Some publications are reporting on a “new” therapy called prolotherapy that could save you from having knee surgery. But prolotherapy isn’t new! I wrote about it years ago. In fact, I even had prolotherapy on my own knee after chiropractic treatment and anti-inflammatories failed to work. Two sessions solved my knee problem! I never had to have surgery. Here’s what the therapy consists of:
Prolotherapy helps chronic pain and stiffness related to joint osteoarthritis. It’s a series of injections containing a safe, two-solution treatment. David Rabago, MD and his team from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Meriter Health Services in Madison, Wisconsin, studied the dextrose and morrhuate sodium solution. They conducted a one-year study of participants who received at least three injections of the solution. Compared to the baseline, the solution recipients’ symptoms improved by 19.5-42.9%. The results for improvement in knee pain, function, and stiffness exceeded the necessary thresholds for a “clinically important difference” in 50-75% of the patients.
Prolotherapy works because it addresses the underlying cause of the pain instead of just covering up the pain. You see, chronic joint pain often occurs because unstable ligaments can cause inflammation. Ligaments don’t have as big of a blood supply as muscles, so they heal more slowly. Lack of exercise and age can cause ligaments to become weaker and more easily injured. Prolotherapy helps strengthen and relax these weakened ligaments, relieving the pain around the affected joint.
When your doctor injects the prolotherapy solution into the area where the ligaments are weak or damaged, the body responds with low-grade inflammation. This causes the immune system to spring into action. Immune cells rush to the area to remove the solution as well as any ligament debris. Once they’ve cleaned up the area, other cells rebuild the ligament. And this rebuilt ligament is stronger than the one that was initially there – sometimes as much as 40% stronger! Stronger, more stable connective tissues mean less pain around the joint.
Prolotherapy can definitely be effective. It worked for me. But before you search for a physician who uses prolotherapy, either by searching the internet or asking an integrative doctor, there’s something you should try first. You see, as great as prolotherapy is, it’s still an invasive procedure. I always recommend starting with non-invasive treatments first. So you may want to begin by using an anti-inflammatory formula like Advanced Joint Support. That alone may be enough to clear up your pain.
If Advanced Joint Support isn’t enough to solve your problem, you may want to try prolotherapy. Or you may want to try a new form of this treatment called Prolozone®. My colleague, Dr. Frank Shallenberger, developed this variation by adding ozone to the prolotherapy regimen. The ozone supercharges the healing ability of the solution and can often reduce the number of treatments you need to see results.
Your voice of reason in Women’s Health,
By Dr. Nan Kathryn Fuchs PhD
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