Short for 'proliferative' therapy, prolotherapy is based on the same naturopathic philosophy that the body has the innate ability to heal itself given the appropriate stimulus. The stimulus, in the case of prolotherapy, is through the injection of a 'proliferant' solution which causes a controlled/localized tissue trauma. The body responds to this trauma by initiating a wound healing cascade. This process is thought to repair the damaged tissue in a such a way that results in stonger tissue integrity.
These injections are applied to the musculoskeletal structures of the body, particularly at the weakest point of joint spaces where the tendons/ligaments connect to the bones. This, in turn, stabilizes the joints which takes stress off of the musculoskeletal structure, relieves muscle spasms, reduces inflammation, improves strength/biomechanics, and so forth. Ultimately, the combination of these results helps to relieve pain and prevent injury.
Injections are applied precisely to specific regions of the body based on a thorough orthopedic assessment.
For more information on prolotherapy, please visit: Journal of Prolotherapy
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) is plasma with many more platelets than what is typically found in blood. The concentration of platelets — and, thereby, the concentration of growth factors — can be 5 to 10 times greater (or richer) than usual.
To develop a PRP preparation, blood must first be drawn from a patient. The platelets are separated from other blood cells and their concentration is increased during a process called centrifugation. Then the increased concentration of platelets is combined with the remaining blood.
Laboratory studies have shown that the increased concentration of growth factors in PRP can potentially speed up the healing process.
To speed healing, the injury site is treated with the PRP preparation. This can be done in one of two ways:
1. PRP can be carefully injected into the injured area. For example, in Achilles tendonitis, a condition commonly seen in runners and tennis players, the heel cord can become swollen, inflamed, and painful. A mixture of PRP and local anesthetic can be injected directly into this inflamed tissue. Afterwards, the pain at the area of injection may actually increase for the first week or two, and it may be several weeks before the patient feels a beneficial effect.
2. PRP may also be used to improve healing after surgery for some injuries. For example, an athlete with a completely torn heel cord may require surgery to repair the tendon. Healing of the torn tendon can possibly be improved by treating the injured area with PRP during surgery. This is done by preparing the PRP in a special way that allows it to actually be stitched into torn tissues
In humans, PRP has been investigated and used as a clinical tool for several types of medical treatments, including nerve injury, chronic tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, osteoarthritis, cardiac muscle injury, sexual dysfunction and/or stimulation, and androgenic alopecia (hair loss). It can also be used for bone repair and regeneration, in plastic surgery, colorectal surgery, and oral surgery.