Prolotherapy versus prolozone
by Dr. Fred Arnold —
Patients frequently have questions regarding two of the regenerative medicine treatments we provide — prolotherapy and prolozone. Since both therapies are used for most of the painful back and joint problems we treat, the treatment of choice is dependent upon the patient.
Many similarities and differences exist between these two treatments, but both of them are non-surgical injection procedures. A comparison of the two treatments is as follows:
Prolotherapy uses a mixture of dextrose (sugar solution) and an anesthetic called lidocaine, along with a small amount of vitamin B12 to promote healing.
Prolozone uses an anesthetic called procaine and a mixture of B vitamins (multi-B vitamins, B12, folic acid), a homeopathic solution (Traumeel®), dextrose (sugar water) and sodium bicarbonate. Ozone gas is then injected after the prolozone solution.
Number of injections
Normally, the number of individual injections is less with prolozone, based on the area treated. The solution is dispersed over a larger area compared with prolotherapy, due to the injection of ozone gas. For people who are concerned about the number of injections given, prolozone is frequently requested.
Amount of pain experienced
A small amount of pain may be experienced with both injection procedures since they do involve piercing the skin. Post-injection pain may be more pronounced with prolotherapy, due to a larger concentration of dextrose used and the associated inflammatory effects. A topical cooling spray can be used with each treatment to help with the discomfort of the needle piercing the skin.
Frequency and number of visits
Initially, prolotherapy treatments are performed two to four weeks apart, and prolozone treatments are performed one to two weeks apart. As the patient’s condition improves, the time between treatments increases.
The number of visits needed varies for both treatments and is based on the individual’s condition. For both treatments, a mild condition may require one to four visits, a moderate condition may require five to eight visits, and a more severe condition may require more than eight visits. For each method, improvement must be seen after a few treatments to justify continued visits.
Cost and time
The cost of each treatment is basically the same and is based on the area treated. The time necessary to perform an individual treatment is a little longer with prolozone, compared with prolotherapy.
Rate of recovery
The rate of recovery varies with these two regenerative medicine treatments. Some patients respond better to prolozone, while others respond better to prolotherapy.
If someone does not respond as we would expect with one of the treatments, the other treatment may be performed.
The expected outcome is the same for both treatments—regeneration of collagen for the rebuilding and strengthening of ligaments, tendons and cartilage. The basic difference is the mechanism of action and how it is achieved.
Prolotherapy uses more dextrose, which causes a stronger inflammatory response. Prolozone uses procaine and ozone gas to bring about regenerative effects.
Having performed both treatments, the real advantages in having an additional treatment option available are that initially patients have a choice of treatment, and secondly, should they not respond to the first treatment, another option is available.
Since the cost, expected outcome, rate of recovery and number of visits are basically the same for both treatments, the main differences are the solutions used, number of individual injections during each visit and frequency of visits.
Both prolotherapy and prolozone have a proven track record of success and are practiced throughout the world to help patients with their painful back and joint conditions.
Fred G. Arnold, D.C., N.M.D., has more than 20 years of clinical experience and specializes in pain rehabilitation services. He is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Health Care Providers, Fellow of American Academy of Ozonotherapy, member of American Academy of Pain Management and is one of the few physicians in the nation with both a naturopathic medical degree and chiropractic degree. 602-292-2978 or prolotherapyphoenix.com.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 33, Number 1, February/March 2014.