By Barbara Tunick
© Woman's World Magazine

If there's one good thing about having a bad headache or backache, it's that the pain is temporary. Pop a pill or get a good or get a good night's sleep, and you can reasonably assume the problem will clear up. Or will it? Statistics show 86 million Americans experience pain almost every day, due to arthritis or chronic conditions like sciatica. And doctors estimate tens of millions more will join in the decades to come.
But now a new treatment has emerged that could end it forever. Called prolotherapy, it involves injecting a special solution right where the pain starts. " It's a mixture of natural substances that stimulates the body's healing process", explains Ross A. Hauser, M.D., author of Prolo Your Pain Away. And in clinical studies, it has partially or completely relieved pain for as many as 93% of chronic sufferers.
Here's everything you need to know about it:
How it works:
"The underlying cause of most chronic pain is unstable ligaments," explains pain specialist Barry Beaty, D.O. Ligaments that have deteriorated over time can't properly stabilize the bones they connect, which sets up a chain reaction that triggers pain signals.
The substance used in prolotherapy prompt the production of collagen, which repairs and reinforces ligaments and cartilage and builds stronger joints. The result: "Pain relief -and improved function and flexibility ", says Dr. Hauser.
Whom it helps:
Researchers report that prolotherapy can slash chronic back pain in half, and studies suggest it cuts the pain of knee arthritis 44%. "But it also relieves other types of arthritis as well as migraines and chronic tension headaches," Dr. Hauser says, "by correcting weak ligaments in the neck that trigger painful spasms."
What's it like:
"The needles are very thin, similar to acupuncture needles, and a local anesthetic is used to numb the injection site," Dr. Hauser explains. Each treatment takes five to 10 minutes, and can be up to six weeks apart.