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Can Prolotherapy Help with Sciatica & Back Pain?

July 13, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — ommdoc @ 1:22 pm
man experiencing sciatica while standing up

According to a literal mountain of data and anecdotal evidence, you and pretty much everyone you know will experience some level of back pain at one point or another. Hopefully it’s short-lived, but in many cases, it can manifest as sciatica, which can lead to soreness, tingling, and numbness that runs down the hamstring and into the calf. Sciatica is notoriously difficult to treat directly, but can prolotherapy help? As it turns out, yes, but only in specific circumstances.

The Basics of Sciatica

To understand how prolotherapy can help with sciatica pain, it’s good to understand how the condition works. Your sciatic nerve runs from your lower back past your hips and all the way down toward your foot.

When this nerve becomes compressed (due to a bulging/herniated disc or inflamed tendon, ligament, or muscle), this can lead to pain that radiates from the back down the entire posterior of the leg.

How Prolotherapy Can Help with Sciatica

Traditional treatments for sciatica include rest, heat/cold application, and in extreme cases—surgery. However, prolotherapy offers a direct and non-invasive solution in cases where sciatica is not the result of a disc issue.

If the nerve is under pressure because of an injured tendon, ligament, or muscle (which can cause the tissue to swell and press), then a prolotherapy injection can help the distressed tissue heal more quickly. Dextrose (sugar) is combined with Novocain to induce a minor inflammatory response that causes the body to “focus” its healing ability right where it’s needed. The prolotherapy solution doesn’t actually damage the tissue, so essentially, it creates a “false alarm” so the body springs into action fixing itself.

When applied correctly, prolotherapy cannot only relieve sciatica pain by taking pressure off the nerve, but it can ideally remove the source of the discomfort as well, meaning the symptoms shouldn’t come back.

Important Caveats to Keep in Mind

Prolotherapy is not recommended for all patients dealing with sciatica. If the condition is the result of a problematic disc, then another type of regenerative treatment might be recommended. Before a patient receives prolotherapy, they will need to go through a detailed diagnostic process to identify what exactly is causing their sciatica.

Also, prolotherapy might be part of a full treatment plan that also includes exercises to strengthen the back as well as stretches and even dietary changes, as excess weight is a big risk factor for the condition.

Even with all of this in mind, prolotherapy offers a relatively simple, safe, and effective way to help those dealing with sciatica and back pain that doesn’t involve strong medication or going under the knife.

About the Author

Dr. Joel Stein is a DO that has been taking care of patients and getting people out of pain for almost 40 years. Among the many treatments he offers, prolotherapy is one of the most popular and versatile. His decades of experience have helped him achieve some truly amazing results for back pain patients who believed they were out of options, and if this sounds like you, then he’s eager to offer you hope. To learn more and schedule a consultation at the Institute for Non-Surgical Orthopedics in one of our Florida locations, click here.

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