How Prolotherapy Heals Injuries, Old & New
By Dr. Ayo Bankole
Prolotherapy is a non-surgical and medication free solution to pain. In Prolotherapy, stretched or torn tendons and ligaments are treated with pro-inflammatory agents like dextrose or biological cells such as platelets, over several weeks’ time, resulting in less pain and the return of normal function. ¹
Pain is the single most common reason why patients visit their doctor, and it affects all of us at some point in our lives. Musculoskeletal pain is the most common type of pain and is conventionally treated with pain medications and surgery; overlooking a well-documented and amazingly effective treatment called Prolotherapy. Prolotherapy, also known as regenerative injection therapy (RIT) was first performed as early as the 1930’s. The earliest contemporary pioneer of the art was George S. Hackett, M.D., who developed much of its methodology through the 1950’s ². From its humble beginnings, Prolotherapy is now practiced across the nation and worldwide by hundreds of alternative medicine minded physicians.
Definition of Prolotherapy
Prolotherapy is the restoration of painful, injured and arthritic joints by injections that stimulate healing via the wound healing cascade. The injections stimulate blood flow and cause a low-grade inflammation resulting in the release of growth factors which activate special cells known as fibroblasts. The fibroblasts then deposit collagen, giving new strength to the area. What results is a stronger, thicker and tighter ligament and joint. This is the same healing cascade that occurs in response to any injury and is necessary to return any injured tissue back to function.
Research and Rationale
K. Dean Reeves, M.D., chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Bethany Medical Center in Kansas City is the foremost proponent of prolotherapy and author of several contemporary clinical studies on the subject. He concludes that the inflammatory proliferent injections for chronic low back pain according to research, resulted in significant improvement in pain and decreased disability in two randomized, double-blind studies and that “direct exposure of fibroblast to growth factors causes new cell growth and collagen depostition. ³”
Why Old Injuries Still Hurt
Anatomically, the distribution of blood vessels to ligaments and tendons is sparse at best. In the event of a joint injury rather from chronic overuse or an acute traumatic sprain or strain, the naturally limited blood flow dampens the healing cascade. After an injury, growth factors are present only for a few days. ³ The healing cascade is also dampened by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids and even the overuse of ice. If healing is not complete, ligaments and tendons will remain loose, weak, and painful. This often contributes to cartilage degeneration or arthritis, which causes more pain. Reeves, states “without further stimulation of growth factors, sufficient repair cannot take place.” ³
The Benefits of Prolotherapy
The treatments are helpful not only for chronic joint pain but for acute joint pain and injuries as well. Conditions treated include sprains and strains, tendonitis, tendinosis, arthritis, low back pain, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica and others. Prolotherapy is proven to decrease or eliminate pain, improve joint function and to allow a return to previous activity. In addition, Prolotherapy gives individuals the opportunity to no longer rely on pain medications. Prolotherapy is beneficial to both young and older adults and athletes.
Dr. Ayo Bankole has received advanced training in Prolotherapy and is a member of The American Osteopathic Association of Prolotherapy Regenerative Medicine www.prolotherapycollege.org, the California Association of Naturopathic Doctors www.calnd.org, and the American College for the Advancement of Medicine www.acam.org. He uses Prolotherapy to treat pain conditions of the back, neck, hips, knees, feet, shoulders, elbows, and hands.
To learn if prolotherapy is right for you call 909-981-9200 for a free consultation.
- Banks, A. A Rationale for Prolotherapy
- Hackett G, Hemwall, Montgomery, G. Ligament and Tendon Relaxation treated by Prolotherapy
- Reeves, K. Prolotherapy: Basic Science, Clinical Studies, and Technique