People who suffer from chronic pain know that it affects every aspect of their lives: sleep, work, relationships, mood… many have asked for help and have been told that they are just going to have to live with it.
Dr John Lyftoft, from New Zealand, struggled to find some relief for his chronic pain patients. As a result, he developed a treatment that he named Neural Prolotherapy. This injection technique involves the treatment of the injured or entrapped superficial nerves with a simple 5% dextrose solution. Although the nerves are located very superficially, it often feels as though the pain is coming from deeper in the tissues. The dextrose results in a modification of the pain signaling which stops neurogenic (generated in nerves) inflammation or what your doctor may have called neuropathic pain. The dextrose solution also has a regenerative effect on the entrapped nerves. In conjunction as the nerve begins to heal, the tissue that it enervates heals as well because the improved function of the nerve allows for increased blood flow and improves function of the muscle or fascia. Both the tissue and the nerve now have the capacity for restored function.
ExpectationsThe treatment involves a series (the number varies upon the extent of the injury) of injection with a very small, short needle along the nerve pathway. The patient directs the treatment as injured nerves are painful to the touch. Because the nerves are inflamed, the injections may be very intense – feeling much like a bee sting. However following the treatment the pain that was originally present subsides. It is not unusual, during the course of a treatment, for a patient to discover new pain in the region that was originally masked by the pain that has now been relieved. Most patients require from three to six treatments to resolve the problem.
As with any injection there is always a small risk of infection but this is very uncommon. The dextrose solution is completely safe. The needle used for injection is so small that the risk of injury is minimized; however the injections do lead to painless bruises over the treatment site in most patients. Overall, Neural Prolotherapy is one of the safest procedures available for treating neurogenic pain.
There are a wide range of responses to the treatment. Because the treatment is diagnostic (indicates immediately if there is nerve injury involvement) patients will notice some improvement right away. For some people this relief lasts generally for several days however if the injury has been endured for a long period then the length of relief may be shortened substantially. Subsequent treatments result in progressively longer improvements until complete relief is achieved in most patients. This generally takes three to six visits.
If you think that you might be a candidate for Neural Prolotherapy make an appointment with the Naturopathic Doctors at Ocean Park Natural Therapies.