By age 60, nearly 90% of people experience some level of spinal disc degeneration. Spinal discs naturally break down with age, and if you experience pain and other symptoms because of it, you might be diagnosed with degenerative disc disease.
The most common symptoms of degenerative disc disease are back pain, stiffness, and limited mobility. Fortunately, you have treatment options, and one that’s rapidly gaining popularity is prolotherapy.
Adam Redlich, MD, Adam Thompson, DO, and our team at A+ Athlete Sports Medicine specialize in prolotherapy for sports- and age-related degeneration, and it could be a good solution for your back pain.
Here’s what you need to know.
Your spine is made up of 33 vertebrae, and between each of them are spinal discs. These rubbery discs help cushion your vertebrae. Unfortunately, with age, these discs can begin to wear out. This condition is called degenerative disc disease, and in some people, it can cause pain, stiffness, and limit their mobility and quality of life.
Prolotherapy, or regenerative injection therapy, is a nonsurgical treatment in which your provider injects a solution made of dextrose (sugar water) and a local anesthetic into the damaged disc or into the ligaments and muscles that surround it.
This triggers an inflammatory response in the damaged area, which can stimulate the growth of new tissue, including collagen and elastin fibers. This, in turn, can help strengthen and stabilize the affected area over time.
Prolotherapy can also help reduce inflammation and pain by triggering the release of growth factors and cytokines, which are proteins that help regulate your body’s immune response and promote healing.
Since prolotherapy taps into the body’s natural healing mechanisms, it’s generally considered safe and effective for most people. If you choose prolotherapy to treat your degenerative disc disease, its benefits can include:
Prolotherapy is a highly customizable treatment, and Dr. Redlich and Dr. Thompson design your treatment plan to meet your unique needs.
After diagnosing your condition, they carefully select the number and frequency of injections to give you the best possible results. And, they continue adjusting your injection plan based on your symptoms and response to prolotherapy.
Prolotherapy injections usually only contain a mixture of dextrose and anesthetic medication, and the risk for side effects is generally low. The most common side effects are mild discomfort and swelling around the injection site, and these symptoms usually subside within a few days of the treatment.
Prolotherapy is a minimally invasive, nonsurgical treatment option. That means there’s no risk for the complications that are associated with surgery, and recovery times are quick. In fact, most people return to their normal activities within a few days after their injections.
One of the best benefits of prolotherapy is that it doesn’t just cover up your symptoms, it helps spur healing. The treatment promotes the growth of new tissue in your spine. And, as new tissue returns to the area, this can help relieve the pain.
Degenerative disc disease can be a painful and limiting condition, but prolotherapy offers a safe and effective treatment option. If you’re suffering from degenerative disc disease, it’s time to find out if prolotherapy is right for you. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with A+ Athlete Sports Medicine today. We have locations in Neptune and Robbinsville, New Jersey.