The best way to solve an ongoing injury is to hear about first-hand accounts of what works. My son has been battling with Achilles Tendonitis for several years. He has pretty much tried just about everything from cupping, stretches, months of rest, and Graston technique. Although all of these remedies provided some relief, none of them were lasting. As soon as he goes back into his sports of basketball and tennis he ends up right back where he started.
Tight calves, muscle knots, and not consuming enough fluids can start to bring on Achilles tendonitis. Recently my son was visiting me here in Florida and I suggested he give my acupuncturist a try, who does prolotherapy.
The doctor told him, unfortunately, this is a painful procedure and he did his best to numb the area before beginning the therapy. Anyone who has had Achilles pain knows that just slightly squeezing them can be unbearable so poking a needle into them is going to be even worse.
During the procedure, the doctor injected a dextrose solution into the Achilles tendon up and down both sides. My son would tell you it was tolerable, but not a comfortable thing to have done. Afterward, he was really sore and could hardly walk for several days. There was a lot of swelling, but you are not allowed to ice or take anything to bring that down. The swelling is part of the healing process and is supposed to happen. After about a week and a half, he started to notice that he was feeling better than he had in a long time. Really stubborn tendonitis can take several treatments before the real results are felt. He went back in several weeks later and had a second treatment done. As mentioned at his first visit the doctor told him that each time you do it, it is not as painful and recovers more quickly, this was the case with him. The second time was less painful and recovery was quicker.
I myself have used Prolotherapy many times and find it to be the most effective treatment available for chronic problems often resulting from sports. I have pulled my hamstring many times and prolotherapy is the only thing that helps me recover much quicker than any other treatment.
Prolotherapy is used on all types of tendonitis, knee, back, elbow, neck and just about any pain issue you have in your body. It is worth a try and often times people tell me that they haven't felt this good in a very long time.
Prolotherapy and How it Works
Prolotherapy is a procedure where natural irritant injected into your soft tissue of an injured joint or muscle knot. The irritant causes the body's natural healing response.
Prolotherapy is referred to as a regenerative joint injection or a non-surgical ligament and tendon reconstruction. I had several treatments into my sacral joints which had become slack. Every time I would move or twist I would feel it popping in and out. This is a condition that many people get as they grow older. Much to my surprise, a year after my injections I realized that my joints no longer were popping in and out. Just as the doctor had told me it takes time for the ligaments to thicken after the treatments. Apparently, that is exactly what happened. Often times you forget over time that it was the Prolotherapy that caused the ligament to thicken and hold the joint in again.
Primarily Prolotherapy was used on backs, but it is now used on the following areas.
What Should you do Prior to Prolotherapy?
It is important that you are off of any anti-inflammatories for at least 2-3 days prior to the procedure and stay off of them after as well.
Eating a protein-rich diet and drinking a lot of water is also recommended after as well.
Benefits of Prolotherapy
Medical professionals who support the use of prolotherapy believe that it strengthens joints and reduces pain. It also improves the stability of the joint and overall movement and function of your back. Prolotherapy can thicken tendons and strengthen joints.
Prolotherapy is an all-natural treatment that allows the body to repair itself and reduce pain.
Pain relievers offer temporary relief and do nothing to stabilize the joint.
Aside from swelling and some pain after prolotherapy there really hasn't been any other reported side effects.
Clinical Trials of Success Rate of Prolotherapy
There have been many clinical trials on prolotherapy and all have shown improvement in arthritis and pain. This study is one of many that show the benefits of prolotherapy, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10710805.
Another larger study was done that also showed promising results, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3659139/.
Costs for Prolotherapy
The costs for prolotherapy run about $250-$600 dollars per session. I personally saw an acupuncturist who did my prolotherapy. He charged me $200 because I sent him so many new clients, otherwise, it would have cost $250.
Some researchers are hoping that prolotherapy will be more widely studied and accepted. Research now suggests it is safe and a good alternative to medications and surgery.
There are critics who say that the efficacy of prolotherapy is not known. They think that there isn't substantial evidence to support the claims. Studies are small in numbers so it does cast some doubt of the findings.
I can only say from my own personal experience of myself, my husband, and my son, that the benefits of prolotherapy were amazing. We all had so much relief in pain and gained flexibility. It made us feel young again :). Both my husband and I had back issues that resulted in hamstring pulls. Prolotherapy was the most effective treatment we found.
Plasma Therapy is the same prolotherapy treatment, but instead of using Dextrose they use your own rich blood platelets for the injection. This treatment is highly effective and is more expensive then the dextrose treatment. Each treatment costs between $800-$1,000.00 each. Normally what would take 3-4 Prolotherapy treatments with dextrose, can be solved in one treatment of Plasma Prolotherapy. Depending on your financial situation and time frame either one is a remarkable treatment.
Acupuncturists and physical therapists normally do the Dextrose Prolotherapy. If you go the plasma route you will need to see a MD to do the procedure.