What is Regenerative Injection Therapy?
Regenerative Injection Therapy (RIT) is a minimally invasive injection procedure that stimulates the body’s natural healing mechanisms to repair damaged ligaments and tendons. RIT includes prolotherapy, platelet rich plasma and other injections that help regenerate tissues.
The History of Regenerative Injection Therapy
RIT is not a new technique. The concept of irritating tissue to promote healing dates as far back as the ancient Greeks. Hippocrates treated Olympic javelin throwers with unstable shoulders by touching what he described as a “slender hot iron” to the ligaments holding the shoulder joint together. The heat would irritate the ligament capsule, causing it to tighten up. (Interestingly, modern-day orthopedic surgeons use heat probes and lasers to do the same thing surgically!) Prolotherapy was used in France to treat hernias before modern surgical techniques became available. The techniques we use today were developed in the 1930’s by G.S. Hackett, MD, a surgeon from Ohio, along with other MD’s and DO’s. The same techniques subsequently have been used successfully for pain relief from ligament laxity for nearly sixty years. Hackett coined the term “prolotherapy” because his initial work demonstrated that the new tissue laid down during the healing process was new healthy tissue, not scar tissue.
What does Regenerative Injection Therapy treat?
RIT is a safe technique for treating those ligament and tendon injuries that have failed other conservative treatments. Some common conditions that can be treated with Regenerative Injection Therapy include:
- Spine Conditions including Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease
- Joint Injuries & Pain
- Chronic Pain
Types of Regenerative Injection Therapies
Prolotherapy is a type of Regenerative Injection Therapy in which the damaged ligaments or tendons are injected with a substance that causes a small amount of tissue irritation and/or inflammation. This inflammation triggers the body’s natural repair processes to strengthen the existing tissue and to enhance the growth of new tissue. Learn more about prolotherapy injections here.
Platelet Rich Plasma Injections
PRP stands for platelet rich plasma. When blood cells are separated from blood, the resulting fluid is called plasma. This concentrated solution of plasma is mixed with a buffer and anticoagulant and then injected into the injured tissue to promote healing. In essence, the body's own healing factors are injected them back into the injured area. As opposed to anti-inflammatory medications and steroid injections which decrease inflammation and the healing response, this injection promotes the body's own healing factors to decrease pain and promote healing. Learn more about PRP injections here.