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Injections of Sugar Might Help Ease Knee Joint Pain

March 23, 2017

Injections of Sugar

An alternative medicine approach to joint pain that typically uses injections of sugar or sodium may be worth trying for knee osteoarthritis after traditional approaches fail, a recent review suggests.

Knee osteoarthritis, a leading cause of pain and disability in older adults, occurs when flexible tissue at the ends of bones wears down. While it can’t be cured, physical therapy or anti-inflammatory medications are often prescribed to relieve pain and improve mobility.

Researchers examined data from 10 previous studies of what’s known as prolotherapy, which is often used for chronic back pain. Prolotherapy involves injecting a solution of natural irritants like sugar or sodium next to the site where soft tissue like ligaments, tendons or muscle were injured or tore away from the bone.

Results from these studies, which had a total of 529 patients, suggest that prolotherapy may be a safe way to help ease pain from knee osteoarthritis. But the evidence on the effectiveness of prolotherapy isn’t strong enough to recommend it until after other treatments fail, said senior study author Dr. Nicola Maffulli of the University of Salerno in Italy.

Injections of Sugar

“There is no evidence that prolotherapy should be tried as a first line therapy,” Maffulli said by email. “It should always be part of a holistic management plan, with weight reduction, activity changes, and physiotherapy.”

Ideal patients for prolotherapy might include people with mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis who don’t get relief from medication or physical therapy, Maffulli added.

Across all of the studies that Maffulli and colleagues reviewed, most tested injections containing dextrose (a sugar), and two combined dextrose and sodium. A few tested dextrose solutions that also contained anesthetics like lidocaine or ropivacaine.

Read More – Source: Can sugar injections help ease knee joint pain? | Fox News

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