What is Prolotherapy?
First, it is important to understand what the word prolotherapy itself means. "Prolo" is short for proliferation, because the treatment causes the proliferation (growth formation) of new ligament tissue in areas where it has become weak.
Prolotherapy uses a dextrose (sugar water) solution, which is injected into the ligament or tendon where it attached to the bone. This causes a localized inflammation in these weak areas which then increases the blood supply and flow of nutrients and stimulates the tissue to repair itself.
Conditions and Symptoms that May be Improved
- Arthritis in any joint in the body
- Any popping, grinding, clicking, or snapping in a joint (all these are signs of joint loosening and instability)
- Manipulation frequently makes big improvements quickly. If Prolonged manipulation is necessary this is an indication of joint instability and injection reconstructive therapy may be helpful.
- Any musculo-skeletal problem which has failed with surgery and other methods.
- Any Condition which is helped by a brace, splint, crutch, walker, lift, or wheelchair. People that need these aids frequently have weakened or lax joints.
- Deep aching which is alleviated some by constantly changing positions.
- Symptoms of decreased strength and endurance.
- Increased pain with increased activity (swimming, biking, and walking may be exceptions).
- Various conditions such as osteoporosis with compression fractures, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis an spinal defects such as scoliosis and slipped spine.
Prolotherapy can help the injured athlete with chronic injuries, such as sprain/strain, tendinopathy, and tendinitis. Chronic knee and ankle injuries such as found in football and basketball players respond well to prolotherapy and prolozone. Rock climber shoulder injuries and tennis elbow are also ideal candidates for prolotherapy.
What are the symptoms of TMJ syndrome?
Symptoms can include pain when opening and closing the mouth, pain in the jaw area that spreads to the face or neck and shoulders, headaches, earaches or ringing in the ears, inability to open the mouth completely and "clicking" or "popping" sounds when chewing. Because these symptoms are common to other disorders, the problem is often misdiagnosed.
Prolotherapy in TMJ is very simple.
One to two cc's of a mixture of 25 percent dextrose is injected into and around the temporomandibular joint(s).THe patient is placed on a soft diet until the mouth is able to fully open. The TMJ Prolotherapy injections cause an awkward bite and a tight jaw for a couple days. The patient should not force the mouth open during this time period.
How long will it take to complete a course of treatments?
The response to treatment varies from individual to individual, and depends upon one's healing ability. Some people may only need a few treatments while other may need 10 or more. The average number of treatments is 4-6 for an area treated. The best thing to do is get an evaluation by a trained physician to see if you are an appropriate candidate. Once you begin treatment, your doctor can tell better how are you responding and give you an accurate estimate.
Prolotherapy and Prolozone: 2016 - Scientific Evidence
Here are some recent examples of scientific support for prolotherapy: (click on the title to download .pdf)
- Prolotherapy review of the evidence (2016) - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27429562
- Prolotherapy in knee osteoarthritis (2016) - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27603001
For more information about prolotherapy, visit the American Academy of Orthopaedic Medicine at:
For a listing of prolotherapy doctors (MD, DO, NMD) go to: www.getprolo.com