Sugar water injections may relieve knee pain
Prolotherapy may become the hot new treatment for people suffering from knee pain. What's prolotherapy? It's when a doctor delivers a series of injections of sugar water into the site of the pain.
Researchers from the University of Washington just concluded clinical trials that found that injecting small amounts of the solution into painful ligaments or tendons in the knee could decrease knee pain for up to one year. This treatment is especially promising for people over the age of 65 who suffer from knee osteoarthritis, of which there is no single specific, cost-effective treatment plan.
The researchers divided 90 people with knee osteoarthritis into three groups – one received sugar-water injections, one received salt-water placebo injections and the third performed at-home exercises in lieu of injections. Those who were injected received up to three injections over a 17-week period and were followed for one year. The sugar water group reported less frequent pain, less severe pain and improved functionality – better results than either of the other two test groups.
The hope is that the minor irritation provided by the injection would spur the body to repair damage in the joint. Though the researchers acknowledged the need for further studies, the results were seen as promising.