Prolotherapy patient information

Information on Prolotherapy including general questions on Prolotherapy treatments, side effects, research, reviews and medical studies


Comprehensive Prolotherapy is considered by many to be a superior treatment in the management and healing of chronic pain and getting people back to a happy and active lifestyle.

  • Chronic pain from joint instability involve strains and sprains to tendons and ligaments and resulting cartilage deterioration. Because ligaments and tendons generally have a poor blood supply, the body’s ability to repair these damaged connective tissues is compromised and the onset of osteoarthritis and joint degeneration begins.

The basic mechanism of Prolotherapy is simple. Prolotherapy solutions are injected into your painful areas to begin a reparative action. The injection creates a localized inflammation triggering the immune system to create the building blocks of ligaments, tendons, cartilage and bone. Comprehensive Prolotherapy through a series of injections REBUILDS the joints from within.

In July 2016, doctors published findings on the effectiveness of Prolotherapy treatments. From the medical journal: Clinical Insights: Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders, here are the summary highlights:

Our doctors reviewed 32 studies on dextrose prolotherapy for chronic musculoskeletal pain. The following conclusions are made:

  • Prolotherapy is supported in the treatment of tendinopathies in patients who fail conservative therapies;
  • Prolotherapy is supported in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis
  • Prolotherapy is supported in the treatment of finger joint osteoarthritis in patients who do not respond to conservative therapies;
  • Prolotherapy is supported in the treatment of spinal and pelvic pain in patients who fail to respond to conservative therapies. .  .

Overall, Prolotherapy has been demonstrated to be efficacious and should be considered as a treatment for pain and dysfunction associated with chronic musculoskeletal conditions, particularly tendinopathies and osteoarthritis.

Hauser RA, Lackner JB, Steilen-Matias D, Harris DK. A Systematic Review of Dextrose Prolotherapy for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain. Clinical Medicine Insights Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders.

What is Prolotherapy?

  • Prolotherapy is a regenerative injection treatment used to repair incomplete healing of the ligament and tendons.
    • The major cause of degenerative arthritis and chronic pain is joint instability which involve ligament injury. Injured ligaments need to be correctly treated in order to fully restore joint stability. Prolotherapy treats and rebuilds ligaments.
  • Prolotherapy is considered a viable alternative to surgery, as an option to pain medications and anti-inflammatory injections such as cortisone and other steroidal injections in instances of joint instability and osteoarthritis.
    • Prolotherapy is given without the use of narcotic medications, anti-inflammatory medications, and steroid solutions, as these inhibit healing.
  • The Prolotherapy procedure is considered a safe, affordable option that allows the patient to keep working and/or training during treatment.
    • It is typically best to treat all or most of the ligaments of an unstable joint if that joint or its surrounding structures are painful. Multiple joints and structures can be treated with each visit.
  • The treatments are generally given every three to six weeks to allow sufficient time for new collagen growth. Most commonly in our office, most patients receive monthly treatments, but in certain urgent healing situations, they can be given up to weekly.

Prolotherapy is a regenerative injection treatment

When you get a Prolotherapy treatment or “prolo,” as some call it, you are getting injections. What type of injections? This question is asked by many patients.

  • Is Prolotherapy one injection of dextrose mixed with ozone gas? Prolozone?
  • Is Prolotherapy a few injections of dextrose mixed with glucosamine?
  • Is Prolotherapy a single injection of dextrose mixed with Human Growth Hormone?
  • Is it Stem cell injection therapy?
  • Is it Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy?

Not only are patients confused, but researchers as well.

Prolotherapy is a technique that involves the injection of an irritant, usually dextrose solution for the treatment of chronic painful musculoskeletal conditions. Despite its long history and widespread use as a form of complementary therapy, there still are disparities over its optimal indications and injection preparations.1

In one paper, even the researchers were not sure if the patients received Prolotherapy or some other procedure called Prolotherapy.

“Controversy exists regarding the efficacy of ligament Prolotherapy in alleviating sacroiliac joint pain. The inconsistent success rates reported in previous studies may be attributed to variability in patient selection and techniques between studies.”2

And, “Prolotherapy techniques and injected solutions vary by condition, clinical severity, and practitioner preferences.”3

In other words, success for Prolotherapy was dependent on technique. So when someone says “Prolotherapy did not work or was not supported in the research,” was it Prolotherapy or some other procedure called “Prolotherapy.”

The effectiveness of Prolotherapy does depend upon the technique of the individual doctor, as well as the overall health and dedication of the patient to encourage the healing process after each treatment. For the patient who has localized areas of pain or the person who has had a recent injury from an accident, Prolotherapy is a very effective treatment to strengthen those specific areas and eliminate the pain. Realize, however, that Prolotherapy starts the growth of new healthy, strong tissue. Your body–your own immune system–grows the tissue. For the person who has terrible digestion, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel; and a host of other chronic nutritional, hormonal, allergic problems, these deficiencies and illnesses should be corrected so the body will be able to respond to Prolotherapy.

As with other medical procedures, Prolotherapy is a specialty. If you are looking into Prolotherapy, you first want to make sure that the Prolotherapy doctor in experienced in the Comprehensive Prolotherapy procedure and has successfully treated cases like yours. Someone who receives Prolotherapy does so with the hope of achieving complete pain relief.

Next what are in the Prolotherapy injections


1. Distel LM, Best TM. Prolotherapy: a clinical review of its role in treating chronic musculoskeletal pain. PM R. 2011 Jun;3(6 Suppl 1):S78-81. [PubMed]
2. Kim WM, Lee HG, Jeong CW, Kim CM, Yoon MH. A randomized controlled trial of intra-articular prolotherapy versus steroid injection for sacroiliac joint pain. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Dec;16(12):1285-90. [PubMed]
3. Rabago D, Slattengren A, Zgierska A. Prolotherapy in primary care practice. Prim Care. 2010 Mar;37(1):65-80. [PubMed]


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