Health Briefs neural-prolotherapy

Published on December 31st, 2022 | by Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp.


Neural Prolotherapy: Part 2

Neural prolotherapy is ideally suited for nerve pain. One such condition is carpal tunnel syndrome, a pinched nerve at the wrist. In addition to treating the nerve at the wrist, the nerve is treated along its course in the arm and elbow, which frees up the entire nerve, leading to resolution of the carpal tunnel syndrome. Any nerve pain, including a pinched nerve in the neck or back, shingles, trigeminal neuralgia (a painful facial nerve) and cubital tunnel syndrome (pinched nerve at the elbow), responds well to neural prolotherapy.

The nerve and muscle work together. Thus, even a direct muscle injury such as a hamstring tear can be treated with neural prolotherapy. This is because it is an unhealthy nerve that predisposes the muscle to an injury such as a tear, and the muscle tear also affects the nerve to that muscle, so it is no longer delivering normal signals. By treating the nerve to the hamstrings with 5 percent dextrose, the restored nerve helps the muscle heal faster. A hamstring tear almost always gets better, but it gets better a lot faster with neural prolotherapy.

Similarly, a tendon is part of a muscle that attaches to bone, so by treating the nerves that supply that muscle and tendon, the tendonitis is resolved. Thus neural prolotherapy is a great treatment for tendonitis. Neural prolotherapy also treats joint pain, because the same nerve that supplies a muscle also supplies the joint. By restoring the health of the nerve, the inflammation of the joint is reduced and arthritic pain is relieved.

The treatment is only about 15 years old. It was developed by Dr. John Lyftogt, a sports medicine physician in New Zealand. Looking into the nerve-muscle connection, trying to find a way of restoring nerve health, he tried many different agents including other concentrations of dextrose and finally found that 5 percent was the most effective. There are a number of research studies that have shown its efficacy. Most pain is relieved dramatically at each treatment.

An important aspect of neural prolotherapy is its simplicity and safety. The treatment involves placing the 5 percent dextrose just under the skin adjacent to the nerve. This is why another name for the treatment is perineural injection treatment (PIT). Because the injections are done with very fine, acupuncture-sized needles, there is usually minimal pain with the treatment. Also, the 5 percent dextrose solution is neutralized, which causes much less pain and is more effective. It is very safe because the 5 percent dextrose solution is very well tolerated with no toxicity.

Warren Slaten, M.D., is a pain wellness physician in Ridgewood. For appointments, consultation and more information, call 201-882-1500 or visit njprp.com.

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