Prolotherapy helps repair or create new ligaments or tendon growth in areas of the body where they have been damaged causing inflammation causing pain or discomfort.
Ligaments are the structures that hold bones together. When an injury fails to heal, ligaments can become weak (usually where they attach to the bone) and may not heal back to their original condition. This is largely because the blood supply to ligaments is limited – and therefore healing is slow and not always complete. If this weakness is not corrected, pain receptors are stimulated and you may feel pain in the area where the ligaments are damaged. Tendons (connect muscle to bone) may also become injured and cause pain in a similar fashion.
Prolotherapy uses either glucose or another irritating solution which is injected close to the problem area. This causes a localized inflammatory response in the weak area which increases the blood supply and flow of nutrients to the area and further stimulates the tissue to repair itself by secreting new collagen via inflammatory mediators. The basic principle is to get the body to repair itself – an innate ability that the body has.
The treatment is useful for many different types of musculoskeletal pain including arthritis, back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, sports injuries, chronic tendonitis – partially torn tendons, ligaments and cartilage. Prolotherapy provided by a podiatrist can be beneficial in treating:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Ankle Sprains
- PTTD/ Flat Foot
The response to treatment varies from individual to individual and depends upon one’s healing ability. The average number of treatments per problem area is 4-6. We require a medical evaluation be performed by one of our Podiatric Physicians specifically trained in this area, to determine if you are an appropriate candidate.
The following research based journal articles all support the use of prolotherapy for varying chronic ligament and tendon injuries:
- Tsatsos, G. & Mandal, R. Prolotherapy in the treatment of foot problems. Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, 92:366-368, 2002.
- Alfredson. H., Jonsson, P., Sunding, K., Fahlstrom, M., & Cook, J. New regimen for eccentric calf-muscle training in patients with chronic insertional Achilles tendinopathy: results of a pilot study. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 42:746-749 doi:10.1136/bjsm.2007.039545, 2009.
- Ryan, M. B., Wong, A, D., Gillies, J, D., Wong, J., & Taunton, J. E. Sonographically guided intratendinous injections of hyperosmolar dextrose/lidocaine: a pilot study for the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 43:303-306 doi:10.1136/bjsm.2008.050021, 2009.
DID YOU KNOW?
Most types of foot pain can be prevented. It is important to have a qualified Pediatric Physician ensure your feet are the healthiest they can be.