Prolotherapy for Osteoarthritis
A Prolotherapy article by Ross Hauser, M.D.
Should a patient be immobilized, told to rest, in situations of osteoarthrits? In my opinion, immobility and rest are detrimental to healing osteoarthritic joints and I strongly encourage movement to provide blood flow to the injured area. Every day at Caring Medical we tell our patients to move their joints and exercise to boost their healing potential. This comes as a surprise to many of them because they were told to rest painful joints.
Osteoarthritis is more than a disease of aging as we see an increasing number of young adults and children with this debilitating disease. We believe this condition generally begins as a result of ligament weakness caused by an injury. The weak ligaments have difficulty stabilizing the joints, causing uneven joint stress and joint instability. The instability will lead to a breakdown of articular cartilage, tension in the muscles, and more pain.
As the condition worsens, the bone around the affected joint thickens, the joint capsule may become inflamed, joint cartilage decreases, and mobility is decreased further. This painful disease progression can be stopped by Prolotherapy which stimulates cartilage repair and regeneration. Relying on prescription and over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in an effort to reduce pain and swelling may be a quick relief for arthritis sufferers, it is also the quickest way to lose ligament strength. Besides the gastrointestinal problems NSAIDS can cause, they have also been found to increase the risk for cardiac issues.
Cortisone and other steroids weaken the ligaments and inhibit healing, and even though immediate pain relief is possible with steroids, they inhibit nearly every aspect of healing, making the painful condition even worse!
Prolotherapy, on the other hand, offers the most curative results in treating osteoarthritis. The treatments effectively eliminate pain because they attack the source: the fibro-osseous junction where the ligaments attach to the bony structures. What’s more, the tissue strengthening and pain relief stimulated by Prolotherapy is permanent! Prolotherapy injections for osteoarthritis are safe and effective.
Prolotherapy works by stimulating the tendons, ligaments, and cartilage to repair by inducing a mild inflammatory reaction in those areas. The inflammation causes the blood supply to dramatically increase in the ligament, alerting the body that healing needs to take place. This coincides with our recommendation for patients to exercise and move their joints, so they can continue to promote blood supply and healing to the affected area.
We have also seen success in treating osteoarthritic joints with Bone Marrow Prolotherapy. This treatment works by stimulating the repair of injured tissues using the patient’s own bone marrow as the stimulant. The goal with all of our Prolotherapy treatments is to get the patients back to their active lifestyles and doing what that they want to do without pain.
Prolotherapy information from Ross Hauser, M.D. Contact Dr. Hauser at 708-848-7789
Ross Hauser, M.D.
Osteoarthritis (or degenerative joint disease (DJD)) is the most common form of arthritis, affecting nearly the entire elderly population. Osteoarthritis is described as a generally progressive loss of articular cartilage accompanied by sclerosis of subchondral bone and, in many instances, the formation of subchondral bone cysts and osteophytes. The osteophytes are the overgrowth of bone that make joints look big and are the abnormalities that physicians see on x-ray showing arthritis in the joints. NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Unfortunately, however, it has been recently shown that these medications may actually promote further deterioration of the joint. Therefore, although these medications may be helpful in reducing pain, they may not be beneficial in the long run. At the minimum, everyone would concur that they do nothing to help the repair process of the soft tissue injury.Prolotherapy. Prolotherapy is the only treatment that can stimulate the regrowth of the injured tissue. Prolotherapy can tighten the ligaments around a joint and can also be quite helpful in reducing joint pain immediately, through direct injection into the joint. Proper exercise can then be resumed in order to bring the strength and flexibility of the surrounding muscles to a normal level. The muscles then help to protect the joints from any further injury.
This decrease in cartilage and the overgrowth of bone causes the person with arthritis to have restrictions in motion, joint pain, crepitus with motion, joint effusions, and obvious joint deformities.
Soreness and aching in the joint and surrounding tissues generally accompanies development of osteoarthritis. A grating sensation is frequently heard with movement of the joint. Osteoarthritis commonly occurs in the knees, hips, spine, and ankles, as well as the shoulders and at old fracture sites that have occurred within joints. The latter is particularly true with ankle and wrist arthritis. This is because osteoarthritis forms anywhere that joint instability exists.
