If you are suffering from chronic pain, you’re not alone. In fact, chronic pain is one of the most common health problems in Canada. It affects approximately 7.6 million Canadians– that’s one in five people!
Chronic pain can be caused by various conditions, including arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, and migraines. But no matter what the cause, chronic pain can take a toll on your life. It can make it hard to work, exercise, and even sleep.
Fortunately, a treatment option can help you find relief from chronic pain: Prolotherapy.
Prolotherapy, also called proliferation therapy or regenerative injection therapy, is a little-known but potentially life-changing treatment for chronic pain. It involves injecting an irritant solution into an injured or painful joint, ligament, or tendon to promote healing. The solution usually contains a mixture of substances, including:
- Dextrose: A sugar that acts as an irritant
- Lidocaine: A local anesthetic
These injections help to stimulate the body’s healing process by causing inflammation and scar tissue formation, effectively relieving pain and improving function in the affected area.
Prolotherapy may be an option for people with chronic pain that has not responded to other treatment options, such as physical therapy, medication, or surgery. Practitioners often use prolotherapy to treat:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Chronic headaches
Prolotherapy can also be effective for treating injuries to ligaments and tendons, such as those that occur in the knee or shoulder.
The main benefit of prolotherapy is that it can relieve chronic pain. It does this by stimulating the body’s healing process, which can help repair damaged tissues. Additionally, prolotherapy can improve function in the affected area and may help to prevent further injury.
Another potential benefit of prolotherapy is that it is relatively inexpensive and has few side effects compared to other treatment options for chronic pain, such as surgery or medication.
Prolotherapy is also a safe treatment option for people who cannot have surgery or do not want to take medication.
Finally, prolotherapy can be combined with other treatments, such as physical therapy, to provide greater relief from chronic pain.
Prolotherapy is generally considered safe. The most common side effects are mild and include:
- Pain at the injection site. Local pain is usually short-lived and is easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
- Bruising. Marks and bruises may be uncomfortable for a moment but will resolve on their own.
- Infection. A rare but painful complication, you can avoid infection by using sterile techniques for the injections.
- Nerve injury. Damage to the nerves is also rare and typically only occurs if the needle used for the injection hits a nerve by mistake.
- Allergic reaction. Some people may be allergic to the substances used in prolotherapy, which can cause hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
These side effects usually go away on their own within a few days. More serious side effects, such as nerve or joint damage, are rare.
Prolotherapy is usually not covered by insurance, meaning you will likely have to pay for the treatment yourself. The cost of prolotherapy varies depending on the number of injections you need and the type of solution used.
The average cost of a prolotherapy treatment is $150. However, some people may need multiple treatments, increasing the overall cost.
Prolotherapy is a safe and effective treatment for chronic pain. It can provide relief from pain, improve function, and prevent further injury. Although insurance does not cover prolotherapy, it is relatively inexpensive compared to other treatment options.
If you are considering prolotherapy for chronic pain, consult with one of our doctors to see if it is the right treatment for you.