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Prolotherapy: A New Choice for Treating Chronic Pain

A 40-year-old woman suffered from whiplash syndrome and intervertebral disk displacement combined with radiculopathy due to a car accident one year ago. After receiving physical therapy, her nerve compression syndromes improved. After assessment, prolotherapy was then suggested for local injection. One week later the neck pain was greatly alleviated with no recurrence. The patient’s living quality improved significantly.

Lin Cheng-Yi, attending doctor of the Rehabilitation Department in Taipei City Hospital Zhongxing Branch, says that prolotherapy or regenerative injection therapy is mainly used to treat chronic pain caused by insufficient mechanical strength in certain parts of the body owing to injury, degeneration, loosening or incomplete repair of soft tissues or joints. The treatment objective is to stimulate autoimmune response through injections to increase or maintain the soft tissue strength and then alleviate or cure the chronic pain.

The injection solution varies from high concentration glucose, glycerinum, phenol to platelet rich plasma (PRP), and is effective for treating backache, gonitis, Achilles tendon tendinitis, neck pain, whiplash syndrome, plantar fasciitis and other soft tissue and joint disorders. However, it differs from the injection method of normal analgesic and may not be suitable for all pains.

Dr. Lin suggests that patients should fully understand prolotherapy through the physicians’ detailed assessment, discussion and explanation of the treatment process and related matters requiring attention before receiving the injection, in order to improve the treatment success rate, avoid complications and side effects and really get rid of the troubling pain.