Prolotherapy is a treatment that has been widely used for a variety of injuries in the ligaments, or tendons, including the most common degenerative disease of the knee joint known as knee osteoarthritis. Developed and improved between the 1930s to the 1950s, prolotherapy entails injecting substances to stimulate the effective repair of the weakened and painful areas in the joints and muscles.
Knee osteoarthritis in a nutshell
Knee osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting 30 million American adults according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It develops due to frequent, repetitive use of the knee, leading to wearing and tearing of the cartilage in the knee joint.
As a degenerative disease that involves the weight-bearing joints of the knees, it can be really painful and limiting to patients. At GenLife Pain Management in Miami, we offer non-surgical ways to relieve pain caused by knee osteoarthritis. One of these is prolotherapy.
How Prolotherapy Works
The science behind prolotherapy is based on an ancient Roman medical concept that irritating or injuring a body area could promote complete and faster healing. In some patients, prolotherapy can be particularly uncomfortable because it will introduce an artificial injury on the specific, targeted area. Thus, it’s common for those undergoing this treatment to develop mild redness, pain, swelling, and inflammation, which should go away within hours of the injection.
Though referred to as an “irritant solution,” the substances injected during a prolotherapy treatment may actually contain some of the following natural ingredients:
- Morrhuate sodium
These substances help trigger tissue growth that makes the ligament and tendon fibers healthier.
With continued injections, a patient with knee osteoarthritis may experience long-term reduced pain and stiffness on the affected area. The person may also experience improved function, mobility and strength on her knee joint.
Prolotherapy Treatment Procedure
It only takes less than 30 minutes for our doctors in GenLife Miami pain clinic to perform prolotherapy. As with any type of injections, the doctor may dab alcohol on the skin first before penetrating the skin. After the procedure, the patient may be provided with a heat pack, which is to be pressed on the affected knee for at least 15 minutes.
To maximize the full effects of this treatment, the patient will be advised against taking anti-inflammatory medications for at least five days before and after the injection.
Prolotherapy Treatment Frequency
The frequency of the treatment varies depending on the patient’s response. However, on average prolotherapy for knee osteoarthritis may take 4 to 6 injections every three to four weeks.
Good and qualified doctors should be able to assess if more treatments are necessary after three injections. It’s also important to wait for a couple of weeks before the next injection to allow the body to naturally develop its immune system.
Recovery After Prolotherapy Treatment
Prolotherapy has been shown to improve the condition of patients with knee osteoarthritis by 24% compared to other methods such as knee exercises and salt-water shots.
Most patients can go back to their normal activities the day after a prolotherapy treatment. For best results, however, we recommend for you to limit the use of your knee for at least a week after the treatment.
Some patients may develop bruising on their knee due to the injection. If you, however, develop a fever after the procedure, don’t delay the trip to the doctor.
Get a Prolotherapy Treatment from GenLife Miami Pain Clinic
In general, prolotherapy is regarded as a safer treatment for knee osteoarthritis than surgery, or long-term dependency on anti-inflammatory medicines. The recovery and risk of infections, or complications are also shorter. At GenLife, we believe that surgery should be a last resort. For inquiries, please Contact Us.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.