Pain management strategies, especially for muscular and skeletal parts of the body, primarily depend on painkillers or surgeries. However, most painkillers are steroids, and they are harmful to the body.
Surgeries are invasive, and they are the last option because of their invasive nature and long recovery time. It is for this reason that many people who suffer from chronic muscle and bone-related pain are keen on using prolotherapy. So if you want to treat your muscle or bone-related pain, you can go to prolotherapy san diego.
What Exactly Is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is an alternative form of medicine. This means that it is not approved as a conventional medical therapy by the US Food And Drug Administration.
The treatment involves injecting the affected part of the body with a solution that is inert. Usually, the solution that is injected is that of glucose. Glucose is harmless and is naturally present in the human body. So injecting an additional dose of glucose should do no harm to the body. However, most experts believe that the extra shot of glucose does jumpstart the immune system of the body.
Most practitioners believe that the glucose solution irritates the body. When the body’s natural immune cells perceive an irritation in the system, they kickstart the body’s natural repair mechanism in the damaged area.
So just like a cut in the body heals itself by creating a clot and a broken bone rejoins after being put in a plaster, prolotherapy believes in inducing the body to heal itself.
This therapy might make use of imaging techniques like ultrasound or X-ray to figure out the damaged muscle or bone. But if the images are not conclusive, then the glucose solution is injected into the connective tissue that is nearest to the site of pain.
This therapy is expected to heal many conditions like osteoarthritis, which is an age-related degenerative disease. It is used for treating sacral pain, that is, pain in the lower back. Apart from this, multiple conditions, like a slipped disc, Achilles heels, etc., can be treated. Thus, it can be used to treat a damaged bone, muscle, or connective tissue that holds the bones and muscles.
How Effective Is Prolotherapy
Most practitioners believe that 80% to 90% of people report a 50% reduction in pain levels after a few sessions of the therapy. Most people go back because they can feel an improvement in their condition. In fact, a study was conducted with two groups of people. The first group was injected with a typical pain-relieving medicine.
And the second group was injected with a solution of glucose. After some time, the first group did not report any pain reduction, but the second group reported reduced levels of pain. This study concluded that pain relievers, which are mostly steroids, are only short term solutions, and prolotherapy( injection of glucose solution) is a more long term treatment.
Here is a comparison of the utility of prolotherapy vis a vis other common pain management and treatment procedures
Prolotherapy Vs. Surgery
Surgical interventions use imaging to figure out the problematic bone or muscle. However, in many cases, the imaging method used does not have the resolution to pinpoint the exact source of the problem. In such cases, prolotherapy can be used instead of invasive exploratory surgery.
Also, in case the pain is felt in complex joints like the TMJ or the temporomandibular joint, surgery might be very complicated. The TMJ is a complex joint, and the muscles emerging from the joint have connections up to the cheeks and the head. The bones and the muscles of this joint perform vital functions like talking, chewing, etc. So in such cases trying out a less invasive therapy is always better than going for surgery in the first instance.
Prolotherapy Vs. Painkillers
Most painkillers are steroids, and consuming steroids for a long period of time is bad for the coronary muscles. Moreover, the effect of painkillers lasts for a shorter duration as compared to alternative medicine.
Prolotherapy Vs. Chiropractic Techniques
A chiropractor is a person who moves and adjusts the bones in your body to remove misalignment in bones. The adjustments help in reducing pain and improving the flexibility of the joints. However, at times Chiropractic treatments can cause some discomfort, whereas injections of glucose are absolutely painless.
Prolotherapy Vs. Physiotherapy
A physiotherapist usually helps his patient by suggesting regular exercise that improves the movement of the affected body part. Physiotherapy helps improve flexibility and range of movement over time, but it does not, as such, reduce pain.
Some Factors That Limit The Effectiveness Of Prolotherapy
- The effects are relatively short term. In most cases, the effect lasts for a few weeks only.
- The treatment regime depends on the body’s natural repair mechanism to heal itself. However, if a person is getting old, his body’s natural ability to heal damaged parts decreases. So even if the body is triggered due to the injection of glucose, the repair, and subsequent relief will not be optimal.
- At times the injection procedure might affect nerves. However, such instances are very rare, and an experienced practitioner will know how to inject the glucose solution without damaging the nerves.
- The treatment has a different impact on different people. Some people start seeing the effects after a single session of the treatment, whereas others might see effects only after receiving the fourth or the fifth injection.
Pain management, especially in old age, is a daunting challenge for both patients and doctors. Many doctors suggest a combination of drugs, exercise, etc., to deal with chronic pain causing diseases like arthritis. But at times, conventional treatment might fail to give consistent results, and in such cases, the doctor may suggest alternative medical therapies.
However, before you go for prolotherapy, it is important to consult your doctor to rule out the chances of adverse effects based on the regular medicines that you consume. Also, it is vital to visit a reputed practitioner for prolotherapy.