May 16, 2023
Prolotherapy has become increasingly popular due to its numerous benefits and effectiveness in treating various musculoskeletal conditions. This treatment technique, which stimulates the body’s natural healing mechanisms, is an effective option for pain management and to promote healing. In this article, we will delve into the world of prolotherapy, explore its advantages, and discuss the conditions it can treat. We will also provide an overview of the prolotherapy treatment process to give you a better understanding of this innovative approach to pain management and healing.
Introduction to Prolotherapy
Prolotherapy, also known proliferative therapy, is a non-surgical treatment that promotes the body’s natural healing processes. It involves injecting a solution, typically consisting of dextrose, into damaged or injured areas of the body. This solution triggers an inflammatory response, which, in turn, stimulates the body’s healing mechanisms to repair and strengthen damaged tissues and joints. Unlike other treatments, prolotherapy addresses the root cause of pain by targeting the damaged tissues and promoting healing rather than simply masking the pain with medications or relying on surgery.
The concept of prolotherapy dates back to the 1930s, when Dr. Earl Gedney, an osteopathic physician, first introduced the technique. Dr. Gedney discovered that by injecting a solution into the weakened area of the body, he could trigger the healing process and relieve pain. Since then, the technique has evolved and gained recognition as a viable option for pain management and healing, with numerous studies supporting its effectiveness. The term “prolotherapy” was first used in the 1950s by Dr. George Hackett.
Benefits of Prolotherapy for Pain Management and Healing
Prolotherapy offers several benefits as a treatment for pain management. Some of the key advantages of this therapy include:
- Effectiveness: Multiple studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of prolotherapy in reducing pain and improving function in patients suffering from various conditions. In many cases, patients experience significant improvement in their symptoms after just a few sessions.
- Non-surgical: As a non-surgical treatment, prolotherapy presents a lower risk of complications and fewer side effects compared to surgical procedures. It is an excellent option for individuals seeking a less invasive approach to treating their pain and promoting healing.
- Minimally invasive: Prolotherapy involves the use of small injections, making it a minimally invasive procedure. This means there is little to no downtime, and patients can typically return to their normal activities shortly after treatment.
- Natural approach: Prolotherapy harnesses the body’s natural healing abilities by stimulating an inflammatory response at the site of injury. This natural approach to healing is appealing to many individuals who prefer to avoid medications or surgery.
- Long-lasting relief: By addressing the root cause of pain and promoting the repair of damaged tissues, prolotherapy offers long-lasting relief from pain. This stands in contrast to other treatments that may only provide temporary relief.
Conditions That Can Be Treated
Prolotherapy has been proven effective in treating a wide range of conditions related to musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. Some of the most common conditions that can benefit from prolotherapy include:
- Osteoarthritis: Prolotherapy can help alleviate pain and improve joint function in individuals suffering from osteoarthritis by stimulating the body’s healing mechanisms to repair and strengthen the affected joint.
- Tendinopathy: Tendons are fibrous bands that connect muscles to bones, and when they become damaged or irritated, it can result in tendinopathy. Prolotherapy can be an effective treatment for tendinopathy by promoting the regeneration and repair of damaged tendons.
- Chronic back pain: Back pain is a common condition that can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. Prolotherapy can provide long-lasting relief from chronic back pain by targeting the damaged tissues and promoting healing.
- Sports injuries: Sports injuries, such as sprains, strains, and tears, can be effectively treated with prolotherapy. The treatment can help repair and strengthen damaged tissues, allowing athletes to return to their sport more quickly.
The Prolotherapy Treatment Process
The prolotherapy treatment process typically involves several sessions, spaced apart by several weeks. During each session, a solution is injected into the damaged area, triggering an inflammatory response and promoting healing. The number of sessions required will depend on the severity of the condition and the individual’s response to treatment.
Before the treatment, the healthcare provider will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine if prolotherapy is the right treatment option. They will also discuss the treatment process and potential risks and benefits with the patient.
During the treatment, the healthcare provider will use a small needle to inject the solution into the damaged area under ultrasound guidance. The patient may experience some discomfort during the injection, but it is typically brief and well-tolerated. After the injection, the patient may experience mild swelling and pain at the injection site, which should resolve within a few days.
Following the treatment, the healthcare provider may recommend rest and limited activity for a short period. They may also recommend exercises or physical therapy to help strengthen the affected area and promote healing.
