Prolotherapy is a natural way of fixing pains and aches. This therapy aims to improve the strength of the locomotor system, thereby eliminating pain. The locomotor system includes all bones, ligaments and joints from the toes to the neck. The secret to a strong and healthy locomotor system is to have proper strength in the ligaments. Most of the pain that people experience comes from laxity of the ligaments. Lax ligaments also reduce strength (called “tensometry”) in the entire system (for instance the lower back) that causes abnormal grinding movements of the bones and joints in this area. Thus in turn could lead to worsening of osteo-arthritis and even discs that dislocate.
The cause for ligament laxity can be traced back to a western diet with deficient mineral content and deficient energy in the diet.
Prolotherapy, or ligament reconstructive therapy, was developed by Dr Hackett and Hemwall in the United States. It includes a series of injections of a proliferant solution at the bone/ligament junction, that draws inflammation to this area. Dr Hackett and Hemwell have demonstrated that this causes new connective tissue to be formed, strengthening the site.
The real art of prolotherapy is placing the injections at the correct anatomical points to strengthen the functionality of the system. This greatly reduces, or in most cases eliminates, pain while making the system stronger and more robust. The Hackett Hemwall foundation under Dr JJ Patterson trains prolotherapists at the University of Wisconsin. A thorough knowledge of the anatomy of ligaments is foundational, as well as the do’s and don’ts, to develop a safe prolo technique.
Prolotherapy is widely practised in the United States and popular amongst athletes and all those who wish to avoid orthopedic surgery, whenever possible.
Dr C Everett Koop (Former Surgeon General of the United States) was one of the best known patients of Hackett and Hemwall, who successfully cured him of chronic lower back pain. He later learned the technique himself, and as paediatric surgeon successfully treated many of his patients’ parents!