The standard medical treatment for osteoarthritis involves the use of
Things that may help at the health food store:
Over the past several years additional information has accumulated in regards to the use of glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and collagen II. These products are available without a prescription from health practitioners or the local health food stores. They have been shown to be effective in pill form or via injection. Glucosamine can be extremely helpful in reducing pain from osteoarthritis and can also help prevent further deterioration of the joint.
Another useful medicine for joint pain is Capsaicin. This is available either as a generic or proprietary cream (known as Zostrix). When applied to a painful joint on a regular basis, joint-related pain and muscle spasms are decreased to a significant degree. Side effects, other than warmth, are very rare. These creams literally work to decrease the amount of pain chemicals that are present in the tissues surrounding the joint.
As good as some of the treatments are for pain; nothing comes close to the effectiveness of
Sports Injuries and Arthritis Does Wear and Tear Cause Arthritis?
The notion that sports and recreational activities cause an inevitable wear-and-tear on the joints just does not hold up when the scientific studies are evaluated. Because few competitive or recreational long-distance runners suffer severe joint injuries, and many regular runners can recall how long and how often they have run, studies of these people provide some of the best opportunities to examine the relationship between exercise and osteoarthritis. In one investigation, 41 long-distance runners were compared with 41 matched controls. Runners with a mean age of 60, who had run an average of 180 minutes per week for 12 years, did not have a greater prevalence of osteoarthritis, although they did have a 40 percent greater density of their vertebral bones. Another investigation compared 17 people with a mean age of 56, who had run an average of 28 miles per week for 12 years, with 18 non-runners. Runners had no more complaints of pain and swelling of the hips, knees, ankles, and feet than non-runners, and radiographic examinations of the joints of the two groups did not show any differences.
Impact Injuries and Arthritis
It is not uncommon for athletes to injure joints. It is this injury or the nonhealing of it that causes the degenerative process to start in the joints. Additionally, repetitive low-grade impact from athletic events can be enough to damage the soft tissues and start the arthritic process. There have been some, yet not many, pertinent observations that there is an increased incidence of arthritis with certain sports. For example, wrestlers, boxers, baseball pitchers, cyclists, cricket players, gymnasts, ballet dancers, soccer players, weight lifters, and football players have all been reported to have degenerative joint disease in articular sites subjected to sports-related stress.
People who participate in sports that subject joints to more intense impact and torsional loading than running may have an increased prevalence of osteoarthritis. Participants in sports with a high degree of torsional loading and levels of impact must be extremely careful that all of their sports-related injuries heal completely, otherwise degenerative joint disease is likely to occur. The sports with the highest levels or impact, torsional loading, and thus have the highest rates of injury are baseball/softball, basketball/volleyball, football, handball/ racquetball, competitive running, squash, lacrosse, soccer, rugby, singles tennis, water skiing, and karate.
Participants in football appear to have increased incidence of degenerative changes in multiple joints because of the myriad of injuries they sustain. One investigation reported that more than 30 percent of football players with a history of a knee injury had evidence of osteoarthritis 10 to 30 years after competing. Baseball pitchers appear to be at increased risk of osteoarthritis of the elbow and shoulder, because these are the areas that are injured with this sporting activity.
Competitive soccer players also, because of lower extremity injuries, have been shown to get osteoarthritis in those areas at an increased rate.
The hope for the older athletes is to be as fit as when in the prime of their athletic careers. Often, however, this is not the case because of the degeneration that has occurred due to non-healed sports injuries. It is very evident that the main sports injuries that lead to symptomatic osteoarthritis in later years are those that occur to the ligaments, causing joint instability. It has to be this because the body, in a homeostatic attempt to stabilize hypermobility and protect joint structures, responds by depositing calcium along lines of stress. This produces bone spurs, or exostoses (calcium deposits where ligaments attach to bone), at the attachments of postural muscles and ligaments to bone. Calcification of the whole ligament can occur, as happens in ankylosing spondylitis. Typically, however, bone spurs develop in the ligaments/fascia (as in plantar fasciitis) and these are generally a sign that the ligaments were no longer able to stabilize the joint so “reinforcement” was brought in, in the form of additional bone. This additional bone is called osteoarthritis.
Caring Medical and Rehabilitation Services
Ask Dr. Hauser About Prolotherapy Or Call 708-848-7789