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In my last post, I introduced you to M.E.A.T—an acronym for the treatment of ligament and tendon injuries.  I now want to elaborate on one of the treatment modalities mentioned in that posting—prolotherapy.  Short for proliferation therapy, prolotherapy promotes inflammation through the injection of an irritating substance (usually a mixture of dextrose and lidocaine) into injured tissue.  With the inflammatory process begun anew, growth factors in the blood migrate to the site of damage, encouraging new tissue production that strengthens lax ligaments and tendons. 

 Personally, I’ve had prolotherapy performed on three separate injuries—both ankles and a great toe.  My first experience with prolotherapy was in 2006, following years of ankle sprains that had resulted in chronic pain, edema, and weakness.  Following six treatments of prolotherapy, the pain and edema were gone, and I was able to complete my senior season of basketball without a single ankle sprain—something that hadn’t happened in 8 years!

 A year later and another injury down, I turned again to prolotherapy to treat turf toe.  This time the symptoms were different—acute pain and limited range of motion (I couldn’t even get my foot in a pair of heels for the lack of ROM…a very sad day indeed).  After one treatment, the pain was gone and the ROM was back! 

 Guys and gals, the stories go on and on.  Did I mention my neighbor who avoided knee-replacement surgery with prolotherapy?  Or his wheelchair bound mother that was again able to walk again?  How about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who attributed prolotherapy with extending his career?

 If you’ve got joint or back pain, whether from acute injury or wear and tear, I highly recommend that you take a look at prolotherapy.  What do you have to loose?  When compared with surgery, prolotherapy carries vastly fewer risks and is significantly less expensive.  Even if you aren’t looking at surgery, why live with chronic pain?  Try something ‘new’ (prolotherapy, in fact, has been around for over 70 years).

 The following article is from the New York Times, and it does an excellent job at summarizing prolotherapy and its uses: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/07/health/07brod.html?_r=4&ref=science&oref=slogin&oref=slogin


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Hello everyone!  I’m very excited to be able to participate in this blog, while going 100% Paleo with a group of a great people.  Thanks for giving me the opportunity! I hope to add value through my own unique background and perspectives.  Since Lyssa has assured me that this is a lifestyle blog, I figured I’d take a different route today by talking a little about sports injuries and how to treat them.

Many of you may be familiar with the R.I.C.E—an acronym for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.  To date, RICE has been the conventional treatment for sports injuries.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve utilized this therapy under the advisement of doctors and athletic trainers.  It wasn’t until later that I discovered that my efforts were completely counterproductive.  Rather than aid my body’s natural healing process, I was inhibiting it!

How?  Well, like most athletes, the majority of my injuries were due to sprains and strains—stretching or tearing of ligaments and tendons.   While RICE therapy may be useful in the treatment of muscle injuries (as it can theoretically prevent Compartment Syndrome), it is actually detrimental when applied to ligaments/tendons.  Unlike muscles, ligaments and tendons have poor blood supply.  Their ability to heal following injury is therefore dependent upon the inflammatory process and its resultant vasodilation and increase in bloodflow.  Every component of RICE, however, works to DECREASE bloodflow to the site of injury.  The result? Injuries that do not heal, and a chronic weakened condition in the area that is susceptible to re-injury. 

Instead of RICE, try MEAT:

  • Movement and Exercise: While immobility is detrimental to an injured ligament or tendon, movement is beneficial.  Movement via gentle range of motion and even isometric exercises (if the injury is too painful initially) increases bloodflow to the site of injury.  Increased bloodflow equates to better healing.
  • Natural Analgesics: promote healing by increasing nutrient delivery to the injured site, while also removing debris from damaged tissues and reducing edema (aka—swelling). 
    • MSM
    • Bromelaine
    • Trypsin
    • Papain
  • Treatment: Beneficial treatments include those that increase bloodflow and immune cell migration to the damaged area, such as:
    • Physical therapy
    • Massage
    • Ultrasound
    • Chiropractic care
    • Prolotherapy

Happy training!

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