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Prolotherapy and Sports Medicine

Most sports injuries that need strapping can be treated more permanently by stabilizing the joint with prolotherapy. The effect is usually permanent in young healthy people. Lateral ankle ligaments and medial knee ligaments are the commonest of these problems. Doctors ability to treat chronic sport injuries is limited only by knowledge of musculo-ligamentous attachments as ligaments tear (or strain) usually at the place where they attach to bone.

A single knee injury when young, triples the risk of arthritis in that knee later in life. (Gelber Ann Int Med 2000; 133:321) The long term sequelae of injuries to young joints can be prevented if the ligaments can be restored to optimum tautness by generating new collagen in among the strained ligament fibres. As the collagen matures it shrinks slightly (as in the healing of burns) and remodelling occurs. If the ligaments now constrain the movement of the joint in the correct track the friction will again be almost zero and wear will not be increased in future years. Even if the problem is not treated until the onset of pain in middle age, the problem can usually be treated effectively to prevent progression of osteoarthritis.

This technique is great to use instead of steroids as instead of suppressing the natural inflammatory healing process, you are actually using it to restore form and function without the risks of steroids. Shoulder AC joints and tennis elbows are among the injuries that have been shown to have worse outcomes in the long term when steroid is injected, even though the short term result is quite good

 Common sports injuries that respond well to prolotherapy are:
  • Chronic ankle sprain, including inferior tibio-fibular syndesmosis (the ligaments that hold the 2 bones together above the ankle)
  • Metatarsalgia (pain in the bones of the foot)
  • Lisfranc joint strain
  • Achilles tendinopathy - mid section and at the heel
  • Heel pain from plantar tendinopathy (tendinopathy) – “heel spur”
  • Shin splints
  • Stress fractures
  • Osteitis pubis (pubic symphysis strain) and adductor strain
  • Tennis or golfers elbow
  • Anterior knee pain and patella dislocation
  • Shoulder injuries

and of course back and neck pain