Everyone knows what pain feels like, but for each of us, the experience is different. While there are various treatment options for acute pain, treatment for chronic pain is much more complex and often requires a multifaceted approach. Conventional methods for managing acute pain include the RICE principle (Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate) along with the use of Ibuprofen and/or Acetaminophen and other pharmaceuticals to help with pain and swelling. While this approach can help temporarily, it does not help encourage healing and can lead to chronic pain. When healing is obstructed by conventional methods, acute pain transitions to chronic pain.
Common causes of chronic pain include osteoarthritits, generalized low back pain, damaged tendons and damaged ligaments stemming from unresolved injuries, such as motor vehicle accidents, recurring sprains or falls. Conventional therapeutic choices include a variety of pharmaceuticals drugs that may or may not work but may have serious side effects. Newer treatments addressing chronic pain such as prolotherapy have since come to light, while ancient therapies of acupuncture have been providing relief for thousands of years. According to a 2011 study done on chronic pain in Canada, the most common cause of chronic pain is low back pain, followed by knee pain and upper back pain tied for second. Furthermore, of all people experiencing chronic pain, almost 1 in 4 of them have been experiencing it for more than 20 years!
Prolotherapy is an effective treatment option that involves the administration of dextrose into the affected area to increase blood flow and healing molecules to the injured area. Ligaments, tendons and cartilage are all tissue types that receive very little blood flow. Therefore, when these tissues are injured, they cannot heal quickly or completely. Prolotherapy acts as a catalyst to improve healing and it subsequently increases ligament and tendon strength resulting in reduced chronic pain as well as prevention of future injuries to the same area.
The use of Prolotherapy has been shown to significantly relieve pain associated with common examples of tendon conditions, such as tennis elbow, golfers elbow and achilles tendonitis. It also helps with common ligament conditions such as sprains in the ankle, knee and/or shoulder. Prolotherapy, by increasing ligament strength and thickness, is also showing promise with low back pain caused by hip ligament laxity, also known as Sacroiliac instability. Other areas showing great results include osteoarthritis in the knees, reducing pain and swelling and increasing range of motion, as well plantar fasciitis in the feet by improving mobility while reducing pain with walking.
Prolotherapy is an up and coming treatment option for chronic pain and injuries. As its popularity increases, more people are finding relief. By using the body’s ability to heal itself and treating the root cause, previously damaged tissues causing chronic pain are now healing. Prolotherapy is a useful key in unlocking a healthy, strong and pain free lifestyle.