Prolotherapy is a treatment technique that involves the injection of growth factors or growth factor production stimulants to promote growth and repair of normal cells and tissue; this has the potential to reverse degenerative changes.
Dr. Joanne Borg-Stein
Prolotherapy is a treatment technique that involves the injection of growth factors or growth factor production stimulants to promote growth and repair of normal cells and tissue; this has the potential to reverse degenerative changes. Dr. Joanne Borg-Stein and the prolotherapy study group conducted a study to analyze the effects of prolotherapy versus the commonly employed practice of corticosteroid therapy in the treatment of chronic lateral epicondylopathy of the elbow. Although studies have shown positive effects of prolotherapy on mechanical properties of ligaments as well as subjective improvements in pain and function, most have suffered from small sample size, inadequate controls, and inconsistency of study design and methodology.
Prolotherapy, also known as regenerative injection therapy, stimulates production of primary growth factors that work to repair ligament, tendon, or cartilage.
One such application is chronic lateral epicondyle enthesopathy/tendinopathy. It is generally agreed that “tennis elbow” is associated with repetitive mechanical micro-trauma and overuse, but many cases have no biomechanical association, nor vocational or avocational correlation. Based on previous studies, prolotherapy would theoretically strengthen and reduce pain in the region of tendinopathy, which presumably generates pain at the lateral epicondyle. The early results indicate that prolotherapy may be as effective as corticosteroid therapy improvement of function, and superior to corticosteroid for improvement of pain. The procedure appears to be safe and well tolerated by participants. This innovative pilot study has thus far produced interesting results that suggest further research will be needed.
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