"Prolotherapy is a safe and effective treatment modality often used as an alternative to surgery"
Prolotherapy (also known as "proliferation" or "regenerative" therapy) is a safe, effective injection treatment which provides strength in joints, ligaments and tendons by assisting the body to create new connective tissue. The solution used is a mixture of glucose (20% or less) mixed with a local anaesthetic called lignocaine. Prolotherapy was developed in the 1940's by an American surgeon Mr. George Hackett. Since then it has been researched and refined by many practitioners to be utilised in many different pathologies.
How effective is it? Within the studies a success rate of 88% is often reported. The research also concludes that prolotherapy is more effective for pain relief than local anaesthetic or cortisone.
Ligament Strain: A ligament is a fibrous structure that helps connect bones together. Damage to a ligament is a common injury seen in the foot and ankle. Recent research has shown that prolotherapy can help reduce the pain associated with injured ligaments whilst increasing mobility at the joint.
Tendinopathy: When tendons become injured due to repetitive stress or overuse, they are often slow to heal and can require large amounts of rest and rehabilitation for recovery. Prolotherapy can help decrease the required healing time by changing the cellular structure around the tendon. In an injured state the tendon creates miniature blood vessels within and around the tendon called neovessels and a chemical known as VEGF. Neovessels can be seen via ultrasound and have been proven to inhibit heeling and the glucose within the prolotherapy solution inhibts the production of VEGF and neovessels to allow healing to occur.
Neural Pain: Nerves like all structures within the body can become constricted and injured on occasion. If the nerve is constricted or injured, the nutrients can't flow down the fibres to repair itself and it becomes tender along the rest of the nerve. Nerual prolotherapy was developed by Dr John Lyftogt in New Zealand and it requires multiple injections along the nerve (usually just under the skin) to allow the nerve to function freely.
Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is permanent damage to the joint lining known as cartilage. The damaged can be caused by injury, malalignment or general wear and tear. Treatment involved requires injection of the mixture into the joint and recent evidence suggests that by treating the ligaments around the joint creates more stability and can stimulate regrowth of cartilage.
Prolotherapy can be used for a variety of foot ailments from arthritic joints, to corns and hammer toes and chronic heel pain.