Prolotherapy: Healing Athletic Injuries for 2000 Years
Prolotherapy is by no means a modern concept. It is an ancient one. How ancient? Well, it traces its origins back to Ancient Greece, specifically to the day when Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine inserted a hot box into a patient’s shoulder to tighten the joint capsule. So basically, around 2,500 years. That makes prolotherapy older even than Jesus Christ!
Interestingly, orthopedic surgeons today still utilize this technique by heating up the joint capsules to certain temperatures in order to contract and prevent subluxation. The technology has changed since, of course. For instance, instead of using hot silver pokes, we now utilize copper wires, copper leather cords which utilize radio frequency microwaves to heat up a capsule.
Patients usually tend to compare prolotherapy to steroids. It is important to understand that steroids are chemicals that are used only to alleviate symptoms. Steroids do not tackle the root of the problem. They are targeted to reduce pain; they are not targeted to reduce inflammation or help the body heal. It also reduces your body’s response to healing. Thus, it is plain to see that steroids produce relief in the short term. However, in the long term, they produce more joint destruction, arthritis and degenerative change.
Prolotherapy, on the other hand, may produce slight pain while you undergo treatment and while your body heals. But in the long run, it will improve joint stability, joint integrity, joint degeneration and strengthen you to withstand further injury.
How It Works
Prolotherapy basically works by a severance disc mechanism. The prolotherapy provider physician will produce targeted injury to ligaments, tendons and the joint capsule. The solution physicians will utilize will target the cells and the structures for the body to recognize as injured, and mount the inflammatory repair response. As a result, your body’s natural immune system, which is your best healer, will mount a very targeted, very precise repair effort to restore the integrity of the joint, muscle, ligament, and capsule. This process will help you achieve long-term pain relief. It will also strengthen your joints and prevent degeneration. It will also prevent the development of arthritis. If you already suffer from arthritis, the treatment will help stabilize your condition and slow its progression down considerably.
- The prolotherapy physician will produce targeted injury to ligaments, tendons and the joint capsule to trigger your body’s natural inflammatory repair system and the immune system. This will speed up the healing process.
- This, in turn, will strengthen your joints and protect you from further injury.
Is It Painful?
Depending on the part of your body where the injury has been sustained, prolotherapy treatment may be painful in varying degrees. How much pain a patient might feel varies from individual to individual. However, this pain is insignificant. A good comparison would be venipuncture. The worst discomfort you will experience is comparable to that you would if you were undergoing venipuncture.
It is also useful to remember that it is a method that utilizes a lot of injections. In fact, we typically insert multiple injections into the injured site. The greater the injury, the more pain you will likely face during treatment. However, as you heal, the area becomes less inflamed and that reduces the pain. By the time that the inflammation has receded, you will likely have healed completely and will not require any further procedures.
- The amount of pain you will experience during treatment varies from patient to patient.
- It primarily depends on the extent of the injury. The greater the injury, the more the pain.
The amount of time your body takes to heal varies from patient to patient. Usually, the younger you are, the healthier you are, and the fewer bad habits you have, the faster you respond to prolotherapy, and the faster you will heal. This is not to say that older patients who are not in the pink of health and have some bad habits are not going to benefit at all. Your age and general health only affect the amount of time your body will take to heal. Your age and health do not preclude you from treatment altogether.
Active athletes tend to respond very well to prolotherapy. Because of their naturally enhanced general health, resilience, ability to heal, and their basic competitive attitude, athletes are usually back on their feet and back on the field in no time. They respond very well to regenerative efforts. Moreover, they have great motivation to heal and get better. That really is what prolotherapists wish for in a patient.
- How fast you heal varies from patient to patient.
- Healing time usually depends on the individual’s general health, age and attitude.
How Prolotherapy Strengthens Athletes
Let’s say you have a weak knee. You do not yet experience any problems with that knee yet. However, every time you run, walk or fall, you feel that knee. It is natural to think that because it is not painful yet, you do not need treatment. This is dangerous, both to your knee and your athletic career. If you wait till your knee is completely destroyed, you will require surgery.
You know full well that a shattered knee is the end of an athlete’s career. You also know that with surgery comes longer healing time and the possibility that you may never compete again. Seeking prolotherapy treatment at this point will help strengthen your knee so that it does not take much damage if you do end up hurting yourself. With a simple procedure, a few days of staying off that joint, and your joint is stable for the rest of your life.
Prolotherapy has sustained and rescued multiple athletic careers from doom. Before prolotherapy, even an insignificant blow would have destroyed your knee and your athletic career. With the help with prolotherapy, you can continue your career and never sustain devastating knee injuries, or any other injuries. There are areas which are more susceptible to injury. Your physician will proactively target those areas with proactive prolotherapy. With repetitive treatment throughout the year, we can maintain these areas and prevent them from being weakened or injured.
In addition, consider this: when you retire from your athletic career, what do you expect will happen to your body? Like others, your body will deteriorate rapidly. With prolotherapy, you can ensure you will enjoy a great quality of life after your sports career.
- Prolotherapy is a proactive and preventive treatment, whose bountiful benefits you will notice when you are injured or as you grow older.
- With prolotherapy, you will never have to worry about bidding farewell to an athletic career or an active and healthy life.