Prolotherapy is also known as non-surgical ligament and tendon reconstruction. It is an alternative to invasive surgical joint repair and/or joint replacement and is commonly used as a treatment for chronic pain. It is a simple and natural technique that stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself – the term “Prolo” is short for proliferation, because the treatment causes the proliferation (growth, formation) of new ligament tissue in areas where it has become weak.
Ligaments are the structural “rubber bands” that hold bones to bones in joints. Tendons are the structures that attach a muscle to the bone. A ligament sprain or a tendon strain stimulates the immune system to repair the injured area. Because ligaments and tendons generally have a poor blood supply, incomplete healing is common after injury. As a result of this incomplete healing, the previously taut, strong bands of fibrous or connective tissue compromising ligaments and tendons become relaxed and weak. The relaxed and inefficient ligament or tendon then becomes the source of chronic pain and weakness. To further complicate this, ligaments also have many nerve endings and therefore the person will feel pain at the areas where the ligaments are damaged or loose.