Every week, new patients present to my Chicago area office, with pain in one of their joints. And often there is pain in many joints.
Pain in multiple joints can be an autoimmune arthritis, systemic inflammation or side effects from medications, while pain in one or two joints is most likely due to wear and tear on the ligaments, tendons or cartilage.
It is very common for athletes and people in their 40’s and up to experience some form of joint pain from time to time. Often over use or repetition, can lead to tendonitis, most commonly, pain from overstretched tendons.
The mistake most people make is to take daily anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) or to receive steroid injections. The issue is not inflammation per se, but rather, lack of a strong inflammatory response. Tendons, ligaments and cartilage have poor blood supply and the inflammatory response is often not strong enough to bring enough blood flow and hence oxygen and growth factors to the area.
Often what poorly-infused tissue needs is a push. The push can be thru an electrical signal such as SCENAR or it can be thru injection of a mild irritant, also called Prolotherapy. Prolotherapy uses mild irritants such as dextrose (sugar) or even pummice.
I like to evaluate each patient’s situation carefully in order to decide the plan of action. SCENAR is almost always necessary and many times injecting dextrose helps create some well needed inflammation. What the injection does, is to promote blood flow including platelets which are rich with growth factors and oxygen.
The mainstream accepted treatment of joint pain is actually pulling the joint away from a corrective healing response by suppressing an inflammatory response. It is true that eventually, the inflammation needs to be replaces with a shift to a restorative phase.
However, this shift is in the autonomic nervous system (ANS), and not a local one.
The main reason patients can not recover from an injury is because their ANS is stuck in acute fight and flight tone. Once that is switched off with SCENAR, healing begins.
Prolotherapy is just another way to speed up the healing by increasing growth factors to the area.
Next time your doctor or trainer tells you to take NSAIDS or recommends a steroid injection, think twice. Steroids actually increase the chance of spontaneous rupture by thinning out tissue and reducing growth factors and oxygen to the area.