Prolotherapy & Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Regenerative Injection Therapy
Prolotherapy and PRP are regenerative injection therapies (RIT) that help to reduce pain and heal damaged areas. The injections stimulate the body's natural healing mechanisms signaling new tissue growth and regeneration of damaged tissue. Prolotherapy has been shown to improve joint stability, re-grow collagen, and most importantly reduce pain.
These treatments can lead to relief from chronic pain and aches that have been issues for years and even prevent the need for surgery. By healing the damaged area, the joints and ligaments become stronger, mobility is increased, the area is more secure and stable, and pain is ultimately reduced.
What Is Prolotherapy & PRP?
Prolotherapy is a dextrose based solution that creates an inflammatory response in the area which stimulates the body's own healing mechanisms.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is another regenerative injection therapy that involves the bodies own plasma. Taking a blood sample, the red blood cells are removed leaving the plasma loaded with high levels of platelets, platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), adenosine diphosphate (ADP), and growth hormones.
But How Do Regenerative Injection Therapies Work?
Prolotherapy and PRP act as a catalyst to stimulate the body to start a healing cascade. By injecting a regenerative solution into the damaged sites, it creates a localized inflammatory response that draws growth factors, growth hormones, inflammatory markers and nutrients to the site where the body begins a rebuilding process leading to stronger ligaments, joints, and tendons.
Platelets work in a similar way but in a more advanced fashion. Unlike prolotherapy, platelets are capable of sticking to collagen and pulling torn pieces together using a network of actin and myosin (proteins found in muscles).
Common Conditions Treated With Prolotherapy and PRP
Prolotherapy is successful for the treatment of most types of soft tissue pain that is related to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. Here are a few examples of conditions that benefit prolotherapy treatments:
Degenerative Joint Disease
Joint Instability or loose joints
Low Back Pain
Headaches Referring From the Neck
What Happens With An Injury?
During an injury, the body takes quick action to protect the area. In the rush, things don't always heal as effectively and don't go back to being 100%. Scar tissue is placed which isn't as flexible or mobile, ligaments are become more lax allowing joints and bones to move more than they should, and all this can lead to increased breakdown on the surrounding tissue leading to pain.
When it comes to healing, a strong blood supply is critical. Joints, ligaments, and tendons lack the appropriate blood supply which means they heal at a slower rate. Due to the slow nature of healing,
Ligaments are bands of connective tissue that hold bones together and in place. When they become weak, overused, or stretched, the surrounding muscles engage in an effort to maintain the stability in the area. As the muscles are taking on the job of the ligaments, they become stiff and rigid leading to decreased range of motion and even an achy pain. Muscle fatigue and cramping can occur which makes the area more prone to further and greater injury.
When you combine prolotherapy or PRP with trigger point injections, people who have been in pain for years having tried all sorts of other therapies regain their health and live pain-free.
What Should I Bring To The Appointment?
If you have any current X-Rays, ultrasounds or MRI reports for the area, please bring those your appointment. At Helix, we are extremely thorough in our procedures and always appreciate being able to review any imaging that is available.
Before Staring Treatment
As the injections work by stimulating an inflammatory response, any medications or supplements that reduce inflammation will decrease the effectiveness of the treatments. Over the counter NSAIDs, high dose fish oil, and curcumin should be stopped 3 days before treatment begins.
However, any medications prescribed by a physician for a medical condition should not be stopped unless specified by the prescribing doctor.
How Many Treatments Are Needed?
The number of treatments needed will vary from person to person depending on overall health and the extend of the damage. Most people only need a few treatments in the range of 3-6 while others with more severe or chronic conditions may require further treatments.
The best thing to do is to get an evaluation to assess if you are a candidate for prolotherapy or PRP and determine how many treatments may be needed.
Are Prolotherapy and PRP Treatments Safe?
Regenerative injection therapies, when administered by a trained professional, are very safe. As an added safety measure, Helix also offers ultrasound guided injections to increase safety and increase the efficacy of the treatment.
What Should I Expect After My Treatment?
The most common experience for patients is a full feeling in the area that has been injected. This will reduce over time but can last up to 10 days post treatment. The treated area may feel achy for a few days as well but will reduce.
With following treatments, pain in the area will decrease and range of motion will increase.
Can I Exercise After My Injections?
Immediately after the injections, it is important to stop any heavy activity that may reduce the treatment outcome. Mild activity is encouraged to promote blood flow and healing to the area. During the treatment series, heavy activity is dissuaded to achieve optimal results.
Helix Appendicular Prolotherapy Physicians:
Helix Ultrasound Guided Axial (Spinal) Prolotherapy Physicians:
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