Get Back in the Game with Prolotherapy
Written by: Dr. Erik Boudreau, ND, FABNO
There’s nothing like the satisfaction of getting in that very last rep of bicep curls or setting a new personal best on the elliptical machine. You wipe your brow, take a swig of water, and exhale, knowing you’ve given it your all.
And you’re not alone. Generations of gym-goers, weekend warriors and fitness enthusiasts have known the seemingly endless list of benefits offered by regular exercise, from managing bodyweight to improving strength, sleep quality, mood, digestion and immunity. Practically every cell in our body feels the charge brought about by consistent physical activity. And when we take care of our bodies in the gym (or park, field or home gym), we also tend to take care of it everywhere else, too, with greater attention to eating right, and making healthy lifestyle choices. What could possibly go wrong?
I had to ask, did I? Well, just about everyone who’s ever felt the natural highs of a great workout has, unfortunately, also felt the crushing lows of a muscle or joint injury. Often, they start innocently enough—a slight “tweak” to the side of the knee, perhaps. Or a lightning-fast pin-prick sensation along the inside of the elbow. You might have even shrugged it off, aware that your body was politely trying to tell you something, but utterly committed to finishing that last set/running that last mile. But of course, if left unchecked, what starts as a subtle flicker of a problem can quickly escalate into a five-alarm fire of muscle and joint tears, sprains and strains. And just like that, all those hours spent blissfully panting and grunting, headphones blaring your most motivational music, have become a thing of the past.
With protein shakes and electrolyte drinks now replaced by painkillers and anti-inflammatories, you spend your “workout time” taking regular visits to the chiropractor/physiotherapist/massage therapist (and possibly orthopedic surgeon). While these therapies can, and do, work, many people find themselves still searching for a safe, natural way to not just mask the pain, but actually help to heal the injury. That’s where injection therapies like prolotherapy come in.
Originating in the 1950’s by Dr. George Hackett, MD, prolotherapy (or “proliferative therapy”) has helped heal injured muscles, joints and ligaments for over 60 years. Prolotherapy involves the injection of small amounts of various solutions (typically including saline, the sugar dextrose, and an anesthetic such as procaine) into the affected tissues. These substances act as “pro-inflammatory” agents, actually stimulating the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Numerous large, placebo-controlled studies illustrate the benefits of these treatments on everything from overuse injuries to degenerative osteoarthritis. As for safety, an expansive survey of treating physicians showed that out of 343,897 total patients, there were only 66 minor complications (less than 0.02% of patients) and 14 major complications (0.004% of patients, involving nerve damage or hospitalization). By comparison, thirty-times more people are hospitalized each year from using aspirin and other NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
If you’ve been sidelined by injury, contact Cheam Wellness Group at 604-776-2432 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how injection therapies like prolotherapy can get you back in the game.