A Way to Ensure Long-Term Pain Relief and Real Injury Repair
If you’ve got severe joint problems, repetitive stress injuries, or old injuries that flare up and cause you pain, you might consider prolotherapy.
I offer prolotherapy at my Bellevue, Seattle, and Auburn locations. You can contact my office today if you’re interested in prolotherapy. If you’d like to learn more, I’ve put together this list of frequently asked questions.
What is prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is a regenerative therapy process that allows the body to activate its natural healing processes, often with dramatic and startling results. It involves injecting a solution of medication to damaged tissues to induce low-grade inflammation in the affected area. It is a non-invasive alternative to surgical treatments for a variety of bone, muscle, and joint problems.
Isn’t inflammation a bad thing? Why would you induce inflammation on purpose?
Inflammation is a natural part of your body’s healing processes. When you are injured, your body uses inflammation to increase the flow of growth factors to the affected area.
The problem is that when we’re injured, we tend to reach for ibuprofen, aspirin, or NSAIDs to deal with the pain and to reduce the swelling. That means growth factor levels decrease, and healing tends to remain incomplete.
Prolotherapy allows us to “jump-start” this healing process, restarting it in a safe and effective way. There’s also no need to take over-the-counter painkillers that might interfere with the process. We add a non-interfering painkiller to the injection in order to manage any discomfort. The inflammation we produce is low-grade, mild inflammation, and so you won’t experience the kind of extreme swelling that you might experience directly after suffering an injury.
Is prolotherapy safe?
Yes. Most people experience very few side-effects, if any. Sometimes there is bruising or tenderness at the injection site. Some patients experience adverse reactions to the medication in their injection, and there are a few other risk-factors, which you should discuss with your prolotherapy physician.
We are one of the only clinics in Washington to perform prolotherapy under image guidance using ultrasound and x-ray. This makes the treatment much safer and effective.
What kinds of injuries does prolotherapy treat?
Prolotherapy can mitigate many kinds of musculoskeletal and joint problems. These include tendonitis, arthritis, back pain, sprains and tears, degenerative disc or joint diseases, knee injuries, carpal tunnel disorder, sciatica, sports injuries, whiplash, and more.
Prolotherapy has few side-effects, is minimially-invasive, and can serve as an alternative to surgery in some cases. Furthermore, prolotherapy usually creates significant long-term improvements, to the point where additional treatments may become unnecessary. For many patients, the pain simply disappears once the treatment is complete.
Is prolotherapy considered to be an “alternative therapy?”
Though prolotherapy is not widely practiced, it nevertheless has been a known and reputable technique in Western medicine since 1939. Recent research has rendered the therapy more effective than ever.
Prolotherapy is practiced by medical doctors all over the country. If you’re interested in an in-depth look at the therapy and what it has to offer, take a look at this 2011 medical white paper.
The American Association of Orthopedic Medicine also recognizes prolotherapy as a valid and effective treatment.
Prolotherapy has even been featured in The New York Times.
So why haven’t you heard more about prolotherapy? Some physicians may have trouble believing that treating these issues can be so simple and inexpensive. Any time we speak of “activating the body’s natural ability to heal,” some doctors grow skeptical. When prolotherapy receives recognition, often it’s a grudging recognition. It’s also not as profitable as some other methods of treatment, which may concern some medical and pharmaceutical actors.
Does prolotherapy hurt?
Everyone is different, but prolotherapy can hurt a little bit. You are getting a shot, after all. Our office provides pain-management aids when we perform prolotherapy, however. First, we numb your skin with strong numbing medications. Then, we numb the damaged tissues that need Prolotherapy treatment. Next, we inject the prolotherapy medication. Most people say it feels like getting a vaccination or some blood drawn.
Of course, any pain or discomfort associated with prolotherapy can’t compare to the pain and long-term impacts of surgery, or the long-term pain and effects of simply leaving your condition untreated.
How much does prolotherapy cost?
Prolotherapy shots typically cost between $800 to $1600 per treatment. The price depends in part on what part of the body needs the injection, the complexity, and which types of equipment must be used.
When you come to our offices we’ll present you with a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan. We’ll include pricing so you’ll know exactly what to expect. The average patient needs one to two shots to experience relief. Some patients will get all of the benefits of prolotherapy that they need after just 1 njection. Everyone is different.
Is prolotherapy covered by health insurance?
No. But your insurance company may also not cover surgery – especially elective surgery – if surgery even is a solution to your pain. Surgery itself can take a toll on your well-being. The question is whether you’d like to try a relatively inexpensive possible solution that maximizes your body’s natural healing system before trying more-expensive, more-invasive procedures.
Ready to get pain-free?
In many cases, a prolotherapy approach can resolve many painful conditions, and it can do so for good. If the idea of living a pain-free lifestyle appeals to you, contacr offices to schedule an appointment today. Dr. Jason Attaman – a leader in prolotherapy – has offices in Seattle and Bellevue, WA.