Answering Common Questions About Prolotherapy

February 25, 2019

Is Prolotherapy a New Treatment?

Prolotherapy is an age old treatment originally used by Hippocrates over 2500 years ago to help a javelin thrower’s shoulder pain.  His ideas were investigated and refined by George Hackett, MD around 70 years ago.  Since that time Prolotherapy has been utilized by other physicians including Everett Koop, MD, the former Surgeon General of the United States.

What Kind of Medicine is Used?

Prolotherapy injections contain relatively harmless dextrose (sugar), local anesthetic, and other agents and are placed at the attachments of ligament and tendon tissue to initiate a healing response, which results in the growth (or proliferation) of fibrous tissue.  This creates a stronger bond at these attachment points, lessening the load on the individual fibers.

How Effective is Prolotherapy?

Numerous studies have been shown a success rate of over 80% over many thousands of patients, with success judged as at least 50% reduction in pain. This is quite remarkable, given that the treatment has minimal side effects and cost compared to other surgical and non-surgical treatment.  It is estimated that over 2,000,000 patients have been treated with Prolotherapy over 75 years.

What Kind of Pain Can Prolotherapy Help?

Pain can originate from any ligament, tendon, or joint in the body, and Prolotherapy can strengthen each of these types of structures, Therefore, the probability is high that a patient with pain from the joints in the neck, mid-back, or low back will respond to treatment. Other structures that respond well include the hip, knee, ankle, toe, shoulder, elbow, wrist, finger, and thumb.