Prolotherapy Top Questions
How soon after an injury should I receive treatment?
We generally recommend getting treatment within one week of the initial injury if possible. This will encourage optimal healing to occur and significantly reduce recovery time. Our goal is to get you back to where you need to be as quickly and safely as possible.
If I have a chronic injury that is 20+ years old, can Prolotherapy still help?
Yes, many of our patients have had injuries for many years and they are being significantly limited in their life. Since ligaments and tendons have poor circulation, oftentimes they never fully heal. With Prolotherapy we are able to re-stimulate a response from the body to refocus attention to that area to encourage completion of the healing process.
If my doctor is recommending surgery, is there anything Prolotherapy can do to help?
While surgery is sometimes necessary, it is most important to get a second and possibly third opinion. Our free 15 minute consultation is a great way to learn about alternative therapies and whether they are appropriate for your condition. We have had the pleasure of helping many patients avoid surgery altogether. Find out if we can do the same for you.
How do I know if Prolotherapy will help me?
Not everyone is going to be a candidate for treatment with Prolotherapy. This is why we stress the importance of a free 15 minute consultation. This allows our doctor to review pertinent history, and perform a brief initial physical exam on the painful joint and offer advice on possible treatment paths that will address the specific concern. We realize that at times this will involve referring a patient to another practitioner, however, it is our goal to help people, and not merely to treat everyone’s pain with Prolotherapy. We have developed a great team of specialists who can all address the cause of pain with different methods. When you do a free 15 minute consultation with our doctor, you are really having a consultation with numerous specialties at once.
I’ve had Cortisone (or other steroid) injections and they are not working any longer, can Prolotherapy help?
Yes, there is a very good chance that if you have had relief from Cortisone (or other steroid) injections, Prolotherapy can potentially offer long term relief. When one receives benefit after an injection of cortisone, it is because the steroid is suppressing the inflammation. If there is inflammation in the area, it is generally because of an unhealed injury. While Cortisone only provides short term symptomatic relief in most, Prolotherapy can oftentimes address the underlying weakness and put an end to chronic pain.
How do I know if Prolotherapy is right for me?
Before charging you for and implementing a treatment which may not be your best option, we want to assess the fit of your concerns and our treatment options. To do this, we offer a free 15 minute consultation. In this time the doctor will review your history and evaluate the painful joint to find the cause of the pain. Based on this, our doctor will recommend the ideal treatment for your condition. If Prolotherapy is not ideal, we will refer you to a practitioner that will be most appropriate to address your specific concerns.
I’ve had an MRI and I am told I have a bulging (herniated) disk, can Prolotherapy help?
Yes, when the ligaments in the back of the spine become weak, they allow for the vertebra above the joint to collapse forward and put more pressure on the disc. With Prolotherapy, we can strengthen and improve the integrity of the joint decreasing the pressure on the disk which will increase the potential for things like physical therapy to have a longer lasting effect. Also, studies have been done showing that half of patients with a herniated disc do not have any pain, which can also mean that if you have pain AND a herniated disc, they may be unrelated.
Can Prolotherapy help Sciatica?
In short, yes! Sciatica has many different causes. In addition to that, oftentimes pain that we associate with sciatica may actually be a radiating pain coming from the SI (sacroiliac) joint. This joint often becomes injured after a fall, automobile accident, or even pregnancy. The crucial piece is thorough evaluation of the cause of the pain. Once the cause is established, we can begin to look at the best possible way to address it, and most people with sciatica can derive a lot of benefit from Prolotherapy.
I’m told I have ‘bone on bone’ in my knees. Is there any hope for me?
Yes, while the lack of cartilage in the knee does not necessarily mean you must have pain associated with it, we have had many patients with knee pain and reported ‘bone on bone’ that have become completely pain free. Please bring in a copy of your radiology report and we can discuss your options.
I have a meniscus (or labrum) tear. Can Prolotherapy help?
Yes. Prolotherapy has been applied specifically for this reason and had tremendous success. We have helped several athletes with meniscus tears all with minimal downtime from their sport. Please see our FAQ section on Downtime after injections.
How often do I need treatment?
We generally recommend treatment every 4-6 weeks, however in some cases we may recommend treatment more frequently, though rarely more then twice per month.
Will I need to get treated for the rest of my life?
No. Since the aim of treatment is to stimulate healing in the joint so that it has fully healed, and is strong. Once this occurs, there should be no pain remaining and no need to continue treatment.
Will this interfere with any other practitioner working with me on this issue (ie Chriopractor, Physical Therapist etc)?
We often work hand in hand with a variety of healthcare practitioners on the same concern. Seeing a Chiropractor or Physical Therapist can offer even more benefit since it encourages increased stability and integrity of the structures surrounding the painful/injured area. If you are not currently working with one, we have a great team of referrals that we often work with to ensure optimal results with our patients.
I can’t afford to take time off from Work or Sports, when should I schedule treatment?
We generally recommend 1-3 days of down time after your first injection to evaluate your response to treatment. Depending on the area being treated, most people are able to get back to work by the next day depending on the level of demand on the joint being treated. With sports, we recommend abstaining for 3-5 days following treatment, and only playing up to the point of pain for about a week after treatment, though light motion with the joint is recommended.
Should I get imaging (x-ray, MRI) before coming in for my visit?
If you already have imaging, great, please bring in the radiology report. If you have not yet had imaging, no problem. We will evaluate your condition and decide whether or not imaging is indicated. If we believe you need imaging performed, we can order it for you.
Is this expensive?
When we consider the long term costs of having the injury, the emotional toll that pain takes on us, not to mention even a deductible on surgery, the cost of Prolotherapy pales in comparison. A typical knee replacement surgery can cost upwards of $70,000, and labrum surgery $100,000. While many people have insurance that will pay the majority of this, out of pocket expenses can often total more than $5000. This does not account for lost wages during the recovery phase of surgery (or flares of pain from the original injury). The advantage of Prolotherapy is the minimal downtime after treatment, and since the treatment is performed roughly once per month, the overall cost is spread over time. Please see our Prolotherapy brochure for pricing.
I’m still having pain after surgery, is there anything that Prolotherapy can offer?
Yes. In cases where there is pain remaining after surgery, several things could be happening. If there was a ligament injury contributing to pain before surgery, it was likely not addressed. Prolotherapy can address the ligament injury specifically, resulting in elimination of the previously unaddressed cause of the pain. Persistent pain following surgery can also be a result of the amount of stress put on a ligament or tendon during the invasive procedure. This too can be addressed with Prolotherapy. We recommend for patients to complete a full course of physical therapy as part of their post-op protocol since it will help to strengthen the muscles, bones and ligaments/tendons as they adjust to any changes made during the surgery.