Lyftogt Perineural Injection Treatment®: A naturopathic approach to pain management

Uncategorized Jan 18, 2023

Our naturopathic doctor, Nick Anhorn, is trained in Lyftogt Perineural Injection Treatment® (Lyftogt P.I.T.). He received training in Seattle, in 2013 by Dr. John Lyftogt himself (he is an MD in New Zealand and the originator of Lyftogt PIT).

Lyftogt tells us that nerve inflammation is overlooked as the cause of chronic pain. Other experts agree with this theory: Professor Douglas Zochodne, is a great example. He teaches us that pain happens when nerves in the body are not working properly.

A quote from his book, Neurobiology of Peripheral Nerve Regeneration:

"Neuropathic pain is a severe and debilitating pain that can render patients unable to walk, work, sleep or enjoy life…and effective regeneration of the peripheral nervous system usually extinguishes this pain."  

Dr. Nick Anhorn, ND has received different types of injection training, but, Lyftogt Perineural Injection Treatment (PIT) has become his preferred injections of choice for most people in pain. Some of the reasons it has become Dr Nick Anhorn ND's preferred injection treatment:

  1. It addresses an overlooked piece of the chronic pain puzzle – the nerves;
  2. It is a more gentle injection technique (the solution is injected just below the surface of the skin using a ½ inch needle);
  3. It is a drug-free solution to pain. The substance used is a buffered D5W (dextrose 5% in sterile water) with a neutral pH of 7.4;
  4. It is relatively inexpensive. Injection fees are $10-$30. While the visit fee is eligible for coverage through your health insurance (ask your insurance company how much coverage you have for naturopathic doctors);
  5. It is not the type of treatment that you need to do 6-10 times before you know if it is going to be effective or not. You should know if it is the right treatment for your pain within the first two sessions;
  6. It works well in combination with other treatment modalities (e.g. massage, chiropractic, physiotherapy, osteopathy, supplements, medications, etc.);
  7. It helps address the nerve inflammation part of pain which patients have reported allows other treatments to be even more effective; and
  8. Many other reasons!

What is Lyftogt Perineural Injection Treatment®?

It is a safe, effective, and drug-free treatment for persistent pain developed by Dr. John Lyftogt, MD.

Lyftogt created a new treatment using the principals of Prolotherapy. Prolotherapy uses glucose injections to treat painful conditions. His new treatment was initially called Neural Prolotherapy (NPT) but is now known as Lyftogt Perineural Injection Treatment (Lyftogt P.I.T®).

A reworded note from Dr. Lyftogt's website: Dr. Lyftogt found that treating painful nerves is an effective way to treat chronic pain. Every treatment aims to stop the pain. After the first treatment, pain relief may last for 4 hours to 4 days. Treatments should be weekly for a total of 6-8 sessions. Pain gradually reduces over each week. The goal is to eliminate pain completely by achveing a zero pain score. Most people will return to full function. Success rates vary between 80-100% depending on the condition. For most conditions recurrence is unlikely unless re-injury occurs.

"The treatment consists of a series of small injections immediately under the skin targeting painful areas where the nerves are sensitive, with non-pharmacological ingredients. The substance used is a buffered D5W (dextrose 5% in sterile water) with a neutral pH of 7.4." 

How does the Lyftogt Perineural Injection work?

It works by restoring the function of unhealthy nerves. It targets fancy nerves called, peptideric sensocrine nerves. Once healthy, the nerves release anti-inflammatory and healing molecules. These molecules heal nearby muscles, joints, and other nerves (e.g., somatostatin and galanin). If these nerves become injured or irritated, healing stops. Instead, they release hormones that stimulate pain and inflammation (e.g. substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)). This injections switches the nerves out of 'inflammatory mode' and back into 'healing mode'. It does this by acting on a receptor on the nerve surface called TRPV1. 


Frequently Asked Questions: Neural Prolotherapy/Lyftogt PIT 

I have been in pain for many years. Can this treatment work for me?

Yes. Many people, some of whom had been suffering from as long as 40 years, have obtained relief from Lyftogt PIT.

How do I know if this is right for me?

If you experience pain, this treatment is for you. All pain has some degree of nerve involvement. The goal with the first couple of treatments is to determine what percentage of your pain is coming from nerve inflammation. After the second or third treatment we will know how much relief the Lyftogt PIT can give you. This relief may range from 10% to 100% relief. If relief is low, Dr. Nick Anhorn, ND will recommend another pain relief option.


What conditions does it treat?

Lyftogt PIT treats pain, so if pain is present the treatment has the potential to resolve it. Dr. Lyftogt's has treated thousands of patients and his clinical studies showed especially high patient satisfaction and reductions in pain in the following conditions:

  • Achilles tendon pain
  • Hamstring pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Compartment Syndrome
  • Groin pain
  • Knee pain
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain

Other conditions:

  • Fibromyalgia, post-herpetic neuralgia, headaches, migraines, whiplash, neck pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain, wrist pain, hand pain, low back pain, hip pain, knee pain, foot pain, ankle pain, tendinitis, arthritis, bursitis, bunions, sciatica andmuscle/ligament injuries might also benefit from Lyftogt PIT.

Are these treatments painful?

Most treatments are almost painless: the needle used is approximately the size of a hair. With this treatment, the pain relief is almost immediate: it comes within a few seconds of the injection. However, there are some areas of the body that are more sensitive than others. 

More than 98% of patients tolerate the minimal discomfort associated with the injections without a problem. Dr. Nick Anhorn, ND will do all he can to offer a treatment that is well tolerated and comfortable.

Once the pain is gone, how long will I be pain free?

At the end of the first session, you should be pain free for anywhere from one hour to four days. If your pain comes back within an hour of the session, it is unlikely that Lyftogt PIT will work for you. With every session, you should remain pain-free for longer and longer periods until your pain doesn't come back. It may never come back after that. If you do not get pain relief within the first 2-3 sessions, this injection may not fix for you. If the pain relief does not last for longer and longer periods with each session, then again this may not be the fix for you. Dr. Nick Anhorn, ND will guide you on bestnext steps.

I am told I need surgery. Should I consider this treatment as an alternative?

For some people, surgery is the only way to repair damage to the body. It might be worth trying this treatment while you are waiting for surgery, to determine if it improves the quality of your life by reducing pain.

What should I expect during a Lyftogt PIT treatment?

The initial session will involve assessing the painful area(s) (inspection, palpation, possible orthopedic testing) to determine which points need to be injected. The number of injections can range from 5-15 per painful area. The injections are very superficial, only going into the fat layer just under the skin (subcutaneous layer). There should be a noticeable improvement right away, but the true value is in the long-term tissue healing that occurs after the immediate improvement resolves.

Are there any side effects to Lyftogt PIT?

Some people may have some brief tenderness, itchiness and/or bruising at the injection site. Physical activity is not restricted post-injection, with most people returning to their usual workouts the same day or the next day. More than 98% of patients tolerate the minimal discomfort associated with the injections without a problem. The occasional person who is needle-phobic may not be a good candidate.

Is the cost covered by health insurance?

Most health insurance plans cover a significant part of the visit fees (e.g. BlueCross, Sunlife, etc). However, we suggest to the patients to check with their individual insurance policy to determine the actual amounts covered. The cost of injections is additional and is typically only $10-$30 per visit.

Do I need a referral?

No referral is necessary. Please contact 506-830-8333 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Anhorn, ND.

Dr. Nicholas Anhorn, ND is a Naturopathic Doctor in Moncton, New Brunswick. He is currently accepting patients at the EASTND Naturopathic Centre & IV Lounge. 

Click here to schedule your appointment online!

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