How Prolotherapy Works for Your Back Pain

An estimated eight out of 10 Americans will experience back pain at some point in their life. Those that live with chronic back pain for six months or longer are often on a constant search for pain-relief solutions that don’t require surgery.

At Precision Regenerative Medicine, we specialize in several nonsurgical therapies, including prolotherapy, to treat back pain. Regenerative medicine specialist Tammy Penhollow, DO, can determine if you’re a candidate for prolotherapy during a comprehensive evaluation of your spine, so you can put off or avoid the need for surgery for chronic back pain.

An overview of prolotherapy

Inflammation is a common cause of mobility issues and chronic neck pain, back pain, and joint pain. Prolotherapy is a minimally invasive injection procedure to relieve inflammation in your joints, tendons, and spine.

The goal of treatment is to promote your body’s own healing processes to relieve pain and increase your mobility. During your procedure, Dr. Penhollow injects a mixture of a sugar solution (dextrose) and a local anesthetic into precise locations in your spine using ultrasound and/or fluoroscopy (xray) guidance.

The dextrose acts like an irritant in the connective tissues surrounding the joint. This triggers your body to react against the irritant and stimulates the growth of new tissues to replace damaged ones. The anesthetic temporarily interrupts nerve signals that travel from your spine to your brain to relieve pain.

Candidates for prolotherapy

Prolotherapy is an alternative regenerative medicine option for treating soft tissue and joint pain. Unlike platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and  autologous bone marrow aspirate mesenchymal stem cell therapies, this treatment doesn’t use cells from your body.

You may be a candidate for prolotherapy if you have underlying conditions like cancer or anemia and are not a candidate for PRP or bone marrow derived autologous mesenchymal stem cells. Dr. Penhollow may also suggest prolotherapy if your current treatment isn’t adequately relieving pain, but you’re not ready for more invasive treatments like surgery.

We review your medical history and provide comprehensive physical exams to evaluate the range of motion you have in your back. We may also request X-rays or other diagnostic imaging tests before you can receive prolotherapy.

What to expect during prolotherapy

During your prolotherapy appointment, we will disinfect the injection site to minimize your risk for infection. Dr. Penhollow can also apply a topical anesthetic to the area to keep you comfortable during the injection.

After the injection of the prolotherapy solution, you may have some minor discomfort and bruising at the injection site. Rest, heat, and over-the-counter medications can address these issues immediately after your procedure.

You will be able to go home after your injection and resume most of your activities. Dr. Penhollow may recommend limiting heavy lifting and other high-impact activities for a day or two following your treatment.

Initially, you might experience an increase in back pain and stiffness following your injection. However, as the solution begins working and your body begins healing, you should notice a decrease in your pain over time. Many people also enjoy increased flexibility and range of motion following prolotherapy.

To find out if prolotherapy can work for your back pain, call Precision Regenerative Medicine to schedule an appointment or book a consultation online today. 

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