Article by George Kramer, M.D., TC Running, March 14, 2009
Most runners have aches and pains that come and go but many have nagging injuries that just don’t seem to heal. Running injuries are often a breakdown of tendons, ligaments or cartilage (all connective tissue). Prolotherapy (Regenerative Injection Therapy) is the only treatment technique that rebuilds tendons, ligaments and joints through injection of small amounts of natural substances to stimulate healing and regenerate new connective tissue.
Achilles tendonitis, patellar tendonitis, hamstring tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and other running injuries involve wear and tear of the tendon or its attachment becoming weakened and painful. The body responds by trying to repair, but often needs help to stimulate the natural healing process. Prolotherapy can help about 80% of running injuries such as Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, patellar tendonitis, IT band syndrome, hamstring origin pain or runners knee (patellofemoral or under the kneecap pain) or painful knees from degenerative or torn knee cartilage. Even back pain from degenerative disc disease, ligament instability with running can be helped.
What is Prolotherapy
Prolotherapy or Regenerative Injection Therapy (R.I.T.) has been used for over 60 years for rebuilding joints, ligaments and tendons. Olympic Ski Team members say they would not be skiing without it, and The New York Times, Adventure Magazine and ESPN are talking about it. For 16 years Dr. Kramer has been helping runners get back on the road after they thought they would have to give up running by using Prolotherapy.
Prolotherapy stimulates low-grade inflammation to start the healing process. The New York Times article by Health Columnist Jane Brody is titled, “Injections to Kick Start Tissue Repair”, which is a good description of what Prolotherapy does. See “www.georgekramermd.com” to read the article.
Prolotherapy is an effective therapy where small amounts of natural substances are injected to stimulate healing and regenerate new connective tissue, rebuilding ligaments, tendons and cartilage. Prolotherapy does not just cover up the pain, but actually heals and cures the condition.
Superior to Cortisone
Commonly used anti-inflammatories and cortisone shots interfere with the healing process, and can weaken tendons and actually soften cartilage and accelerate degenerative arthritis. Sports Medicine specialists now recommend what Prolotherapist’s have for years: to avoid ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatories in the first several days after an injury such as an ankle sprain/strain. We need the right amount of inflammation to stimulate healing; anti-inflammatories shut off the healing process. Prolotherapy provides the kick start for healing and tissue repair.
Runners Back on the Road
Prolotherapy restores function and gets at the cause of pain and strengthens the joint ligaments and tendons. Most running injuries are from overuse and breakdown of connective tissue and that needs to be strengthened. Many runners with patellofemoral pain or degenerative menisci have avoided knee surgery with prolotherapy. Prolotherapy preserves the cartilage and can strengthen the ligaments without removing any tissue. Chronic heel pain, or plantar fasciitis, is treated with appropriate supports but also strengthening the arch and the heel through stimulating strengthening of ligaments and tendons. Hip pain and IT band pain responds well to prolotherapy as do many other running injuries.
A runner needs the right diagnosis to evaluate and correct the cause of the condition and not just cover up the pain. Prolotherapy can rebuild and strengthen tissue, and this coupled with good nutrition and proper exercises can help you get back on the road. Prolotherapy can cure, not just cover up the pain, and have you running pain-free for good.
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