Post-Injection Care and Follow-Up

The main side effect of this therapy is one or two days of soreness and stiffness.  It is normal to feel soreness, increased pain, bruising, swelling or local numbness at the injection site(s) shortly after treatment.  Typically, post-injection pain or discomfort will not last longer than 2 days.  However, pain or discomfort longer than 4-7 days post-injection is not out of the norm, either.  

Generally, pain medications are not recommended. 

If needed, medication such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), Ultracet, Vicodin/Lortabs (hydrocodone), or Percocet (oxycodone) can be used for post injection pain.  Your doctor will guide you on how to take these, if needed.

Narcotic (pain killers) or anti-anxiety medication is okay to take prior to prolotherapy session. 

Ice is not recommended after treatment.  Although, may be necessary in some cases.  First option would be to apply alternating hot and cold compresses over the affected area. 

Heat immediately following therapy is suggested to increase blood flow.

Absolutely NO anti-inflammatory medication before or after injections (minimum of 3-5 days prior).  Anti-inflammatory medications include Advil (ibuprofen), Aleve (naproxen), Orudis (ketoprofen), aspirin, Voltarin, Motrin; prescription anti-inflammatories, such as, Celebrex, diclofenac, Relafen. NO NSAIDS. Anything which blunts your body’s natural inflammatory response is not recommended.   If you are familiar with natural products like Traumeel, arnica gels/creams/homeopathics, curcumin, bromelain, papain, white willow – these are not recommended, on a temporary basis, as they contain anti-inflammatory properties.

Movement is good!  Move the joint as much as you can without hurting or exacerbating your pain.  Be mindful, be sensible as you are in rehab at this point.  It is good to connect with your rehab specialist at this time. 

Avoid heavy lifting, weight-training, pushing/pulling, twisting, vigorous movements or exercise for at least 4 days post injection.  Movement is good.  Do not go near or past your upper threshold.

Breathing exercises will help!  Deep belly breathes (diaphragmatic breathing) is important for fluid flow, circulation and calming the nervous system response to pain.  Please consult with your doctor if you are unsure.

Diet Recommendations:

Eat a high protein diet, preferably 3-4 times a day. Beef/beefalo, bison, turkey, eggs, chicken, or fish.  Vegetarians can focus on legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs and / or protein powder (whey, rice, hemp, pea proteins).

For those with osteoarthritis, identifying and eliminating/desensitizing food allergies may be helpful in addition to a 4-to 6-month trial of avoiding Nightshade family foods.  The nightshade foods consist of white potato, tomato, all bell peppers, eggplant, tobacco, and cayenne pepper.

Hormone, vitamin or mineral deficiency corrections will speed up recovery and make for a much more effective therapeutic outcome.   For more information speak with your VCNH practitioner.


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