Prolotherapy, once known as sclerotherapy, is an injection technique that has been used extensively in Europe and the United States for over 60 years. It is a system similar to Biopuncture, but with some distinct differences. In Biopuncture, there are no injections to joints, whereas in Prolotherapy, periarticular (the area surrounding the joint) injections are fairly common. Prolotherapy always injects at the enthesis, the place where ligaments or tendons join with the bone, whereas Biopuncture mostly focuses on injections of less depth and specificity, which may be appropriate in some cases. Dr. Perlstein decides which technique will work more effectively based on each individual case.
Prolotherapy is known as nonsurgical ligament/tendon reconstruction. Ligaments are the structural “rubber bands” that hold bone to bone together in joints. Tendons join the muscle to the bone. When ligaments or tendons are injured, they often do not heal back to their original strength or elasticity. In effect, they scar, most especially ligaments, and cause limitation of joint function, chronic inflammation, and pain. The “prolo” in prolotherapy stands for proliferation, in that the treatment causes the proliferation, or growth, of new ligament or tendinous tissue in areas where it has grown weak. It also stands for proliferant, and the Prolotherapist will use various substances to affect proliferation. Dr. Perlstein uses homeopathic medicines and analgesics. Prolotherapy is safe and remarkably effective. When it works, it can be shockingly effective. Dr. Perlstein’s success record is currently 85-90%.
Excellent websites for taking an in depth look at prolotherapy are:
- www.aaomed.org Click on Info for Patients
- www.tomravinmd.com Click on Prolotherapy and Links