Chiropractors treating patients with chronic pain know there often is no simple solution to these often complicated conditions. Figuring out just what combination of therapies is effective has become an issue of much debate. The Wall Street Journal ran an article this week looking into the science and medical opinions surrounding prolotherapy, a treatment that involves injecting a syringe-worth of sugar water (or other liquid) into pain areas to prompt the body’s healing mechanism. As the article explains:
The idea is, paradoxically, to create a minor injury to stimulate a healing response. Some doctors scoff at prolotherapy and many insurers won’t cover it. But the procedure is being performed by a growing number of physicians, and has even gained adherents at institutions such as the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School.
Many practitioners of prolotherapy combine that treatment with chiropractic, and results have been shown to improve when used in conjunction with spinal manipulation. This customized approach, however, complicates the picture when researchers try to gauge the treatment’s effectiveness. Like many complementary medical practices, it can be difficult to isolate prolotherapy into the format of a proper randomized clinical trial, and without this the treatment cannot gain credibility in the wider medical community, despite anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness.
For more information on the chiropractic approach to chronic pain treatment, check out this round of articles from our archives on the site of Dr. David Cook who practices in Richland, WA.