Stimulated and Complete Healing for Injury or Strain
Prolotherapy, short for proliferative therapy, is an injection technique designed to stimulate the body’s ability to heal a particular area that has been injured or undergone tissue damage. Prolotherapy can help heal torn ligaments and tendons, in turn stabilizing joints such as knees, elbows and ankles. Platelet rich plasma, or PRP, is another procedure that can provide more complete healing. It can help in wound healing such as burns, diabetic ulcers and post-ligament reconstruction surgery.
What Is PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)?
Platelet rich plasma or PRP can also be injected as a stand-alone or along with a dextrose injection. Platelets, stem cells and fibroblasts are recruited to the site and as a result provide a more complete healing of the area. Platelets release a multitude of growth factors including:
Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), a potent signaling agent for healing
TGF-beta, which stimulates the deposition of tissue.
Both of these growth factors have been shown to play a significant role in the repair and regeneration of connective tissues. Other healing-associated growth factors produced by platelets include:
Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a signal for tissue and protein growth
Platelet-derived epidermal growth factor (PDEGF) particularly useful for wound healing
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) aides in angiogenesis, the ability to grow vessels and effect micro-circulation in tissue which brings nutrients and blood flow to areas that can be restricted such as ligaments and tendons.
All of these elements are in our blood. To utilize PRP a blood sample is drawn and processed. It is concentrated into a potent mix of these growth factors. It is then injected into the area of concern. Many find relief after the first treatment and others need 3-4 treatments. The success of using PRP can be remarkable. Not only can PRP be used in many degenerative diseases, it can also help in wound healing such as burns, diabetic ulcers and post-ligament reconstruction surgery.
Course of Treatment
Most patients can expect 2-4 treatments. As long as there is marked improvement treatments can continue. Healing can take up to 6 months in some cases. The initial appointment will be an assessment to see if prolotherapy would be an indicated treatment. Any imaging that has been done is always helpful but additional imaging may be ordered by the doctor. Diet and nutrition concerns will be addressed, as this is important in the healing process. If improvement is not seen with the basic dextrose prolotherapy then PRP treatments may be indicated or treatments may start utilizing PRP from the start.
There is little down time after treatment but it is common to experience an increase in pain in the first days after treatment. The patient must avoid all anti-inflammatory medications such as NSAIDS like Ibuprofen. Painkillers may be given at the time of treatment if needed. Restrict activity for the first day or two after treatment. Call to schedule with Dr. McConnell our naturopathic doctor at Live Well to find out more info and if you might be a candidate for this treatment.