Prolotherapy for hand osteoarthritis

Hand osteoarthritis is a debilitating condition that has serious effects on a person’s quality of life. Common symptoms include decreased grip strength, lower range of motion, and joint stiffness. For a part of the body that is used so frequently, these symptoms can leave a hand arthritis sufferer looking for any and all relief. But what is the best therapy for hand osteoarthritis?

Common hand osteoarthritis therapies explored

A group of researchers set out to discover the answer to this very question: of all the therapies available for hand osteoarthritis, which treatment has the most beneficial effects? (1) Performing a systematic review of various research studies on hand arthritis treatments, these researchers found studies that evaluated the effects of exercise, laser and heat therapy, splints, massage and acupuncture for the relief of hand arthritis symptoms. There results showed some promise, but nothing comprehensive:

  • Wearing a night splint for 12 months showed a positive effect on hand pain, function, strength and range of motion
  • Low level laser therapy increased range of motion
  • Exercise had very little effect, but did increase hand strength
  • No therapy proved able to improve stiffness

Of all the results, not one therapy was able to completely resolve all symptoms. Could it be that most therapies are treating symptoms instead of the origin of the arthritis and symptoms? Is there an alternative therapy that can address the root cause of hand osteoarthritis?

Prolotherapy for hand osteoarthritis

Arthritis is synonymous with joint inflammation. While there are many types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common and can be referred to as degenerative joint disease. Essentially, osteoarthritis is the result of long-term ligament injury that has not been treated or addressed. Therefore to successfully treat hand osteoarthritis and its symptoms, ligament laxity or injury must be treated. By the time hand arthritis has developed, a specialized treatment is required. That specialized treatment is Prolotherapy, a unique medical therapy technique that stimulates the injured structures directly through various proliferant solutions that induce healing. Comprehensive Prolotherapy is a technique that involves treating the whole joint with multiple injections to ensure complete treatment and healing.

1. Ye L, Kalichman L, Spittle A, Dobson F, BEnnell K. Effects of rehabilitative interventions on pain, function and physical impairments in people with hand osteoarthritis. Arthritis Res Ther. 2011;13(1).

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