Cutting edge, natural pain relief so you can get back to doing the things you love.

What is Prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy is a form of injection therapy designed to rehabilitate and stimulate healing in damaged tendons, ligaments, and other forms of connective tissue. Prolotherapy serves to promote healing, decrease pain, and increase function. Prolotherapy is often performed as a series of injections spaced out over weeks to months.

Prolotherapy is an effective, natural treatment for pain and inflammation, helping to strengthen and repair weakened connective tissue and alleviate musculoskeletal pain. It can be used for both acute and chronic pain, arthritis, and unresolved injuries that have not responded to rest of other therapies.

Many patients elect to pursue prolotherapy because they experience pain that has not responded to traditional treatment with physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and cortisone injections.

Prolotherapy is a powerful treatment used to encourage healing of injured tendons and ligaments. It has shown benefit for treating ligament sprains, tendonitis, joint instability, and shoulder, knee, and back pain.

Prolotherapy uses a natural sugar and vitamin solution injected at carefully chosen areas around or at the site of chronic pain and injuries. These injections produce a localized mild inflammatory response that initiates the healing process, and results in tissue repair.

Research studies show that Prolotherapy and PRP help to decrease pain, increase mobility, and shorten the recovery time for acute injuries.

The goal is to permanently repair damaged connective tissues that are the cause of immobility and chronic pain.

Most musculoskeletal pain is due to damage and weakness of ligaments and tendons. Weakness and micro-tears create laxity of the ligaments which causes the supporting structures around joints to become unstable, resulting in muscles spasms as well as wear and tear to the joints, creating pain.

Damaged ligaments can have a referral of pain that can mimic the pain caused by nerve compression. This creates confusion as to the diagnosis of the problem and leads to inappropriate treatment, and continued pain. Joints, such as of the knee and shoulder, often develop instability as well as weakening of the internal cartilage surfaces, and this is often improved by injection the nutrient solution into the joint space.

What is PRP?

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections are used for the repair of chronic degenerative joints, ligaments and tendon injuries. This new technology is changing the way doctors treat injury, pain and aging.  Conditions treated include: chronic overuse injuries to the ankles, knee and shoulders; arthritic joints; chronic back and spine arthritis and pain; degenerative disc disease. More specific injuries include; tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, knee ligament tears, shin splints, partial thickness rotator cuff tears, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis ,and IT band syndrome can be effectively treated with PRP.  

PRP (Platelet-Rich-Plasma) is a more advanced type of prolotherapy. This procedure is similar to prolotherapy in that it is a form of regenerative injection therapy, however PRP is considered more potent and patients often see faster results. It is especially powerful for long standing, chronic conditions. Injections are prepared from the patient’s own blood in order to activate and increase the platelet count; normal blood contains less than 10% platelets, while PRP contains over 90% platelets. The procedure involves a simple blood draw after which the growth factors from the blood are extracted and injected into the damaged or painful areas. Patients typically experience less tenderness after the treatments and PRP injections often dramatically speed recovery times and may require fewer treatments. PRP can be used for the same conditions as prolotherapy, Platelets play an important role in the initiation and regulation of wound healing, including bone, tendon and ligament regeneration and repair, promote the development of new blood vessels and stimulate the wound healing process resulting in new collagen formation, and recruitment of stem cells.

Research studies show that Prolotherapy and PRP help to decrease pain, increase mobility, and shorten the recovery time for acute injuries.

Results our patients look forwards to:

  • Relief from aches and pains
  • Avoiding surgeries
  • Increased joint movement
  • Strengthened ligaments and tendons
  • Enhanced healing from injury
What Conditions May Benefit from Prolotherapy and PRP ?

Prolotherapy and PRP can be useful for any chronic pain originating from a ligament, tendon, cartilage damage, or joint. Candidates for treatment include people with arthritis, musculoskeletal disorders, and back pain, particularly those who have found little or no relief through manual or physical therapy, cortisone injections, or surgery. 

Prolotherapy targets the joint, ligaments and tendons that are weakened and stretched out from injury or aging and actually promotes healing and repair. This stimulation of the body’s healing mechanism helps to restore strength and integrity to the damaged area. The procedure involves injecting a solution into the damaged joint, ligament or tendon. This stimulates the body to begin the healing process to also restore strength and function. With Prolotherapy, the pain is NOT covered up. The injury and source of the pain is healed.

Common reasons for seeking prolotherapy and PRP include:

  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Ankle Sprain
  • Arthritis
  • Back Pain
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Golfer’s and Tennis Elbow
  • Headache
  • Hip Pain
  • Joint Instability
  • Knee Injuries and Pain
  • Ligament Injuries
  • Loose or hypermobile joints
  • Low Back Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Plantar fascitis
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries and Tears
  • Sacro-iliac pain
  • Sciatica
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Sports Injuries
  • TMJ
  • Unstable shoulder joint (repeated dislocation)
  • Weak or sore wrists
  • Whiplash

When you combine prolotherapy or PRP with trigger point injections, people who have been in pain for years having tried all sorts of other therapies regain their health and live pain free.

