue . With stronger tendons and ligaments, pain may be eliminated. I know it sounds opposite of what we think. Normally we injure ourselves and take anti-inflammatories to releive the pain. The thought behind Prolotherapy is that cutting the inflammation response time down, may impede the healing of our connective tissue injury.
Prolotherapy injections are also not a one time injection nor a fix all solution. A series of injections ranging from 3 to 40 are given over a period of time with the objective of providing permanent relief. Prolotherapy dates back to Hippocrates and is used for various ailments such as arthritis, carpal tunnel, hip degeneration, TMJ, chronic pain, reflex sympathetic dystrophy (complex regional pain syndrome), fibromyalgia, migraines and headaches, osteoporosis, compression fractions and sport injuries to name a few. I have heard other doctors not recommend or do not feel that prolotherapy is beneficial for RSD/CRPS or Fibromylagia.
I found the below video clip with Dr. Hauser talking about Prolotherapy in relationship to reflex sympathectic dystrophy and found the below doctor’s opinion of Reflex Sympathetic Dystophy / Complex Regional Pain Syndrome interesting. His experiernce in Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and treating it with Prolotherapy was interesting enough for me to share. Dr. Hauser works out of Caring Medical Center in Illinois. Please know that not all doctors feel this way about prolotherapy. Some feel it is not beneficial for fibromyalgia or RSD/CRPS.