Being flexible is often a goal for many people looking to get in shape. But what happens to people when their joints are too loose? Pain, Muscle spasms, arthritis, bone spurs, clicks, pops and clunks are symptoms of an underlying condition called Ligament Laxity & Joint Hypermobility Syndrome.
This chronic instability of the joint and surrounding structures can begin early in life from sports, gymnastics or sports-related injuries as well as from long term bad posture. Perhaps you were a child that could contort your body or pop your joints out of place. You should strongly consider getting an evaluation to see if you have ligament laxity.
What are the Symptoms of Ligament Laxity?
People that hears grinding, clicks, snap, crackles and pops in the joints are at risk for further damaging their joints. “Self-Adjusters” Twisted Ankles, Knee, Hip, Back, Whiplash/Neck, Shoulder, Elbow and Wrist Pain can be caused by loose ligaments.
If the ligaments, which hold bones together, become too loose, then the bones begin to rub or grind on one another. This can wear out cartilage, meniscus, or labrum and eventually lead to the bone on bone degenerative joint disease. Pain is a symptom, not the cause.
The Shortcomings of Conventional Treatment?
Often times people look to treat pain and inflammation by simply turning them off. Conventional treatment is “Anti-Healing.” Ice, anti-inflammatory drugs like NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin) pain killers such as Vicodin (hydrocodone), Oxycontin, or Percocet are often the drugs of choice. When that fails, a cortisone (steroid) shot is given.
These treatment options, although effective at removing your immediate pain, end up damaging your joints even further. This ultimately leads to unnecessary surgeries and unfortunately some joint replacements.
Joints already have a difficult time healing due to poor blood supply. These conventional treatments worsen the outcome. According to the standard of care, only 3 cortisone shots are allowed per year because they will damage the area too quickly and further cause metabolic issues.
When the body identifies an injury three things occur:
- Muscles spasm to stabilize and protect the joint; inhibition of other muscles to prevent further tearing.
- Inflammation – the area floods with fluid to add stability and bring healing cells.
- the body adds more bone growth to the damaged area where the ligament or tendon has pulled away; leading to bone spurs
Causes of Ligament Laxity
- Over-use or Trauma fromSports Injury, Car Accident/whiplash, or over-stretching in Yoga.
- Decades of degenerative posture and body mechanics
- Low Thyroid, Estrogen, Testosterone
- High Cortisol, High Stress – Breaks down collagen (catabolic)
- Certain Pharmaceutical Medications that cause tendon rupture
- Genetic defects (Collagen diseases such as Ehlor Danlos or Marfan’s…very rare)
Prolotherapy is a safe & effective solution to Ligament Laxity.
When the ligaments have become loose and overstretched, the best solution is to add more collagen (the protein that ligaments are made of) to the loose or torn ligament. This is a specific non-steroidal injection procedure that tightens ligaments over time, thereby stabilizing the joint and reducing overall pain.
Once the joint is stabilized, normal function can return. This is a rejuvenating injection that promotes healing and proliferation of collagen. A proper exercise and stretch routine will be recommended to rehab the affected area to add synergy to the treatment.
How Many Injections are needed for Ligament Laxity?
Each person is unique but typically 3-6 injections are given 2-4 weeks apart to get the proper healing response. This is a comprehensive approach to chronic pain from instability in an area. When a person experiences pain, the “weakest link” is the one most felt.
However, that doesn’t meant there aren’t other weaker links so the goal is to create strength and stability of the joint over the course of a few months. Regeneration of connective tissue takes at least 3 weeks and upwards of 3-6 months to tighten and strengthen.
If you think you are a candidate for Prolotherapy & Rejuvenating Injections, please contact us for a FREE 15-minute phone consultation and Dr. Steven Sorr will be happy to speak with you.
About the Author:
Dr. Steven Sorr is the founder and chief medical officer at Source of Health in Scottsdale, AZ and has been in clinical practice using rejuvenating medicine since 2013. He received his doctorate in naturopathic medicine from SCNM and is a licensed healthcare provider in Arizona.
Dr. Sorr brings a huge passion for life and a diverse educational background of food, yoga, and medicine to Source of Health. His goal is to revolutionize the standard of care mindset by making significant strides in evidence-based therapies that are drug and surgery-free to restore high-level health for all.
Hi! I just today had cervical x-rays and was diagnosed with mild Subluxation of C3-5 and ligamentous laxity. I am in substantial pain. I already receive steroid injections in my lower back, L5 S1. Can I receive the steroid and collagen injections in the same time period?
