Prolotherapy injections


Prolotherapy Treatments for Pain and Tissue Injury

Pain caused by musculoskeletal injury or osteoarthritis can be debilitating and discouraging. A future of limited movement, pain medication, and possible surgery is not what anyone plans or hopes for; however, for many it is a reality — lifting a child turns from joyful to painful, getting out of bed is no longer motivating but daunting, and performing day-to-day activities like climbing a flight of stairs morphs from a simple task to an impossible feat. 

Throughout your lifetime, your body has an amazing ability to mend scrapes, heal broken bones, and bounce back from the various bumps and bruises that life delivers. In some instances, though, the injuries can exceed your body’s ability to heal, resulting in ongoing pain. Rather than masking pain with side-effect laden medications or jumping to a more invasive option like surgery, though, prolotherapy offers the possibility of aiding your body in the healing process.

 

What is Prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy is not a new technique; it has been utilized to treat painful conditions since the 1950s. Due to the minimal risks and side effects of the treatment, as well as its effectiveness, it is an increasingly popular option for treating many conditions, including chronic back pain, joint instability, musculoskeletal injury, and osteoarthritis. 

Prolotherapy is an injection-based technique that triggers the body’s natural healing process. Injection of a natural irritant into an affected tissue causes an inflammatory response; the inflammatory process stimulates the growth of new tissue to help heal the injured area. The injections help stimulate the regeneration of various tissues, including tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and connective tissue. The contents of the irritant solution used in the injection varies. It often contains a dextrose solution, which is a form of the sugar glucose that is naturally found in your body. Alternatively, it can contain autologous cells, meaning cells from your own body, such as blood cells or bone marrow.

 

Prolotherapy Injections

We offer two types of prolotherapy injections at our clinic:


HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

Prior to your injection appointment:

  • You will be advised to stop taking certain medications prior to the injection appointment, such as NSAIDs  (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, naproxyn, and indomethacin), corticosteroids, and anticoagulants.
  • It is important to note that these injections are not advised for individuals with certain medical conditions, including bleeding disorders, active infections, cancer, and pregnancy. Be sure to inform your doctor if you have any of these conditions.


On the day of your appointment

What to bring:

  1. Please bring a current health card.
  2. Please bring any relevant diagnostic imaging (such as x-rays and MRIs) that you have had done.
  3. You will need to follow the relevant COVID-19 protocols for your own safety and that of our staff and other patients. You can find further information about these safety measures at drwilderman.com/covid-19.
  4. For lower body injections, it is strongly encouraged to arrange for someone to drive you home in order to ensure your comfort and safety. You may also be recommended to use crutches for 1-2 days following a lower body injection in case of significant discomfort; if this is the case, you will need to bring them to the injection appointment.


What to expect during your procedure:

You will have a consultation with the physician prior to the injection appointment to discuss your condition and health history, review any relevant diagnostic imaging (such as x-rays and MRIs), and discuss the risks and benefits of prolotherapy injections. Dextrose injections are an out-patient procedure; appointments typically take 45-90 minutes. Once you have completed the check-in process, the nursing staff will draw 30-60cc of blood from a vein in your arm and place it in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelet-rich plasma. Ultrasound of the affected area will be done to help locate the injured tissue and determine if the procedure can be safely performed. Using sterile technique, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area prior to the injection. Once your injection procedure is complete, you will be asked to rest in the exam room for 15 minutes.


After your procedure:

  • If you are experiencing discomfort, you may ice the area for approximately 20 minutes every 2-3 hours for the first 24-48 hours to provide relief.
  • Approximately 1 in 10 patients experience a “flare” reaction beginning the day after the procedure and experience significant pain. If this occurs, take your prescribed pain medication and notify clinic staff by calling 905-886-1212 to determine if further steps are necessary.
  • While some redness and swelling are common after the procedure, be on the lookout for progressive swelling, redness, drainage, and fever. If this occurs, notify your physician to be assessed for possible infection. If symptoms are severe, you may be directed to go to the nearest hospital emergency department for evaluation.
  • For the day of the procedure and the day after, limit your level of activity to necessary activities of daily living to avoid irritating the site and facilitate a quick recovery. If you have been advised to use crutches, do so until the discomfort is not increased by weight-bearing activities.
  • It typically takes 2-3 sessions 4-6-12 weeks apart (depending on the kind of PRP used) to complete the course and another month to adequately assess your response to the therapy. Please make an appointment with your referring physician at this time to assess your progress.
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