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Learn More About Prolotherapy

Prolotherapy is a non-surgical, opioid-free, natural treatment that signals your body to send healing components to injured joints where connective tissues such as cartilage, tendons and ligaments can be regenerated. A prolotherapy treatment may require several injections over several months to initiate and support tissue regeneration and improve joint functionality.

The physician injects harmless substances such as dextrose and lidocaine at the site of pain. Prolotherapy causes a minor therapeutic trauma that alerts your body to proliferate blood cells and healing components that are sent to the injection site. It is sometimes referred to as proliferative therapy.

Prolotherapy treats the condition rather than the symptom. Over the course of the therapy, your body will generate a mild inflammatory response that signals your body to regenerate connective tissues that stabilize the injured joint.

Prolotherapy initiates a proliferation of natural healing components such as macrophages, which moderate inflammation, and lymphocytes that fight infections. Other components form the matrix for regenerating cartilage and other tissues. Gradually, the cascade of natural healing factors stabilizes joint functionality and reduces pain. Prolotherapy is used primarily to regenerate damaged cartilage, ligaments and tendons. Olympic, professional and weekend athletes have used prolotherapy for decades to regenerate knee joints, strengthen ligaments, stabilize Achilles tendons, improve shoulder function, reverse rotator cuff damage and treat tennis elbows. For older patients, prolotherapy is a safe, non-surgical alternative for moderating degenerative spine disease, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

Prolotherapy has been used since 1931, but the roots of the therapy are ancient. While there are few studies of the treatment model, the results have been quite positive. Prolotherapy practitioners will generally claim that their treatments are highly effective. While there are not many clinical trials that have focused on prolotherapy, the great majority of them often generate effectiveness rates ranging from 60% to 92%, often with positive, long-term results beyond a year.

An excellent example is the Topol et al study of 24 elite athletes who were facing career-ending groin injuries. They were treated using prolotherapy with dextrose and lidocaine. Seventeen months after their first treatments 92% of the athletes were still playing.

Prolotherapy regenerates tissue, ligaments and tendons which means that time is needed for the matrix of cells to form at the site of the injury. It is not uncommon to have several prolotherapy injections over several weeks with regeneration occurring over a period of months. The endpoint of prolotherapy is to stabilize the injured joint and improve its functionality. As tissue, tendon and joints recover, pain will decline. There are cases in which the regenerated connecting tissue is thicker and stronger than before the injury. Some patients may experience some soreness at the injection site for a few days after a treatment.

Dr. Scott Greenberg is one of the leading practitioners of orthopedic prolotherapy in the United States. He has used Prolotherapy as a key part of his health practice since 1999. When Dr. Greenberg was a teenager, he was traveling in a car that was hit by a drunk driver. For years after, he lived with pain and intense headaches caused by post-concussion syndrome. He learned about prolotherapy, treated himself and was finally able to live without pain and headaches. He dedicated his practice from that point on to helping others through the therapeutic power of prolotherapy.

In a typical year, Dr. Greenberg will perform over 2,500 prolotherapy treatments. He is especially sought after by individuals who have not been helped by physical therapy, chiropractic treatments, osteopathy, steroid injections or surgery. Doctor Greenberg was a member of the first team to regenerate meniscus in a knee joint using a combination of Prolotherapy, PRP and Stem Cell Therapy. Dr. Greenberg is a Medical Staff Member of The Bryn Mawr Hospital and an affiliate of The Main Line Health Dee Adams Center for Integrative and Regenerative Medicine at Bryn Mawr. Additionally he serves as a Clinical Professor at the Marcus Institute of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

The Greenberg Method is an alternative treatment paradigm that initiates natural healing processes, factors, and cells in your body to stabilize, regenerate and strengthen injured musculoskeletal systems. The Greenberg Method treatments are as minimally invasive as a blood draw and an injection. Dr. Greenberg will discuss the features of each procedure and explain the therapeutic options that are most appropriate for your case. The objectives of the treatments are to enable your body to heal itself, to regenerate where there is degeneration and address issues that are often missed in most people who have chronic spine issues.

Dr. Greenberg may recommend The Greenberg Method which is a comprehensive non-surgical approach that seeks to repair any damaged soft tissues such as capsular ligaments along your spine or repair a fallen arch that is twisting the spine. The Greenberg Method helps bring the body back into balance. It includes Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell Treatments. Dr. Greenberg may suggest one or a combination of the three. All three treatment modalities are excellent alternatives to pain management or surgery.

Doctor Scott Greenberg is a pioneering leader in prolotherapy, PRP, and stem cell procedures. He serves as the chair of the Institutional Review Board of the American Association of Stem Cell Physicians and is a founding board member. He was a member of the first team to repair a meniscus tear using stem cell therapy and has treated many professional and Olympic athletes among the thousands of people helped since starting his practice in 1999. He also has the distinction of being named Director of the Regenerative Medicine team at the Dee Adams Center for Integrative and Regenerative Medicine at the Bryn Mawr Hospital.

If you or a loved one is looking for a regenerative strategy to treat your chronic conditions, fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment or call Dr. Greenberg’s office today at (833) 440-4325.

Evidence-Based Regenerative Injection Therapy (Prolotherapy) in Sports Medicine, K. Dean Reeves, MD; Bradley D. Fullerton, MD, FAAPMR; Gaston Topol, MD; The Sports Medicine Resource Manual; 2008, Pages 611-619

Topol GA, Reeves KD, Hassanein K: Efficacy of dextrose prolotherapy in elite male kicking-sport athletes with chronic groin pain. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2005; 86(4):697-702