Many people who suffer from chronic pain may benefit from a form of treatment called prolotherapy. Like most alternative treatments, this technique targets the root cause of pain. Treating the root is what healing is all about, according to Matthew McClanahan, DO, MA, family practice physician at CHI Memorial Integrative Medicine Associates.
Prolotherapy is used to treat certain pains and injuries, and regeneration, or self-healing, is the primary focus. It stimulates an inflammatory response using an injection of an irritating substance, such as dextrose or sugar water. The immune system recognizes the damage caused by the injection and begins the healing process.
Prolotherapy targets an often overlooked part of the body—ligaments and tendons—as a cause of pain. These form the anatomical "glue" that holds joints together. Holistic musculoskeletal care includes evaluating this part of the joint, in addition to other lifestyle habits like diet, posture/ergonomics, and proper mechanics when exercising. Reviewing this information helps your physician find context for your pain.
Instead of being disease driven, prolotherapy is health driven. Practitioners utilize this technique to make sure your body is at its best as a whole. The body's function and structure are interrelated, so optimizing balance is the main goal.
"The heart of any good medicine is to restore balance to the patient. It's about inner wholeness and resilience, rather than just treating symptoms," says Matthew McClanahan, DO, MA.