Prolotherapy is an effective treatment option for pain management and to promote healing. This non-surgical and minimally invasive technique harnesses the body’s natural healing mechanisms to repair and strengthen damaged tissues, providing long-lasting relief from pain. Prolotherapy has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of conditions related to musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. If you are struggling with chronic pain or seeking a natural approach to healing, prolotherapy may be an excellent option for you.
To learn more about prolotherapy and whether it may be right for you, talk to the experts at San Diego Orthopedics Medical Group. Fill out the form below to get started.
Mar 31, 2023
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that connect the shoulder blade to the upper arm bone. These muscles and tendons work together to provide stability and support for the shoulder joint, allowing for a wide range of movement and flexibility. However, when these muscles and tendons become damaged, it can result in a rotator cuff tear.
Rotator cuff tears can happen for a variety of reasons. One of the most common causes is overuse, especially in people who engage in repetitive overhead activities. Other causes include aging, injury, or degeneration from arthritis.
Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include pain, weakness, and stiffness in the shoulder, as well as difficulty moving the arm and a loss of range of motion. If left untreated, a rotator cuff tear can lead to chronic pain and loss of function in the shoulder.
Why does this happen?
Rotator cuff tears are common in people over 40, especially those who engage in repetitive overhead motions, such as athletes or manual laborers. These tears can occur due to the overuse of the shoulder and the gradual wear and tear on the muscles and tendons over time.
Another cause of rotator cuff tears is injury. The rotator cuff can become torn when the shoulder is impacted, such as in a fall or accident. Additionally, degenerative conditions such as arthritis can also lead to rotator cuff tears.
How can Rotator Cuff tears be prevented?
Maintaining healthy shoulder muscles and tendons is the best way to prevent rotator cuff tears. This includes engaging in regular exercise, such as weightlifting, swimming, and other activities that work the shoulder muscles.
For people who engage in repetitive overhead activities, it is important to take frequent breaks and avoid repetitive movements that may cause strain on the shoulder. Additionally, warming up and stretching before participating in activities that involve overhead motions can help to prevent rotator cuff tears.
What treatments can be used for Rotator Cuff tears?
If a rotator cuff tear is diagnosed, several treatment options are available. Conservative treatment options, such as rest, physical therapy, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can help to manage pain and inflammation.
Another option for the treatment of rotator cuff tears is the use of biologics, such as platelet-rich plasma or cell-based therapies, which can be used to help promote tissue regeneration. Biologic therapies are injection procedures. Blood, bone marrow, or fat tissue is collected, processed, and injected into the shoulder to help repair the damaged tissue and promote healing. These procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. There are no large incisions or lengthy hospitalizations involved.
For more severe tears, surgery may be necessary. Surgery options include arthroscopy, which uses small incisions to repair the damaged tissue, or open surgery, which involves a larger incision and a prolonged recovery.
In conclusion, rotator cuff tears can happen for various reasons. Maintaining healthy shoulder muscles and tendons is the best way to prevent them. When a rotator cuff tear is diagnosed, several treatment options are available, including biologics such as platelet-rich plasma injections and cell-based therapies. These treatments can help to manage pain, promote healing, and restore function in the shoulder. Consult with your doctor to find the best treatment plan for you.
The team at SDOMG has vast experience treating shoulder pain and using orthobiologic treatments to reduce chronic pain. Fill out the form below to learn more about how our team of experts can help.
Mar 8, 2023
Chronic pain can affect your quality of life. Pain is considered to be chronic when it lasts longer than 3 months without any indication of improvement. Chronic pain can compromise your mobility, flexibility, and strength, affecting your day-to-day activities which can also lead to mental health issues.
Chronic pain can result from an injury or an underlying condition. The first step in treating chronic pain is identifying the root cause of the pain. Your physician will perform a thorough history, and physical exam and order imaging studies to help determine the pain source.
There are many conventional treatments for chronic pain, but many treatments just mask the symptoms, and surgery may be too invasive or unnecessary. Fortunately, there are minimally invasive treatment options for chronic pain.
Minimally invasive procedures for chronic pain management are less invasive than surgery, hence less pain and recovery time. The goal of these procedures is:
- To help stimulate healing of the underlying injury.
- To reduce the pain symptoms.
- To help the patient return to an active lifestyle and improve quality of life.
Available Minimally Invasive Procedures:
This procedure involves injecting dextrose solution to injured areas to stimulate the body to heal. It works by creating a mild inflammatory response, which helps to initiate the healing and strengthening of injured ligaments and tendons.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections
Platelets are tiny cells in your blood that contain growth factors that are critical to healing. PRP is a concentrated sample of your own blood containing a high number of platelets. PRP can be injected to injured areas of your body to promote tissue regeneration, decrease inflammation, and encourage new blood vessel formation.
