Prolotherapy is also known as Regenerative Ligament Therapy. It is a series of injections for treating pain caused by injured or weak ligaments and joints. Prolotherapy is
effective for acute or chronic pain, arthritis and unresolved injuries.  Dr. Ellsworth also now offers Prolo-Zone which he will discuss with you.

During the initial exam, palpation to identify the precise location of traumatized ligaments is the essence of effective treatment. The Prolotherapy solution is injected into the injured ligament. This causes a mild localized healing reaction producing an increase in the strength and thickness of the ligaments. The
strengthened ligaments stabilize this joint, removing the source of the pain. Three to eight treatments are generally needed for stabilization.

These conditions are responsive to prolotherapy:

  • Headaches
  • TMJ pain
  • Neck pain
  • Upper back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Chest pain
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Low back pain
  • Sacroiliac pain
  • Sciatica
  • Groin pain
  • Knee pain
  • Cartilage injury & ACL
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic muscle spasms
  • Joint stiffness
  • Bone spurs
  • Disk injuries
  • Foot pain
  • Carpal tunnel

Missing Link
As we age, we accumulate injuries to our ligaments, tendons and joints. Multiple joints frequently are involved. Each affected joint can create referred pain. Gait pattern disorders often develop as a secondary problem. As our hormone levels decrease and we become less active, we lose muscle mass. This places additional stress on the ligaments of our body, causing pain syndromes that reflect our life-long history of injury. These pain syndromes
can be repaired with naturopathic medical care, bio-identical hormone therapy, prolotherapy and exercise. Systemically treating each accumulated injury throughout the body with prolotherapy restores the entire musculoskeletal system to pain-free and proper function.

Low back pain is often caused by repetitive strain of the ligaments of the sacroiliac joint and is perhaps the most common disabling injury. An unstable sacroiliac joint destabilizes the entire spine and aggravates most back pain including sciatica. Prolotherapy is extremely effective at healing back pain caused by sacroiliac injuries.

In the human body, ligaments bind or link one bone to another. In the treatment of chronic pain, ligaments are the “missing link.” Many pain conditions permanently resolve as injured ligaments are repaired using Prolotherapy.

Prolotherapy has the potential of being 100 percent effective at eliminating injuries and chronic pain. The most important aspect is injecting the solution precisely into the injured and weakened locations. Accurate palpation is essential to identify the exact source of pain. Injecting the nutrient solution into the exact location produces a effective healing response.

The choice of ingredients for the injection is essential. Some Prolotherapy solutions are inflammatory and produce a fibrotic reaction. Dr. Ellsworth uses a nutrient formula consisting of the natural substances glucose and glucosamine sulfate, along with procaine. Release of these nutrients into the site triggers a healing cascade beginning with a tonification of the existing ligament structure. The second mechanism of repair is the deposition of new collagen that strengthens ligaments and cartilage. This restores proper joint function, thus healing the “missing link.”

Prolotherapy FAQ’S

1. What is Prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy is a highly effective method of treating chronic pain and has been used since 1936. Injured ligaments are injected with a solution that directly stimulates the growth collagen of healthy and strong ligaments.

2. Why do ligaments heal so poorly?

Ligaments have three obstacles to healing. They have no direct blood supply. They have a slow metabolic rate — even slower than bone. Their structure limits their elasticity so that, like strips of leather, once stretched they are structurally compromised.

3. Is Prolotherapy the same thing as cortisone injections?

No. We do not use cortisone in any of these injections. Studies have shown that cortisone injections stop the productive inflammatory process, prevent tissue healing and may actually weaken the ligament. In fact, we discourage patients from using anti-inflammatories like Ibuprophen and Celebrex.

4. What is in Prolotherapy injections?

Dr. Robert Ellsworth chooses to use glucosamine sulfate, glucose and procaine in a variable solution of sterile saline adjusted for patient comfort and treatment intensity. The art of successfully applying prolotherapy is adapting the dosage and frequency of treatment to the individual patient’s comfort.

5. How does it work?

Prolotherapy strengthens the ligament by re-building the collagen. Glucosamine sulfate is the building material ligament cells order for collagen production and repair. Glucose is the fuel the cells use to rebuild the collagen. The healing process can be expected to continue for one to four weeks following each treatment. As the tendons and ligaments grow stronger and more capable of doing their tasks, the pain is relieved.

6. Is Prolotherapy safe?

Prolotherapy is an extremely safe and effective procedure. There is, of course, at least a slight risk involved in any medical procedure, such as bruising, The doctor will discuss these fully with the patient.

7. Does it hurt?

Yes, a small amount of pinch is felt. A narrow gauge needle is used. When the prolo-therapy solution is injected into the ligament, a soreness or ache is experienced. The amount of discomfort is controlled by the amount of solution injected, which is adapted to the sensitivity of the patient.

8. How many treatments will I need?

Relief can be rapid, repair can take 3-8 treatments, given at 1 to 2 week intervals. Many of our patients have reported partial or complete relief of pain after only one or two sessions. The number of treatments varies with the severity of the injury. Several areas of pain can be treated in each visit.

9. How is Arthritis helped by Prolotherapy?

The term arthritis refers to a joint that is painful and swollen. Arthritic joints often are inflamed because prior trauma, often repetitive trauma, has weakened and destabilized the ligaments that make up the “joint capsule.” This permits an excess range of motion that caused additional repetitive trauma to the joint causing the arthritis. Healing occurs as the nutrients in the Prolotherapy solution stimulate collagen synthesis and tonify the joint capsule.

10. What about Chiropractic or Acupuncture?

When chiropractic, acupuncture and muscle strengthening programs provide only temporary relief, Prolotherapy should be considered. Prolotherapy will often provide a long-term solution. Spinal manipulation aligns the spine as it is strengthened. Chiropractors report that after Prolotherapy, patients adjust easier and hold their adjustments longer.