How Fast Does Prolotherapy Work?
No one likes to be slowed down by joint pain. It can keep you from enjoying your favorite hobbies, pause your workout routine or be just plain uncomfortable. You might use pain medications or steroid injections to manage the discomfort, but odds are the problem will just keep coming back. What if instead of just managing the pain, you could actually solve the problem?
Prolotherapy is a way to stop joint pain for good. It addresses the root cause of your pain and works with your body to heal the damage so you can go back to doing what you love. In this article, we’ll teach you how prolotherapy works, who is best suited for it and how fast you could see results. We’ll also answer the most common questions asked about prolotherapy.
What is Prolotherapy?
In prolotherapy, a physician injects a sugar solution into the spot that’s causing you pain. This solution will cause inflammation in the muscle or joint. Once the area swells up, the body will send in reinforcements to heal the damage. Extra blood and cells full of collagen will flood the area and begin to repair your body.
The benefit of nudging your body to send these two things is that collagen can help to strengthen and repair your muscles, ligaments and tendons. This type of healing is why prolotherapy is considered a regenerative medical treatment—it restores part of your body to its natural, healthy state.
The body will use the extra blood and collagen it brought to the injection site to heal the damage in that area. The blood will bring oxygen and nutrients and the collagen will strengthen the muscle so it can support your joint again. This is what helps to resolve pain.
Who Is Prolotherapy for?
There are many therapy options for people experiencing joint or muscle pain. Prolotherapy is a good option for people experiencing joint pain, lower back pain or neck pain. It can also help with more specific conditions like:
- Ligament strains
- Muscle strains
- Partial tears in tendonsTennis/golf elbow
- Rotator cuff issues
Usually, patients who turn to prolotherapy have either tried methods such as steroid injection for managing pain or do not want steroids but aren’t candidates for surgery either. The best candidates for prolotherapy are typically very healthy and active. They’re likely to see the best results because they plan to continue strengthening and using their bodies after therapy is complete.
How Fast Does Prolotherapy Work?
Like most therapies, prolotherapy takes time to heal your body. But compared to options like physical therapy, it works quickly.
This treatment works best as a series. We typically recommend three treatments with 4-6 weeks between each session. This puts the total time of healing between 12 and 16 weeks. Usually, we see about a 50% decrease in pain after the first two sessions and no more pain after the final session.
Is it safe?
Yes. Prolotherapy is completely safe and doesn’t use any type of drugs someone might have a reaction to. Typically, the worst that might happen is it doesn’t resolve your pain.
Can it make my pain worse?
Because the process relies on causing inflammation, pain can sometimes temporarily worsen right after your session. It will eventually go away as your body heals itself.
Is it covered by insurance?
In most cases, prolotherapy is not covered by insurance. This is because the treatment has not been approved by the FDA yet.
The FDA considers prolotherapy an experimental treatment. There is a lot of research being done about how effective it is and the types of conditions it can help most, such as osteoarthritis.
Steroid injections are an FDA-approved method of muscle or joint pain management. These are typically covered by an insurance policy if your doctor prescribes them. Keep in mind that steroid injections can help with easing pain but they don’t address the root cause. Prolotherapy can both relieve pain and heal the problem causing it.
Who should I trust to administer my prolotherapy?
To feel comfortable during your prolotherapy sessions, it’s important to find a practitioner you trust. To administer prolotherapy, a practitioner should have a medical degree and a state license. Typically people who use prolotherapy in their practice work in some type of orthopedic medicine.
Practitioners can also pursue further certification through the American Academy of Orthopedic Medicine (AAOM). These certificates show they’ve put in a significant amount of time learning how to best use prolotherapy to help their patients.
Live Life Pain-Free
Prolotherapy can help you get back to doing what you love, pain-free. It helps to heal joints and muscles that are causing your problems instead of just masking the symptoms. It’s a great option for people who lead active lives and want to keep moving. You can eliminate your pain in just a few months with regular treatments, so start today!