Bone marrow or Adipose (fat) derived cell therapy
Your bone marrow and adipose (fat) are a rich sources of mesenchymal cells, growth factors, and other cells that have tremendous potential for healing and restoring injured tissues. Through a simple outpatient procedure, your bone marrow or fat can be harvested, processed, and re-injected to injured areas of your body on the same day to stimulate healing and repair.
Chronic pain can affect your general well-being, but it doesn’t have to remain that way. Please fill out the form below and visit our website to learn about alternative ways to manage chronic pain.
Jan 5, 2023
Recent research in the medical field has unearthed the body’s power to regenerate and repair injured tissue. Doctors continue to learn more about Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, which uses of a patient’s blood to catalyze healing. PRP has gained popularity in treating injuries amongst athletes as well as relieving chronic pain.
This article walks you through PRP Injection therapy and answers some common questions regarding this treatment.
What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection Therapy?
Plasma is the liquid portion of blood, which carries platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells, as blood circulates the body. Platelets are responsible for forming blood clots to stop bleeding and promote healing when blood vessels are injured.
PRP injections leverage the restorative functions of platelets. The patient’s blood is drawn to concentrate the platelets. This is achieved by running the blood through a centrifuge to separate other blood components and obtain a plasma solution rich in platelets.
The concentrate is then administered to the patient by injecting it into the injured body tissue to speed up healing. The injected platelets release growth factors that catalyze the repair of damaged tissues.
What Conditions Are PRP Injections Good For?
Scientists continue to research ways in which PRP injections can be effectively used to foster healing in the body. Physicians use PRP injections in the following areas:
Healing Damaged Tendons
Doctors administer PRP injections to hasten the healing of tendons that would ordinarily heal slowly. Common acute tendon injuries include Achilles tendonitis, golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, and jumper’s knee, among others.
PRP injections are used to treat osteoarthritis in multiple joints, such as knees, hips, and shoulders. A study that involved a group of 160 individuals with knee osteoarthritis showed that PRP injections yielded better results when compared with hyaluronic acid injections (also known as gel injections), which is a conventional regimen used to treat osteoarthritis.
Recovery of Post-Surgery
Doctors may administer PRP injections to help heal ligaments and tendons after surgery. That way, they fast-track the body’s healing process.
Injuries Among Athletes
Health practitioners have used PRP therapy to tackle soft tissue injuries, such as ankle and knee sprains, and strained hamstring muscles among athletes.
What Happens During A PRP Injection Procedure?
- A blood sample is drawn from the patient’s arm.
- The blood is placed in a centrifuge to separate the various blood components.
- The isolated platelet-rich plasma is prepared for injection into injured tissues.
- The doctor administers PRP Injection to the affected area using image guidance to ensure proper injection placement, including ultrasound or fluoroscopy.
What Are the Side Effects of a PRP Shot?
PRP injection therapy is safe given that it uses the patient’s own blood. Possible side effects are those associated with other injections which include:
- Pain from the injection
- Injury to nerves
If you’re looking for safe relief from chronic pain, then PRP Injection therapy is an option worth trying. Contact us at San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group for your consultation and PRP injection with professional healthcare practitioners. Our physicians will help you navigate various medical options to manage chronic pain and find quicker recovery.
Oct 13, 2022
As one the largest joints in the body, the knees often suffer the most from the wear-and-tear that comes with a lifetime of use (or abuse). Whether damaged by an injury such as a ligament or tendon tear, or simply worn down by years of standing, running, jumping, lifting, etc., the result is often the same: chronic pain, inflammation, and reduced movement.
Depending on the extent of the injury or damage to the knee, patients can often gain some temporary relief from steroid injections that decrease swelling or from other interventional treatments such as hyaluronic acid injections that increase lubrication in the joint. But when these options have been expended, many look to surgery as their last, best hope to repair the damage and bring sought-after pain relief.
But now, non-surgical cellular treatments are providing long-term relief to patients with knee pain by putting the body’s own natural healing abilities to work to undo the damage brought on by injury or degeneration.
How Do Cellular Treatments Work?
Known as regenerative medicine, cellular treatments harness powerful healing properties within the body’s building blocks—its own cells—to help repair and, in some cases, replace injured tissues. These treatments promote healing of injuries to the cartilage in the knee joint, as well as soft tissues such as tendons and ligaments in the knee.
