What is Prolotherapy - Regenerative Injection Therapy (RIT)
Prolotherapy or Regenerative Injection Therapy (RIT) involves injecting irritant solutions into weakened or stretched ligaments, a chronic pain source. The injection induces an inflammatory response, which mimics the normal repair sequence of the body.
All injections are done directly onto the ligament-bone junction. Ligaments are "peppered" with multiple injections with ultrasound guidance. The RIT approach is very different from trigger point injections or steroid injections in both technique and physiology.
What can Prolotherapy/RIT Regenerative Injection Therapy treat?
Prolotherapy has proven useful for treating a variety of injuries and conditions, including but not limited to:
How does Prolotherapy/RIT Regenerative Injection Therapy Heal?
Unlike medication or anesthetic joint injections, RIT does not work immediately. It involves injecting dextrose (sugar water), lidocaine (numbing medicine), and sometimes sodium morrhuate (cod liver oil), phenol, or pumice into structures that have damage, sprained, or are loose, causing chronic pain. This procedure does not involve the injection of steroids (such as cortisone).
How long before the injured area feels results?
RIT is an increasingly popular medical treatment because of its effectiveness. Healing and new fibrous tissue growth can take up to 6-8 weeks. The process continues beyond this time up to 3 to 12 months.
How long does it take to recover from the procedure?
There is minimal downtime associated with RIT injections, and most people can expect to return to daily activities shortly following their procedure.
After the procedure, most patients feel fullness and numbness in the areas injected. Often, their pain is relieved or changed at this point because of the local anesthetic. 24 to 48 hours, post-procedure -the pain may return and may be initially more severe. It then gradually reduces in intensity over the next 3 to 4 days.
Before returning to strenuous use of the treated area, the recovery time necessary will depend on the region treated and the injury's extent that will be covered by your osteopathic physician (DO).
What are the options for pain reduction after the procedure?
DO NOT USE any anti-inflammatories or aspirin while receiving prolotherapy or RIT as they blunt the therapy's response. Post Procedure- pain medications or analgesic patches may be prescribed and utilized in the first 3 days. Ice can also be used, and supplemental Tylenol may also be taken for discomfort.
How many RIT Injections and Visits are required?
The number of injections to obtain relief varies considerably from patient to patient and injury to injury. Some people are relieved totally with one injection; others require a series of injections. Generally, if there is no relief after three to four injection visits, we will not pursue this therapy any further.
Do I Need Physical Therapy After the Procedure?
Patients are encouraged to do regular stretching exercises after the third day but not overstress the areas to allow proper healing. It is important to remember that even if the pain is relieved and structures strengthened, it is possible to re-injure the area treated.
How much do RIT injections cost?
RIT injection expenses vary and are not covered by traditional insurance carriers. The cost may differ depending on the individualized treatment plan.