Dr Hal Brown, Naturopathic Physician
Site Search
Site Search Engine

Correction of Ligament Relaxation

Since it is possible with prolotherapy to stimulate ligaments to become stronger and more elastic, it is quite easy to understand that prolotherapy, along with proper joint realignment, is the treatment of choice when chronic pain is due to ligament relaxation. Think of it as a kind of "stretchy crazy glue" for the joints.

Important ligaments for shoulder
stability. These are often stretched
or torn in chronic pain or shoulder dislocation problems.

Ligaments of the lower
back and sacro-iliac joints

Ligaments of the
anterior hip and pelvis

Preparing for knee prolo by identifying
and marking the surface landmarks

Ligament and tendon sites on the
upper back, ribs, neck and skull.

Back Pain:

Retrospective Case Series on Patients with Chronic Spinal Pain Treated with Dextrose Prolotherapy
Results: 91% of patients reported reduction in level of pain; 84.8% of patients reported improvement in activities of daily living, and 84.3% reported an improvement in ability to work.
Conclusions: "Dextrose prolotherapy appears to be a safe and effective method for treating chronic spinal pain..."

Prolotherapy Vancouver

"Prolo" Away Your Pain
Prolotherapy treats chronic pain due to ligament and tendon instability and the resulting joint, muscle, nerve and structural dysfunctions.

Pain conditions that may be helped with Prolotherapy:
  • Neck Pain
  • Low Back Pain
  • Leg pain
  • Herniated Discs
  • Sciatica
  • Hip pain
  • groin injury (athlete's hernia)
  • Knee pain
  • Ankle pain and foot pain
  • Wrist pain
  • Elbow pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Frozen shoulders
  • Labral Tears
  • Headaches
  • TMJ (jaw) pain
  • Post Injury/Trauma Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sports Injuries
  • Yoga overstretch injuries
  • Arthritis Pain
  • Loose Joints
  • Tendonitis
  • Post fracture treatment
  • Rib Pain
  • Any joint pain in the body

What is Prolotherapy / RIT?
Prolotherapy / RIT is defined as the injection of growth factors or growth factor production stimulants to produce normal cells or tissue. It can also be described as reconstructive injection. (Reeves 2006) The term comes from "proles" or proliferate - "to stimulate growth". Simply put, Prolotherapy / RIT consists of injecting a solution that promotes regeneration and healing onto damaged ligaments, tendons and joints.

Modern research has demonstrated this effect of stem cell stimulation of growth factors with Prolotherapy / RIT treatments. Because of this, there is a movement to change the name of Prolotherapy / RIT to something more specific to its physiological action. Hence the term "Regenerative Injection Therapy" or RIT as it is increasingly referred to.

Now you can get "RIT" of your Pain

History of Prolotherapy
There are references to the use of Prolotherapy like therapies since the time of Pharaoh Amenhotep III in 1350 B.C. when cautery was used to treat animals. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, circa 400B.C. wrote about similar treatments given to wounded soldiers. There are also numerous references to similar techniques in Chinese and Tibetan medical records and even Western Veterinarian journals. The first record of injection proliferants into humans goes back to 1835 with a reference to Velpeau a French physician. Various other physicians had since used proliferants on animals and humans. Dr. Earl Gedney, an osteopath from Philadelphia was the first to use an injection to strengthen sacroiliac ligaments. Dr. George Hackett, a surgeon from Canton, Ohio, active in the late fifties, correlated pain patterns from the strained ligament with instability. He treated thousands of patients with ligament strengthening injections which he named Prolotherapy. He reported a 90% improvement in his patients.

The function of Ligaments
Ligaments are the "stays" which hold the bones of the body together. They constitute a "nylon rope-like" consistency which acts to bind the bones together but also allow flexible movement. They are particularly important for structural stability within the joints and especially the spine. Ligaments are also thought to store elastic energy, like a spring. This springiness of ligaments improves body motion and when they deteriorate, this elasticity and springiness fails. This is evident in all joints especially when using the weight bearing hips, knees, ankles and feet. The springing function can be experienced as well in the arm and shoulder when swinging a tennis racquet or golf club, throwing a ball, or even lifting a cup of tea.

Overstretched Ligaments
It was Dr. Hackett who introduced the term "relaxation (laxity) of ligaments". It is understood that in injury the ligaments are frayed and even torn. In the instances of bone fractures, ligaments usually tear before the bone breaks. It is thought, particularly in connection with the spine, that the ligaments become lax because of the shrinkage of the inter-vertebral discs and from direct stretching and damage to the ligaments themselves. Probably both mechanisms are active to different degrees in different people. It is important to also consider that ligaments are rich in pain sensitive nerve fibers and that any damage to them can be the direct cause of pain.

The Spine as a Common Site for Ligament Problems
The spine can be described as analogous to a pile of bricks bound together in a mobile column by the ligaments which tie each vertebra to its neighbour creating from this pile a strong and flexible support for the body. It is not surprising that this combination of mobility and support occasionally fails. Through stress, strain, or injury, ligaments can become stretched or weakened. When the ligaments do not hold the vertebrae in perfect alignment there is a tendency for one or more vertebrae to be displaced or rotated. When this happens the normally perfect and smooth movements can become stiff or "kinky" and the muscles react by contracting or going into spasm to protect the joint. The pelvis, spine, ribs, and neck are particularly prone to minor displacements between the connected joint structures. Chiropractors use the terminology of a "subluxation" to describe this.

Many patients have had the experience they describe as "having put my back out". Correction with manipulation when properly done can give great relief and restore mobility and function. A common complaint, however, is the ongoing need for these corrections without long term resolution. The underlying cause for the recurrence of these subluxations and abnormal movements is ligament injury or relaxation. By the same token, lax ligaments cause muscles to tighten or spasm in an attempt to stabilize the dysfunctional joints. When repeated massage, trigger point release and other therapies have little lasting effect, one must look to a deeper cause, usually the ligament laxity. Many persons maintain stability by performing regular "core strengthening" exercises. Although it is necessary to have a strong core, if the ligaments are unstable and not holding the joints together, the core strength functions at best like a second tier of stability, helping the symptoms, but not fixing the problem. It is only when the ligaments are stabilized with Prolotherapy / RIT can the joint function normalize, the muscle tension relax and the spasms release.

Ultrasound Imaging is used for Needle guidance in Prolotherapy Treatments

Hip Treatment with Ultrasound Demonstration

Neural Prolotherapy NPT

a new therapy procedure added to the treatment options for osteoarthritis and chronic joint, ligament and muscle pain.