To adhere to Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, only autologous (from the patient’s own body) cellular products can be used to treat orthopedic conditions. Donor products, including cord or amniotic cells, are not approved to treat knee osteoarthritis or soft tissue injuries in the knee.
Cellular products are taken from the patient’s own blood, bone marrow, or fat (adipose) tissues to maximize the benefits of their unique healing properties:
- Platelet Rich Plasma: Platelets in blood release growth factors and proteins that promote tissue repair, while the plasma carries the hormones, electrolytes and nutrients required to nourish cells during the healing process. Platelet rich plasma treatments can be customized to create specific formulations for each type of tissue being treated (muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage).
- Cellular Therapy: Cells derived from the patient’s own bone marrow or adipose (fat) tissue called “pericytes” produce molecules that spur the production of new blood vessels, awaken other stem cells and encourage newly forming cells to produce collagen and other proteins essential for creating new healthy tissues. These specific cells can develop into the specific kind of cell needed, whether that be tendon, ligament, cartilage, or bone.
After these products are removed from the patient, they are concentrated and reinjected directly to the injured area to address the degeneration or injury.
Do Cellular Treatments for the Knees Work?
Regenerative medicine practitioners have scores of anecdotal evidence from satisfied patients that support the powerful pain-relieving and healing properties of cellular treatments for the knees.
But because the field of regenerative medicine is relatively new, until recently, there has been a limited amount of clinical data to bolster this anecdotal evidence. We believe the quantitative, controlled data that clinical trials will produce will not only further the use of cellular treatments for orthopedic conditions but will also confirm what hundreds of our satisfied patients have been telling us for years: cellular treatments have helped their bodies heal naturally while allowing them to resume the activities that help them regain their quality of life.
The experts at SDOMG help patients with knee injuries and knee osteoarthritis find the relief they need using expert technology and treatments. To learn more about cellular therapy for knee injuries, contact SDOMG using the form below.
Jun 10, 2022
Many people develop “tennis elbow” due to repetitive strain or stress on the elbow. Tennis elbow, also called lateral epicondylitis, is a common ailment among athletes and patients that perform activities requiring repetitive elbow movement, lifting heavy loads, or using hand tools. The condition may cause elbow pain and stiffness that worsens with wrist extension and gripping.
Patients are regularly treated through over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, application of cold packs, exercise therapy, and braces. Unfortunately, tendons have a rather poor blood supply causing a prolonged healing period. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy has emerged as a very popular, effective treatment for tennis elbow.
What is PRP Therapy?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a safe, unique, and effective procedure used to treat musculoskeletal injuries. PRP involves injecting a high concentration of the patient’s own platelets to accelerate the healing of injured muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments.
The plasma is separated from other blood cells in a centrifuge and injected into the patient’s injured tissues. The injection is done using ultrasound imaging guidance.
PRP Therapy as a Tennis Elbow Treatment
Elbow tendonitis conventional treatments may not be effective. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections speed up the healing process and have become one of the most successful treatments for tennis elbow.
PRP therapy boosts the patient’s natural healing process to repair injured tissue. There are proteins, also known as growth factors, found in platelet-rich plasma that assist in the healing of the elbow tendons. PRP stimulates the release of anti-inflammatory growth factors and promotes collagen synthesis. According to research, tennis elbow patients who got PRP therapy improved by 71 percent in up to 24 weeks, compared to 56 percent in the control group. In addition, PRP has a reduced chance of side effects because it comes from the patient’s blood.
Recovery Time after PRP for Tennis Elbow pain
PRP-treated patients should expect some pain relief after 3-4 weeks and anticipate major improvements at 6-12 weeks. The patient’s healing rate may differ depending on the severity and duration of the condition. A study suggests that PRP was associated with more improvement in pain intensity and function in the long term compared to corticosteroid shots.
Why Choose PRP Therapy?
Platelet-rich-plasma therapy is now a popular regenerative injection that is effective in healing tennis elbow. PRP treatment for lateral epicondylitis has various benefits. PRP therapy is a convenient, quick, in-office process that offers long-term relief for tennis elbow pain. In addition, PRP treatment uses your own blood, so there is no risk of allergic or immune reaction, and no non-natural substance is introduced into your body.
PRP injections stimulate the release of anti-inflammatory growth factors that boosts tendon regeneration. In addition, PRP therapy promotes collagen synthesis, which plays a major role in healing the damaged tendon.
PRP therapy is a game-changer in the medical field used to address musculoskeletal pain without opting for surgery. PRP therapy is a viable treatment for your tennis elbow condition. Please fill out the form below to contact our team.