Veterinary Prolotherapy, is a medical injection treatment for chronic pain and designed to stimulate healing.
“Prolo” is short for proliferation, because the treatment causes a temporary, low grade inflammation at the injection site that then causes a proliferation of new connective tissue in areas where it has become weak. In horse’s, pinfiring and blistering (counter-irritants) were commonly used techniques but have fallen favor and have been replaced by prolothearpy injections.
Prolotherapy was first tested by Dr. Earl Gedney, and osteopathic physician and surgeon circa the 1930’s. Elite human athletes have used prolotherapy to strengthen their weak ligamentous tissues to prevent against future tears and injury. A proliferant (collagen producing solution) may include a combination of dextrose sugar solution, vitamin B12 solution, and a local anesthetic. Once injected, a horse’s natural response is mounted to repair the injured tendinous or ligamentous tissue. NO steroids are used in order to help build tissue strength and function.
What is the success rate? It depends on factors such as the extent of trauma, the nature of the injury and the horse’s overall health. Multiple treatments are typically completed but improvements have been seen in as a single treatment.
Is prolotherapy safe? Yes. Prolotherapy has been used in humans for many years with no reported significant side-effects. There can be some mild bruising and transient pain following the procedure.
How is a prolotherapy treatment done? Prolotherapy treatments are done by injecting the ligaments and tendons that support the joints with a prolotherapy solution which causes growth of new connective tissue to stabilize the affected joint(s) and relieve pain.
How can Prolotherapy be Helpful to my Horse? Prolotherapy is helpful for many different types of chronic musculoskeletal pain including:
- Desmitis (Ligament Inflammation)
- Tendonitis (Tendon Inflammation)
- Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Degenerative Joint Disease