What Results Can You Look Forward To?
  • Relief from aches and pains
  • Avoiding surgeries
  • Increased joint movement
  • Strengthened ligaments and tendons
  • Enhanced healing from injury
Treatment Details

How does prolotherapy work ?

During treatment, a sugar-based (dextrose) solution is injected into the affected ligament, tendon and/or joint, causing a localized minor inflammatory response. This stimulates the production of growth factors, promoting cell and tissue regeneration. The body responds by increasing the blood supply and flow of nutrients to the area, causing the area to repair, strengthen, and tighten itself. New collagen (which ligaments and tendons are made of ) is also deposited, resulting in stronger joint. The healing process can be expected to continue for one to four weeks following each treatment. As the tendons and ligaments grow stronger and more capable of doing their tasks, the pain is relieved.

How many treatments will I need ?

For many people relief can be rapid, but generally anywhere from 3-8 treatments is the average. Many patients have reported partial or complete relief from pain after only one or two sessions.Since prolotherapy and PRP work by initiating an immune response, anything that reduces the body’s immune system can impair the effectiveness of each session. Current smokers and those with uncontrolled diabetes can often require more sessions. Patients currently taking either prescription anti-inflammatory medication or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) or have been treated with steroids may also expect a greater number of treatment sessions because they have a reduced healing response.

How many areas can I have treated at once ?

Prolotherapy and PRP can be performed on multiple areas at the same time, depending on the individual needs of the patient. Prolotherapy and PRP non-toxic and most patients tolerate the injections quite well. Prolotherapy can be performed on both new and old injuries.

We do limit the amount of areas treated at the same time so that we can stay within the safe range of local anesthetic that the body can process at one time.

What should I expect after my treatment ?

Most patients experience “heaviness” in the tissue that was injected. This typically lasts from 2 hours to 2 days, but may last up to 10 days. Somewhere during this time-frame, patients will typically experience relief from the pain of the injury. Usually within the first 24-48 hours, there is improvement in either range of motion, pain or both. The degree and length of improvement will typically begin to subside before the next injection, however we expect that the period of time of increased activity & reduced pain will increase with subsequent injection sessions.

How can I enhance or accelerate my recovery ?

Drink at least 2 liters of water following all injection therapies. Dehydration is the number one reason for post-injection discomfort.

Can I exercise after my treatment ?

Patients are encouraged to continue with moderate activity following their injections. We want new tissue to be laid down in the lines of tension and activity will ensure this processes.  Within 24-48 hours, patients report that they are able to resume full activity following the treatment. Occasionally, we have a patient who recovers more slowly.

What about cortisone or steroid injections ?

Prolotherapy and PRP repairs the injury by strengthening ligaments through stimulating a controlled inflammatory response. Cortisone stops the inflammation but may reduce the healing response resulting in weakened tissue. Cortisone can rarely be injected into the same area more than three times.

Cortisone shots are an injection of anti-inflammatory medicine, which is usually a combination of corticosteroid and a local anesthetic. These injections usually numb your pain initially, but do not heal your injury, nor are they permanent. Cortisone and prolotherapy injections are quite the opposite. While prolotherapy and PRP have positive effects on healing, repair, collagen growth, tendon & ligament strength and cartilage growth, cortisone inhibits any repair or healing to occur and over time can actually damage the area further.

Do I need to stop any medications prior to my treatment ?

The injections work by stimulating an immune response so drugs that reduce the body’s ability to generate an immune response will negatively affect therapy. Both steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can impair the healing process. Ideally, these drugs should be discontinued 3-4 weeks prior to the injection for the best effect. Fish oils and other natural anti-inflammatory supplements do not appear to adversely affect healing

Who is not a candidate for prolotherapy or PRP ?

We cannot perform any treatments on cancer patients, women who are pregnant, anyone who will be travelling by air the same day of treatment and anyone who has an allergy to one of the ingredients (such as dextrose – derived from corn or Procaine – a short acting anesthetic). Injections especially cannot be performed on any individual that is immuno-compromised, fighting a current infection or has an active autoimmune disorder.

The following conditions may require more in depth treatment beyond prolotherapy and PRP, due to their association with reduced immune system function (please discuss these in detail with Dr. Chelsea):

  • Smokers
  • Patients with Diabetes
  • Patients Taking Daily NSAID’s (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs)
  • Patients Taking Immune Suppresant Drugs (Prednisone, Imuran, Methotrexate, etc…)
  • Patients with Hormone Deficiencies

Do I need to do anything else as part of my treatment ?

As in most treatment for chronic pain, proper alignment and muscle function are needed to prevent problems from reoccurring. It is recommended to combine your prolotherapy/PRP treatments with chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, acupuncture and exercise therapy. Improved diet and nutritional supplementation may also be recommended.