Prolotherapy: How Does It Work and What Conditions Does It Treat?

One in five adults in the United States struggles with chronic pain, to say nothing of the millions more who are coping with acute pain on any given day.

At LA Pain Doctor, our team of pain management specialists, led by Drs. Firas Hijazi and Satvik Munshi, understands the incredibly large impact pain can have on your quality of life and we offer a wide range of effective pain management techniques. One of our primary goals when treating your pain is to find sustainable solutions that address the cause of your pain, and prolotherapy is one such approach.

Here’s a look at how prolotherapy works and what conditions we can treat using this innovative therapy.

Prolotherapy 101

With prolotherapy, we inject the injured or damaged part of your body with a mild irritant, typically saline, dextrose (a type of sugar), and/or lidocaine, which is a numbing agent. The exact composition depends on your needs, which we assess during your initial evaluation. 

Because the injection is a mild irritant, prolotherapy initiates a healing response in your body, which rebuilds and repairs itself by creating new, healthy cells to replace the damaged ones.

As to its efficacy, in 2016, a group of researchers conducted a systematic review of previously published research into dextrose prolotherapy and concluded that it’s an appropriate treatment in tendon injuries, osteoarthritis, and pain in the spine and pelvis due to ligament dysfunction. 

Prolotherapy is not the same as platelet-rich plasma injections or stem cell therapy. Both of those types of therapies are composed of elements obtained from your own blood. As well, cortisone injections are also different from prolotherapy as they simply treat the symptoms rather than helping your body heal. 

Conditions we can treat with prolotherapy 

At our practice, we’ve used prolotherapy to successfully treat a range of conditions, including: 

Ultimately, each of our patients is unique and your particular pain or condition requires a treatment plan designed specifically for you. When you come into LA Pain Doctor, we evaluate your injury or condition and suggest a treatment approach that meets your specific needs and goals.

Your prolotherapy treatment

Prolotherapy is a minimally invasive treatment that takes us about 30 minutes or so to administer. First, our staff cleans the skin in the area we’re treating, then we apply a lidocaine cream to offset any discomfort that may arise with the injections. From there, we administer the prolotherapy very quickly and you’re free to return home afterward.

In the hours or days following your treatment, you may experience some swelling, stiffness, or bruising, but these symptoms should resolve themselves quickly if you apply hot and cold therapies to the treatment area.

If you’re struggling with pain, please contact one of our four locations in Metairie, LaPlace, Harvey, or New Orleans, Louisiana, to explore how prolotherapy may bring the relief you’ve been seeking. 

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