Potential side affects from a treatment
Though each area of the body that is injected has it own concerns, side affects are minimal to non-existent. At the time of initial evaluation, any and all concerns are well explained. In the many years that I have personally treated patients with Prolotherapy, I have never had any significant complications.
How painful is the treatment?
In the hands of a well trained therapist, like myself, the procedure causes very little discomfort. It is not uncommon for patients who may even fear needles, to say that the treatment had minimal discomfort. Also, since the patients we treat have often been living with significant pain for years, they approach the treatment positively as a real hope for help.
What to expect after a treatment
There are usually a couple of days of minor soreness following the treatment. This is generally so small that Tylenol alone is an adequate remedy. Then over the next two weeks things may be pretty much as they were before the treatment. It takes approximately 2 weeks for the healing inflammation to get started. Between the 2nd-4th weeks there is generally a minor aching caused by the inflammation. This is a good thing. The treatment is trying to create this low-grade response. By the end of the 6th week, whatever level of improvement that will occur from that treatment is complete. Depending on the level of progress, it will be determined if other treatments are needed.
After treatment instructions
Following the treatment, I commonly place the patient on a 20-25 lb wt restriction. No bending and twisting at the waist if the low back is involved. Avoid all activities that recreate the original pain. Let pain be your guide…if it hurts, don’t do it. Gentle stretching is okay as long as it doesn’t cause pain. Of course, no anti-inflammatory medications are to be used for the 6 weeks following a treatment.
How many injection treatments are needed?
The average number of treatments necessary for healing is three. Some people may have adequate improvement after just the initial appointment and some may obtain 5 or more treatments. The reason that a person may proceed with more treatments is that they continue to improve after each series. The healing, in part, is determined and affected by the level of injury and the proper adherence to post-treatment instructions.
Why other treatment may have failed
Physical therapy is primarily directed at the strengthening and stretching of the muscles following injury. This totally misses the real cause of the pain…loose damaged ligaments.
Joint manipulation often results in temporary help, but again because of the root problem being ligamentous laxity, the manipulated joint quickly goes out of position and the pain returns.
Pain management also is only trying to minimize the pain and limitations of ligamentous damage, but offers no long-term help and does not deal with the root problem of ligament looseness.
A personal note
Many patients who are exposed to Prolotherapy have obtained information from literature found in alternative medicine newsletters, articles and magazines. There are many very good treatment possibilities offered by alternative medical doctors that are not recognized by the traditional medical society. However, just because I am a Prolotherapist, I do not consider myself an alternative doctor. Prolotherapy is the only real treatment for damaged loose and unstable ligaments, whether viewed from an alternative or traditional perspective.