Prolotherapy, what is it? Can it work for me? What does it mean?

Doctors are only now discovering the potential of using prolotherapy to treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal and tendonous injuries that occur in the body. These may include torn or overstretched tendons in many areas of the body, including the shoulder, elbow, neck, knee, ribs, ankle, low back etc. Prolotherapy has also been shown to have the beneficial effects of lowering pain and promoting the proliferation of joint spaces in degenerative  conditions such as herniated discs, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

So how does it work? Prolotherapy  is a minimal invasive injection technique using a simple solution of dextrose and lidocaine (a local anesthetic). This solution is then introduced to the torn tendon, ligament, or damaged joint capsule. From there your own body does the rest of the work. To understand why this injection works so well at promoting healing, you first must understand why tendons and ligaments have difficulty healing in the first place.

Tendons and ligaments have a very limited blood supply if at all, and thus their ability to heal is severely limited due to lack of immune response at the location of the injury. This can cause chronic weakened ligaments and joints which could result in chronic pain and degeneration in that joint or even other parts of the body. Prolotherapy initiates the bodies immune response to the site of injection leading to the formation of more collagen, fibroblasts and growth factors and leads to the formation of new connective tissue. “Prolo” means to proliferate or grow, and it does this in the formation of new tissue at the molecular level.

Prolotherapy is not for everyone, but should be considered in all cases of joint and ligament damage or even chronic pain. There is much research being done currently to solidify Prolotherapy in mainstream medicine. I think that through the incorporation of prolotherapy into my practice, I will be able to help many more patients see positive health benefits and relief from chronic pain.


Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids, as the name describes, must be obtained by food. They come in two major forms:

1. Linoleic Acid (Omega 6)

2. Linolenic Acid (Omega 3)

Omega 6 sources include nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and whole grains to name a few. Omega 3 sources include fish, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds. It is important to note that flax seeds will oxidize very quickly and many of their nutrients will disappear if you grind them up and leave them for long periods. It is suggested that you grind them on a daily basis when you need to use them to gain maximum benefit.

The typical ratio for Omega 6 to Omega 3 is 12:1; however, historical estimates suggest that we should try to attain a ratio of closer to 1:1 (6:3) for optimal health. This is because Linoleic acid (omega 6) is more pro-inflammatory on the body and leads to more inflammatory processes compared to the less inflammatory Linolenic (omega3), which produces many anti-inflammatory pathways.

Some health benefits of obtaining more Omega 3 in your diet include: lower risk of heart disease (by decreasing blood triglycerides, platelet aggregation, improving arterial wall tone), lower global inflammation on the body, protection against various cancers as well as protecting your brain against dementia and mental health issues.

The Truth About Lactic Acid:

  • Lactic acid, a byproduct of muscle metabolism (working muscles) is often blamed as the cause of muscle soreness 24-48hours after working out. Lactic acid itself is removed very quickly from the body (generally beginning in seconds and with complete removal within around 30minutes). It will often causes a “burning” sensation during exercise, but is relieved within minutes of stopping that particular exercise. It is not the cause of soreness a few days after your workout. Current research suggests that this muscle pain and soreness 24-48h post workout (delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS for short) is due to microtrauma of the muscle fibers contractile elements (actin and myosin) and membranes (sarcolemma). This microtrauma causes inflammation and release of chemicals from damaged tissue which stimulates pain receptors. This also is an increase of blood flow to the area leading to swelling of the muscles which also stimulates pain receptors located in nerves.