Joseph Aiello, D.O.
Mari jo Hanson, P.A.

San Diego Center for Integrative Medicine

619 670-8028

Our goal is to help you heal to avoid surgery!!!!


What is Prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy was first decribed by Dr. George Hackett in the 1950’s when he wrote his book entitled Ligament and Tendon Relaxation (Skeletal Disability : Treated By Prolotherapy).   Prolotherapy is a treatment to help the body repair damaged ligaments causing pain around joints and at distant areas.  The basic tenet of Prolotherapy is that laxity of a joint causes the joint to become unstable and this causes pain.   The laxity could have occurred from trauma or years of overuse and abuse.  Or in the case of some arthritides, just use in daily living.

The concept behind Prolotherapy is the body has experienced trauma in a joint, and the ligament and support structures are damaged.  With that damage, the joint develops increased laxity.  With the increased laxity, the joint becomes unstable and the patient experiences pain at the joint and possibly at places away from the joint. 

The idea is to inject medicines into the ligaments that cause the ligaments and joints to release a cascade of healing factors that eventually repair the ligaments.   As the healing factors repair the ligaments, the joint increases in stability and the pain resolves permanently. 

The areas of injury are identified by history and physical examination.  They are identified by feeling areas that are painful and certain injuries refer pain to other areas away from the injured joint, such as, leg pain from the low back.

Next, the areas are gently injected with a medicine called a “proliferant” .  This medicine causes an inflammation to occur at the site of injection.  When the body uses its natural abilities to repair the inflammation, new fibers are created in the ligaments to help support the joint.  As this occurs, the joint becomes more stable and the pain is reduced. 

Benefits and Risks:

Benefits:The main benefits are decreased pain and increased joint stability.  With less pain and more mobility, the patient can increase activities and hopefully improve overall health.  Moreover, many surgeries can be avoided when using Prolotherapy.

Risks:The injections are placed into ligaments and joints.  Great care is taken to do this with as little pain as possible and to prevent infections.  But, pain will occur with the shots and after, although each person is different. 

The injections are done near arteries, veins, and nerves and sometimes those are touched during the procedure.  In the neck, upper, and lower back are sites that are near the spinal cord and nerves that come from the spine.  Also, in the upper back, the lung can be in proximity to the injection site.  However, with proper technique and careful placing of the needles, these sites can be avoided. 

Cost: $200 per injection area or joint.   Not covered by HMO.

More Thoughts on Treating Pain:

Also, remember we are trying to help your body heal itself with these injections.  Prolotherapy is only one component of our pain program.  You must have good nutrition, take appropriate supplements to help rebuild joints, and detoxify your system with supplements and the ion detox system.  Also, you must have your hormones in balance, as well as stop smoking and have a positive mental attitude. 

The total program includes the above elements and acupuncture sessions where indicated. 

Dedicated to your Health and Well Being TM

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