Let’s kick off this discussion with an eye-opening statistic about the way Americans are moving, which is to say not all that well. More than 92 million adults in the United States have either doctor-diagnosed arthritis or symptoms that sound an awful lot like arthritis, namely joint pain and inflammation.
If you're dealing with joint pain and you’re wondering about solutions, we urge you to consider methods that don’t simply mask the problem, but get to the heart of it.
More specifically, we’re referring to prolotherapy, which is a joint treatment that Dr. Jonathan Singer offers here at HealthFirst.
Here’s a look at how prolotherapy takes a different approach to joint problems than other joint injections.
Injections for joint pain
Since we’re drawing a comparison between prolotherapy and other joint injections, let’s quickly review these “other” injections.
At the top of the list are corticosteroid injections, which contain a local anesthetic to control the pain and a steroid that addresses inflammation. We concede that these injections are effective and they can play a role in bringing initial relief so that you can try other, longer-term solutions like physical therapy.
The problem with corticosteroid injections is that long-term use of these injections might accelerate the degradation inside the joint.
Another common treatment for joint issues are hyaluronic acid (HA) injections, a technique in which HA is injected into the joint (mostly your knees) to promote lubrication and smoother gliding. In theory, this would be great, but research is finding that these injections aren’t all that effective.
Prolotherapy — a more sustainable approach
When it comes to addressing degeneration in your joints, which is often assumed to be irreversible, we take a different approach —— one that encourages using your body’s own resources to rebuild.
The concept behind prolotherapy is simple — we inject a dextrose solution into your joint. Your body isn’t particularly fond of dextrose (sugar) and responds to the injection as it would an irritant it needs to fight off.
So, in response, your body initiates its wound healing cascade and sends in the resources necessary to rebuild and repair damaged tissues. In other words, we’re tricking your body into sending in additional resources to help rebuild your damaged joints using nothing more than sugar.
Not only is prolotherapy working with your body to promote better joint health, the treatments are quite harmless since dextrose isn’t a toxin.
In most cases, we suggest a series of prolotherapy injections over the course of several weeks to keep the healing cascade strong. After the series, your results develop gradually as the tissues inside your joints heal and repair themselves.
If you’d like to see for yourself how prolotherapy can do a better job than interventional joint injections, please contact one of our offices in Greenwood Village, Colorado, or Cheyenne, Wyoming, to schedule an appointment.