You rely on your joints for every move, from tying your shoes to getting into your car. If your joints are weak, damaged, or diseased, prolotherapy may be the solution to restore strength, flexibility, and stability.
You need your knees to stand, sit, and walk, and your spine makes it possible to bend, twist, and reach. So what can you do when your joints fail you?
Many people reach for medication to ease the pain and stiffness, but that only masks the problem and is a temporary fix.
What weakens joints?
Most people assume arthritis is the culprit behind joint pain and dysfunction. That’s often true, but it’s not the only cause.
Bursitis, tendinitis, trauma, infection, and illness can also impact your joints, causing inflammation, weakness, and instability. In these cases, the ligaments and tendons create the problem.
Tendons connect your bones to your muscles, and ligaments connect your bones to other bones. You have hundreds of ligaments and tendons throughout your body, and each joint relies on these fibrous bands for smooth mobility and strength. If you injure or overuse your joints, these tissues stretch or tear, leaving your joints weak and unstable.
What’s prolotherapy, and how can it strengthen my joints?
Prolotherapy is a regenerative treatment that triggers your body to heal itself by using a natural irritant called dextrose. We use ultrasound-guided imagery to navigate your joint and inject the solution at the target site. The dextrose stimulates a chain reaction.
First, the irritant causes an inflammatory response in your joint. While that may sound like the last thing you want in your painful joint, it activates your body’s healing response.
Your body recognizes the need for repair and sends stem cells and growth factors to the injured area, accelerating the healing of your stretched, torn, or diseased ligaments and tendons.
This repair work restores your soft tissues and strengthens your joints’ tensegrity and skeletal structure.
What to expect from prolotherapy
Whether you have pain in your neck, back, or limb joints, if Dr. Kaplan recommends prolotherapy, here’s what to expect when you arrive for treatment.
During your initial exam, Dr. Kaplan reviews your medical history and determines whether you’re a good candidate for prolotherapy. He’ll also request that you stop taking any anti-inflammatory medications for a few days before your prolotherapy appointment.
When you arrive, we sterilize your skin at the injection site and use a local anesthetic to numb your skin. Then, Dr. Kaplan inserts a thin needle into your joint using the Hackett-Hemwall technique. This technique involves 4-6 treatments scheduled about a month apart.
You may experience minor swelling and soreness at the injection site for a few days, but this resolves as your body adjusts and begins healing.
Prolotherapy can help if you have the following:
- Shoulder pain when you sleep
- Joint pain that improves with bracing
- Joint pain that worsens with activity and improves with rest
- Shoulder pain when you lift
- Treatment-resistant whiplash
- Failed back surgery syndrome
- Joint dislocation
- Popping, clicking, or grinding sounds in your joint
Studies also show that dextrose prolotherapy may improve pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis.
Discover whether prolotherapy can strengthen your joints — schedule a consultation with Dr. Kaplan at OWM Integrative Wellness in Buffalo, New York. Request an appointment online or call 716.626.6301.