Great question! Sorry to hear you are in so much pain…that is very frustrating and tiring. We wouldn’t want to do a cortisone (steroid) injection at the same time as rejuvenating injection. Steroids turn off the healing response and can actually break down collagen. So that means we can wait for about 4 weeks after the steroid and then begin anything rejuvenating to heal the weakened ligaments. Our office is happy to help get you back on the road to recovery! Call 480.361.4005 and get scheduled so the doctor can evaluate and treat appropriately.
Hi, my surgeon told me that my reconstructed ACL felt a bit loose, I am 6 months postop, would prolotherapy help tightening it?
Hi Jose, prolotherapy can certainly help tighten loose ligaments including the ACL. Let’s set up a consultation to go over the specifics of your injury and how it is healing. Our office number is 480.361.4005 and Dr. Sorr can go over this with you in more detail.
Hi I’m 20 years old and I have been suffering from chronic neck pain for a couple of years. My doctors have not been able to find a specific cause. After month of attempts at treament, physical therapy and tramadol are the only thing that have been able to reduce my pain. My physical therapist believes I have ligament laxity in my neck (& as a result my neck muscle have to work harder to keep my head up). I live in CA. Any advice for me to try and find proper treatment?
I am a 59 year old 150 pound 5’5” woman with hyper mobility issues who exercises regularly. Recently I have been having hip Dysplasia problems in my left hip any time I sit on something soft. When I get up, I have to push and bend to “put it back in place”. As I researched this, I found it’s fairly common in people with hyper mobility. I’d prefer NOT to have arthroscopic surgery to tighten my ligaments, choosing instead to do hip strengthening exercises. I came across your website and am interested in your technique. What I need to know is how much it costs and where you’re located.
Hi Janette, thank you so much for reaching out. Hypermobility is definitely treatable without surgery. We are located in Scottsdale, AZ. Any costs of treatment can be determined once we get a better understanding of your situation and the degree of treatments needed to give you results. Please call our office at 480.361.4005 at your convenience.
I had a boxer’s fracture, I had pins inserted and then removed. The fractured healed great and the cartilage was intact, yet I still had pain on my 5th metacarpal bone on both the head and the base, the bone moves up and down on the same position, I believe it’s loose and now it’s causing pain on my wrist ! What can I do ?
So sorry to hear that the fracture didn’t heal well. It looks like there is some residual pain left over that can be addressed by working on the connective tissue and/or nerve fibers. We can always sit down and examine the area with ultrasound or order specific imaging for your case. Feel free to call and schedule a consultation with the doctor.
I have a gluteal tear from 4 years ago and have used ibuprofen and tramadol along with what I thought was prudent exercise. It’s seems inn continually reinjuring myself. I feel the pain relievers have only masked the pain allowing me to continually re-injure myself. Where can I go for help. I’m in California and with the Optum network. I’m with Medicare and Blue Shield.
I’m unable to put weight on my le left leg so must use a walker or crutches wherever I go.
Hi Anna, we are so sorry to see you are in such chronic pain. Sometimes PT cannot help a gluteal tear while other times, it is the wrong type of exercises that are given. We are in AZ so we cannot make a referral to another provider. If you would like evaluation and treatment with us, we can seek to get you better asap.
Without getting into too much info, I have suspected hEDS. I have Ligamentous Laxity/hypermobility. Beighton score 7/9. I have a number of other issues. Chronic pain, popping and clunking of many joints, early onset of oesteoarthritis, nodal oesteoarthritis, kyphorous spine and scoliosis. For years, told it was all in my head. I am now 53 & going out of my mind with pain.
I do not want to take pain meds. I want to take proper vitamins and do proper exercises. The arthritis society says that the body likes stretches, but, I am getting headaches & no relief…just more pain. Please help me.
Hi Donna, So sorry to hear you are in so much pain. This is precisely why conventional treatments do not always work for everyone. Tackling the underlying cause is essential to managing and resolving the issue. We are here to help whenever you are ready.
A ligament is a short band of tough, flexible fibrous connective tissue which connects two bones or cartilages or holds together a joint. And is very delicate too, if broken it could take several months to repair. One should be gentle with their ligament parts.
This blog is just WOW and I liked the content very much.
Thank you so much Doc! I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on this. Dr. Sorr
Hello, my mom had an anterior hip replacement about 5 years ago and recently it popped out and popped back in. Since then it has been cracking a lot. She went to the doctor today and they didn’t have much fix for it and said most likely when it popped out it loosened up the ligaments and tendons around the hip. If it pops out completely she’ll need surgery. Can prolotherapy help prevent her hip popping completely out.
Prolotherapy and other biostimulating injection therapies are only going to work on strengthening tendons and ligaments. Where there has been a joint replacement, it can be quite difficult to determine, sight-unseen, if this is the right option for your mom. We are happy to help evaluate this and the other options available.