Prolotherapy treatments have treated ligament and joint laxity since 1992. Dr. Barr has more experience performing prolotherapy than any physician in the eastern part of Virginia. She was fortunate to learn about Prolotherapy from one of its originators, Dr. Gustav Hemwall, in the early 1990’s (Dr. Hemwall was in his 80’s at the time).
Over the years, Dr. Barr has refined the technique to include image and/or x-ray guidance. Image guidance allows Dr. Barr to access and inject discrete areas of injury or laxity and ensures safety. Prolotherapy treats chronic joint instability, chronic whiplash, sports injuries, recurrent ankle and wrist sprains. It’s also used in hypermobility syndromes, such as Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.
Prolotherapy involves the injection of a solution consisting of Dextrose, Phenol and Glycerine mixed with Lidocaine into damaged or overstretched connective tissue and joint capsules to strengthen collagen and restore elasticity. This enhances joint stability and reduces pain.
Prolotherapy is a Natural Process
Unlike steroid injections, Prolotherapy is a totally natural process that stimulates the repair of soft tissue and joints. It is effective in treating pain due to ligament laxity, repetitive overuse injuries, whiplash injuries, poor posture, improper stretching, and traumas of various kinds.
We have learned over time, when ligaments and tendons are lax or slack, the surrounding muscles reflexly go into spasm in an effort to stabilize that area of the body. Once we inject the prolo solution into the affected tissues and healing takes place, the lax tissue naturally tightens allowing the surrounding muscles to relax. This is very common with neck and shoulder pain. Prolotherapy is quite helpful in reversing some of these chronic muscle tightness and pain.
Prolotherapy is usually administered in 3-5 treatment sessions performed at 3-4-week intervals. Depending on the complexity, a prolotherapy session takes 15-25 minutes to perform. Unlike steroid injections, there is no limit to the number of prolotherapy injections one can have if needed.
How does Prolotherapy work?
There are three phases of prolotherapy. Phase one is the inflammatory phase lasting 3-4 days following the injections. This phase can cause a brief period of soreness, swelling and stiffness.
Phase two lasts 3 weeks and is the proliferative phase. Fibroblast cells lay down new collagen to heal injured tissue.
The final phase is the remodeling phase, which lasts 3 months. New collagen is stretched which causes new tissue to organize into stronger tissue and provide adequate support to damaged areas.
The end result of these injections is a reduction of pain and deactivation of receptors that act as alarm sensors in the soft tissues causing pain and result in limping and other compensatory movement patterns.
Prolotherapy Offers Long-Lasting Benefits
The benefits of prolotherapy can be very long-lasting. In some instances, the effects from prolotherapy are permanent. The key to igniting the proliferative process is the initial inflammatory phase. Avoid aspirin, Motrin, Aleve and other prescription NSAIDS, for 1 week prior to your injections and three weeks after injections.
Ice applied to the area of injection can help manage post injection pain along with Tylenol and topical CBD salve or T relief gel.
At the Barr Center, we believe that prolotherapy injections will continue as a unique and simple application for pain relief for years to come.