How Does Neural Prolotherapy Work to Treat Pain?


It is common for patients to ask what neural prolotherapy is. Neural prolotherapy (also known as Perineural Injection Treatment) is a safe and effective treatment for nerve pain, often caused by an injured sensory nerve. The process itself targets subcutaneous nerves that reside just under the skin. These nerves are associated with the connective tissue nearby, such as muscle, tendon, ligament, and not only transmit pain signals but have an effect on the ability of these structures to heal.

Also known as NPT therapy, this treatment consists of strategic injections of a dextrose solution that is designed to reduce inflammation in a painful nerve. Neural prolotherapy solution may contain a harmless alkaline solution of small amounts of dextrose in sterile water or mannitol in sterile water. Dextrose and mannitol are both simple sugars that were originally derived from plant sources. These solutions are also used for hydrodissection of peripheral nerves in order to decompress them from areas of potential entrapment.

There are similarities between neural prolotherapy and regular prolotherapy, which involves injection of a dextrose solution into a ligament or tendon. At times both treatments may be given together to a patient to address different sources of pain and injury. Not only can the treatment heal injured nerves for many patients but it can also restore tissue functions that have been damaged.

Neural prolotherapy can treat many conditions

Neural prolotherapy is used to treat neuropathic pain in many musculoskeletal injuries and pain conditions. It has been shown to be effective for many patients who have severe, long-term pain.

The treatment will provide comfort to patients in treating nerve pain associated with injuries to joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Treatment can include a large number of areas, including the neck, back, knee, shoulder, hip, elbow, wrist, hand, foot, and ankle. Neural prolotherapy also has shown to be effective in treating chronic pain after surgical procedures such as hip replacements, total knee replacements and some back surgeries and procedures. It has been one of the only treatments that has provided relief to some patients with chronic pain caused by these injuries or surgical procedures.

Neural prolotherapy side effects are few and far between

Neural prolotherapy or NPT therapy is tolerated well by most patients, even without the need for a local anesthetic that is common for other types of injections. Those injections are administered with very small and short needles just beneath the surface of the skin. Multiple injections are performed along the course of subcutaneous nerves. A cold spray or topical anesthetic can be used to make the patient more comfortable.

These injections may result in mild discomfort but there are very few neural prolotherapy side effects that patients encounter based on research and what our practice has seen from patients. That is why when the question of “what is neural prolotherapy” is brought up, the answer is that it is a safe treatment for virtually all patients.

The discovery of neural prolotherapy treatment

The Neural prolotherapy procedure that we know was developed by New Zealand physician Dr. John Lyftogt more than a decade ago. Dr. Lyftogt began developing and using this method to treat pain from injuries and various other pain conditions. He used dextrose injections to treat chronic pain that have been used for many years in traditional prolotherapy because it promotes healing in musculoskeletal and connective tissues such as ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

Lyftogt discovered that treating painful nerves is effective as a way to eliminate chronic neuropathic pain. It was called subcutaneous prolotherapy and later neural prolotherapy or NPT therapy. Since the creation of neural prolotherapy treatment is credited to him, this procedure is also known as lyftogt perineural injection (PIT) treatment. It is because of Lyftogt’s knowledge that neural prolotherapy is a strategy used by healthcare professionals around the world to treat pain.

One of the reasons that NPT therapy seems to work is that when damaged, pro-inflammatory substances may be released in an area to cause pain and the use of 5% dextrose helps modulate this response.

Do neural prolotherapy treatments work?

Most patients notice a short-term improvement in how they feel, with a noticeable reduction in pain following a series of neural prolotherapy treatments. One of the more common outcomes is an elimination of pain in the treatment area immediately after the first injection. This is known as an initial analgesic effect that may last hours, days or weeks following NPT therapy.

Multiple treatments are needed as part of the neural prolotherapy process as the reduction of pain may range from 10-25 percent. Over time, the cumulative effect of neural prolotherapy treatment will allow the area that is experiencing the pain to be progressively healed. It may require 3-5 lyftogt perineural injection treatments on average, over the course of a few weeks. The number of NPT therapy treatments will vary depending on the patient, the type of injury, and the amount of pain experienced. Fortunately, there are few, and often no neural prolotherapy side effects.

If the patient does not experience noticeable pain relief with neural prolotherapy treatments, it is up to the healthcare provider to find other options, as necessary. At that time, other pain treatment options may be considered.

Neural prolotherapy is also considered a safer alternative over such options as opiates or steroid injections when administered by properly trained healthcare providers. Injections for NPT therapy should be managed under hygienic conditions with minimal risk of infection.

Only trust experienced professionals to provide Neural prolotherapy treatment

Chronic pain can be a debilitating situation for patients. The team of professionals at Krasnick Regenerative Medicine are leaders in offering NPT therapy or neural prolotherapy therapy near you. When you work with Krasnick, we can determine if neural prolotherapy therapy should be considered to help reduce pain for a variety of injuries. Dr. Robert Krasnick and his team will then help to track the effectiveness of this option, and whether other strategies may be needed.

Set an appointment by filling out our online form or calling 734-585-5653. There is never a charge for a consultation to see if Krasnick is the right fit for you. We are experts in Lyftogt Perineural Injection (PIT) treatment, also known as neural prolotherapy therapy. Live your best life and help your body to recover from injuries while experiencing less chronic pain with the help of Krasnick Regenerative Medicine!