Prolotherapy, also known as Regenerative Injection Therapy, is a type of therapeutic injection that is used to treat pain and dysfunction resulting from sprained ligaments, strained tendons/muscular attachments, and laxity of these attachments. It is believed that prolotherapy works by what has been called the positive inflammatory theory.
“A substance is injected into the affected ligaments or tendons, which leads to local inflammation. The localized inflammation triggers a wound healing cascade, resulting in the deposition of new collagen, the material that ligaments and tendons are made of. New collagen shrinks as it matures. The shrinking collagen tightens the ligament that was injected and makes it stronger.” (Ross Hauser, MD)
Prolotherapy is often used in an attempt to tighten loose TMJ ligaments and treat chronic strain of muscular attachments due to parafunction (clenching and grinding teeth) and/or trauma. It is important to understand that prolotherapy injections are aimed at correcting the cause of the pain instead of merely just decreasing or eliminating a symptom of the cause. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that it often takes longer, and is more difficult to eliminate a condition than to eliminate a symptom of the condition. It is not uncommon to have 4 to 6 separate prolotherapy injections, spread out over a period of weeks to months, at the same site. Appointments are spaced out to allow for enough time for the wound healing cascade to occur.