What Do Perineural Injections (Prolotherapy/Regenerative Injections) Involve?
It involves injecting an otherwise non-pharmacological and non-active irritant solution into the body such as dextrose, generally in the region of tendons or ligaments for the purpose of strengthening weakened connective tissue and alleviating musculoskeletal pain.
Prolotherapy is hypothesized to reinitiate the inflammatory process that deposits new additional fibers thereby repairing lax tendons or ligaments and to possibly promote the release of local growth factors. However, the precise mechanism of action remains unknown. Once strengthened, the weak areas would no longer send pain signals.
Are these treatments painful?
This procedure can be carried out in two different ways. One is by perineural injection treatment (P.I.T) which is done on the superficial level of your dermis where peripheral nerve endings exist. The treatment consists of micro-injections just under the skin, so it is more like having multiple pin-pricks. Once it is done the injection pain disappears almost immediately. The aim of each treatment is to have you walk out of the consultation room with no pain.
Dr Kim may also perform prolotherapy at the area of inflammation (muscle region or bursitis region) depending on your diagnosis.
Nobody likes injections, but Perineural Injection Treatment (P.I.T) treatment is not like having a normal injection.
How successful is this treatment
Depending on the body part, how long you have had the injury/pain for, and the individual circumstances, the “rule of thumb” is that 85% of people resolve their pain completely, with many more experiencing a significant improvement.
Is this a cure for chronic pain?
P.I.T. is a very effective treatment for chronic pain. With an experienced practitioner, many people find that once they have completed a course of treatment their symptoms disappear and don’t return.
Can I expect to become pain free?
Yes. Most people do become free of pain in the long-term. The aim of each treatment session is to get you pain-free then and there; that is how practitioners know they are targeting the correct nerves. Following each session, you should be pain-free for anywhere from four hours to four days. With every session, you remain pain-free afterwards for longer and longer periods until your pain doesn’t come back, which is why you need multiple treatments.
How many treatments will I need? How frequently?
Most people become pain-free after 6-8 treatments. These can be spaced anything from one week to one month apart. In certain circumstances, your practitioner may suggest more or less frequent treatments.
Is it safe? Are there any side effects?
The treatment is very safe with few side effects. Some localized bruising around the injection sites is not uncommon. No allergic reactions have yet been observed. It has been estimated that one in 300,000 injections may result in infection – in other words, extremely low risk.