Prolotherapy FAQs

Q: How does Prolotherapy work?

A: With a precise injection of a mild irritant solution directly on the site of the torn or stretched ligament or tendon, Prolotherapy creates a mild, controlled injury that stimulates the body’s natural healing mechanisms to lay down new tissue on the weakened area. The mild inflammatory response that is created by the injection encourages growth of new ligament or tendon fibers, resulting in a tightening of the weakened structure. Additional treatments repeat this process, allowing a gradual buildup of tissue to restore the original strength to the area. Injection of varicose veins and other similar abnormalities creates a mild inflammatory response causing them to contract so that they become smaller or even vanish.

Q: What is in the solution that is injected?

A: The prolotherapy injections contain anesthetic agents and natural substances which stimulate the healing response. The primary agent is glucose, ozone or combination of two. Depending on patients’ needs.

Q: Is the Prolotherapy treatment painful?

A: Any pain involving an injection will vary according to the structure to be treated, the choice of solution, and the skill of the physician administering the injection. The treatment may result in mild swelling and stiffness. The mild discomfort passes fairly rapidly and can be reduced with pain relievers such as Tylenol. Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, should not be used for pain relief because their action suppresses the desired inflammatory process produced by the injection.

Q: Can Prolotherapy help everyone?

A: Each patient must be evaluated thoroughly with patient history; physical exam, X-ray exam, and full laboratory work up before treatment will be administered. With this information, your physician can evaluate your potential success with this therapy. Success depends on factors which include the history of damage to the patient, the patient’s overall health and ability to heal, and any underlying nutritional deficiencies that would impede the healing process.

Q: What areas of the body can be treated?

A: This form of therapy can be used to treat different joints; such as knee, hip, ankle, wrist, elbow and shoulder. Prolotherapy is also successful in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Q: Can it cure everything?

A: it cannot “cure” every painful condition, nor always eliminate 100% of one’s pain. The vast majority of patients treated (usually 2-6 sessions) will receive at least 50% relief of their pain. Many even report complete resolution of their pain after a series of treatments. These results are excellent, considering that chronic pain is exceedingly difficult to treat by any means. It is also important that treatment only strengthens tissues. No structures are weakened and no scars are formed.

Q: How often and how many treatments do I need?

A: three to six treatments for a given area is about the average needed. A few patients respond quickly to just a treatment or two, but most patients require more to stimulate the healing properly. The longer the duration of the pain and disability and the more severe and widespread it is, the more treatments will be needed to stabilize the joints, ligaments or tendons. After the first session, successive treatments follow at intervals of three to six weeks. Staying on a consistent schedule of treatments will decrease the chance that early benefits are lost.

Q: What’s the rate of success in treatment?

A: The anticipated rate of success depends on a number of variables, including the patient’s history and ability to heal, and the type of solution used. In patients with low back pain with hypermobility, 85% to 95% of patients treated experience remission of pain with this form of therapy. In comparison, the Journal of Bone and Joint Therapy reports on a 52% improvement in patients treated surgically for disc involvement.