Prolotherapy and other alternative treatments for arthritis - Magaziner

Prolotherapy and other alternative treatments for arthritis


  • New research:  Doctors at the University of Minnesota released their study in the Journal of Family Practice calling Prolotherapy a  nontraditional approach to knee osteoarthritis that can reduce pain and improve a patient’s quality of life.1
  • New research: Doctors say Prolotherapy better than cortisone for wrist problems.2

Complications from surgery, side-effects from pain medications, are some of the more common reasons patients give in seeking what some call “alternative” methods of pain relief. In a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, nearly a quarter of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis used complementary and alternative therapy (CAT) to help manage their condition. In the study, researchers interviewed 250 patients aged between 20 and 90 years of age. More than two-thirds (67%) had rheumatoid arthritis and the remainder had osteoarthritis.

Alternative treatments for arthritis

Patients seeking alternatives were significantly younger than the average age of those who did not – 45 years to 57 years. Patients who had osteoarthritis sought more altrenative treatments than patient swith Rheumatoid arthritis.

The most common alternative treatments for arthritis were:

  • herbal therapy (83%),
  • exercise (22%),
  • massage (12%),
  • acupuncture (3%),
  • yoga and meditation (3%)
  • and dietary supplements (3%).

Just under a quarter of the patients using CAT (24%) sought medical care because of possible side effects, but they were not serious and were reversible. The most common side effects included skin problems (16%) and gastrointestinal problems (9%).

The majority did not tell their healthcare provider about their CAT use (59%).

CAT users were asked to rate the amount of pain they felt and the percentage who said that they experienced no pain rose from 12% to 43% after CAT use. The number who slept all night rose from 9% to 66%.

CAT users also reported an improvement in daily activities. The percentage who said that their pain did not limit them at all rose from 3% to 12% and the percentage who said they could do everything, but with pain, rose from 26% to 52%. 3

Alternative treatments for arthritis including Prolotherapy

While most physicians feel that there is no cure for arthritis and that there is not a lot that can be done for this problem, the treatments are primarily focused on reducing the symptoms of painful and aching joints. The most frequent conventional treatments to help control the symptoms of arthritis involve the use of nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These medications do not stop the progression of arthritis, but simply reduce the symptoms. NSAIDs have been associated with significant side effects such as bleeding in the digestive tract, liver damage, or kidney impairment.

At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, we provide a comprehensive arthritis program aimed at both reducing pain and restoring function. It includes nutritional supplements prescribed to support joint function and individual dietary and lifestyle recommendations made by our physicians. We also specialize in curing arthritis pain using prolotherapy, a treatment which rebuilds ligaments and tendons. The technique has proven approximately 80% effective in curing patients of pain.

1. Slattengren AH, Christensen T, Prasad S, Jones K. PURLs: Prolotherapy: A nontraditional approach to knee osteoarthritis. J Fam Pract. 2014 Apr;63(4):206-8.

2. Jahangiri A, Moghaddam FR, Najafi S. Hypertonic dextrose versus corticosteroid local injection for the treatment of osteoarthritis in the first carpometacarpal joint: a double-blind randomized clinical trial. J Orthop Sci. 2014 Sep;19(5):737-43. doi: 10.1007/s00776-014-0587-2. Epub 2014 Aug 27.

3. http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/JOCN. Use of complementary and alternative therapy among patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Alaaeddine et al. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 21, pp3198–3204. (November 2012). doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2012.04169.x

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