Few have heard of the prolotherapya, yet it is a treatment that can give benefits especially to those who suffer from pain in the joints. It's not totally painless as a remedy, but it might be worth a try. Obviously it is up to the doctor to decide, also with respect to our general health conditions and the problem we want to solve.
Prolotherapy: what it is
We are talking about a technique capable of activating or favoring the processes of self-healing of our body, particularly when it is necessary to reinforce tendons, ligaments or joints damaged by trauma or overuse. When there is a problem in these areas, in fact, very often there is a condition of hypermobility and instability, accompanied by severe pain.
With prolotherapy we go to intervene precisely on this instability by encouraging the production of new fibrous tissue which repairs the damaged structures, allowing joint stabilization and the disappearance of pain.
Prolotherapy: how it works
In fact, what does this therapy consist of? We have not yet described it. It provides for one micro injection of a glucose solution (15% or 25%) with a small amount of local anesthetic right where the tendons and ligaments are damaged. This puncture serves to create a slight state of local irritation which in turn stimulates those self-healing mechanisms of the body that are useful in order to regenerate new tissue where a part of it has been damaged. It is precisely the inflammatory response that stimulates the growth of new ligament fibers and tendons, necessary to reinforce damaged or weakened structures.
This treatment mainly concerns that part of the body which are therefore the joints knee, hip, ankle, foot, wrist, elbow, shoulder. There are cases in which it is also applied to the spine at the cervical, dorsal and lumbar level and to the sacroiliac areas.
All trauma to muscles, tendons and ligaments of various joints as well as tendonitis, degenerative tendinosis and partial tendon injuries are pathologies that can be treated with prolotherapy which can be effective even in the case of neck and back pain and metatarsal pain. Other disorders that can be thus cured are Morton's neuroma, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other degenerative diseases of the cartilage if only in initial form.
For the therapy to be effective it is necessary to carry out several sessions with intervals of 15 or 20 days. There total duration of therapy it must be decided by the doctor but usually it goes from 3 to 5 sessions.
Prolotherapy: it works
This therapy does not work for everyone and not for everyone in the same way, a lot depends on the general state of health of the subject and also on any nutritional deficiencies that can hinder the healing process. It is precisely for this reason that, before undergoing this treatment, it is necessary to be carefully evaluated by the doctor who will prescribe clinical tests, x-rays, laboratory tests.
Prolotherapy: does it hurt?
In fact, we are talking about injections, so it cannot be said that it is completely painless. Of course, very fine needles are used so it can be said that it is a not very painful treatment, then each one can evaluate himself according to his pain threshold. The effect can change depending on the area being treated but also by the level of inflammation reached, as well as by the skill of the operating doctor.
In more frequent cases, the injections result in a slight swelling accompanied by a little pain. If we have a little patience, it disappears by itself, but if it persists or if we can't handle it, we can relieve it with paracetamol. It is better not to use anti-inflammatories, instead, after a session of Prolotherapy, because it could counteract the healing processes triggered.
Prolotherapy: side effects
Beyond the pain from injections, there are none side effects noteworthy, this treatment can therefore be considered very safe. However, let us take into account, and do not be alarmed, if a redness appears around the place where we gave the injection, but it often disappears after a few minutes. There is only one precaution to take when deciding to carry out prolotherapy sessions: suspend any anticoagulant treatments a few days before.
An American surgeon invented this therapy in 1940 George Hackett. It was his idea to use injections with 25% glucose combined with local anesthetic to treat chronic pain in tendons and ligaments. Although its discovery is by no means recent, its spread is: prolotherapy has only taken hold in the last 20 years.
We might hear about Neuroprolotherapy, abbreviated with the acronym NPT. This is a different method and to be distinguished from Prolotherapy, to be understood as its evolution. In this case, a series of small superficial injections are carried out with small and thin needles, immediately under the skin, in correspondence of the inflamed and painful sensory nerves. The injected substance is low concentration glucose (5%).
NPT was initially used to treat inflammation of the Achille's tendon, then over time its effectiveness was discovered also for the treatment of epicondylitis, knees, shoulders and painful hips, cervical and lumbar pain.
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