Answers to some of your questions regarding Prolotherapy

1. I HAVE NOT HEARD OF PROLOTHERPAY BEFORE. WHY? Answer: Prolotherapy is not taught in most medical schools. Unless a doctor has taken the extra training required to be an effective prolotherapy doctor they may not be aware of the beneficial effects of prolotherapy. At times, one prolotherapy procedure may take up to an hour and many clinics cannot afford to take this amount of time for one patient. They base their practice in volume and have to run as many patients as possible in and out of the office in any single day. At times you are treated by a physician extender and don’t even see the doctor at all. Also, many doctors and patients want a “quick fix” as provided with medications. Lastly, most insurance companies consider it “investigational” and “alternative”, and it is not covered by your policy.

2. WHAT SIDE EFFECTS CAN I EXPECT? Answer: Side effects of prolotherapy injections are usually minimal and may include temporary soreness, stiffness and occasional bruising in the injection site. To relief the discomfort non-anti-inflammatory over the counter pain medication such as Tylenol may be taken as needed. Do not take Advil, Aleve, BC powder, Mobic, Celebrex and the like since these interfere with Prolotherapy.

3. DOES PROLOTHERAPY HURT? Answer: The amount of discomfort varies. It depend upon each patient and their individual condition, Normally females are more tolerant to prolotherapy injections than men.

4. CAN PROLOTHERAPY CURE ALL ISSUES? Answer: Of course not. No single treatment modality is capable of treating all conditions and prolotherpy is no exception. Additionally it is not an overnight cure.

5. IS PROLOTHERAPY THE SAME AS CORTISONE INJECTIONS? Answer: No it is not. Cortisone is a steroid and stops the inflammatory process and prevents tissue healing. Cortisone is not part of the prolotherapy injection.

6. WHAT SOLUTIONS ARE USED? Answer: A typical prolotherapy solution consists of Lidocaine (an anesthetic), 50% dextrose (a sugar solution), and methycobalamine (B12). Sodium morrhuate may be added to increase the prolotherapy effects but this last ingredient increases the risks we hardly use it.

7. IS PROLOTHERPAY SAFE? Answer: Yes, prolotherapy is very, very safe when performed by an MD or DO trained in prolotherapy. Procedures are always carried out using sterile techniques and either fluoroscopic or ultrasound guidance. Each patient’s condition is unique and individualized.

8. HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE NEEDED? Answer: The number of treatments varies and will depend upon the severity of the problem and their unique condition. The average person usually receives 4-6 treatments, with some needing more and some needing less. Treatments are normally given every 3 to 4 weeks apart on a decreasing basis. Maintenance treatments may be needed from time to time. 


References about Prolotherapy


There will be those out there that will tell you that there are no references about prolotherapy or that it is experimental or that it does not work. Those statements are due to the fact that they have no clue or experience with prolotherapy because they have no training in Prolotherapy. Just pure ignorance.  Here are just a few of the references available. 




1. Banks A: A rationale for prolotherapy. J Orthop Med (UK)

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7. Bujia J, Pitzke P, Kastenbauer E, et al: Effect of growth factors on matrix synthesis by human nasal chondrocytes cultured in monolayer and in agar. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol (Germany) 253:336–340, 1996.

8. Caruccio L, Bae S, Liu A, et al: The heat-shock transcription factor HSF1 is rapidly activated by either hyper- or hypoosmotic stress in mammalian cells. Biochem J 327:341–347,1997.

9. Des Rosiers E, Yahia L, Rivard C: Proliferative and matrix synthesis response of canine anterior cruciate ligament fibroblasts submitted to combined growth factors. J Orthop Res 14:200–208, 1996.

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induces the overexpression of transforming growth factor-beta through the activation of a platelet-derived growth factor loop in human mesangial cells. Am J Pathol 149:2095–2106, 1996.

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Postgrad Med 27:214–219, 1960.

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Headache 2:20–28, 1962.

23. Hackett G, Hemwall G, Montgomery G: Ligament and Tendon Relaxation Treated by Prolotherapy, 5th ed. Oak Park, IL, Gustav A. Hemwall, 1992.

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25. Horner A, Kemp P, Summers C, et al: Expression and distribution of transforming growth factor-beta isoforms and their signaling receptors in growing human bone. Bone 23:95–102, 1998.

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JB (ed): Operative Arthroscopy. New York, Raven Press,

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rabbit’s flexor tendon culture. Yonsei Med J 40:26–29, 1999.

29. Kayfetz D, Blumenthal L, Hackett G, et al: Whiplash injury and other ligamentous headache—Its management with prolotherapy.Headache 3:1–8, 1963.

30. Keplinger J, Bucy P: Paraplegia from treatment with sclerosing

agents. JAMA 173:113–115, 1960.

31. Klein R, Bjorn C, DeLong B, et al: A randomized doubleblind

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Bull Hosp Joint Dis 22:48–55, 1961.

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42. Okuda Y, Adrogue H, Nakajima T, et al: Increased production of PDGF by angiotensin and high glucose in human vascular endothelium. Life Sci 59:455–461, 1996.

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46. Pelletier J, Caron J, Evans C, et al: In vivo suppression of early experimental osteoarthritis by interleukin-1 receptor antagonist using gene therapy. Arthritis Rheum 40:1012–1019, 1997.

47. Pugliese G, Pricci F, Locuratolo N, et al: Increased activity of the insulin-like growth factor system in mesangial cells cultured in high glucose conditions: Relation to glucose-enhanced extracellular matrix production. Diabetologia 39:775–784, 1996.

48. Reeves KD: Mixed somatic peripheral nerve block for painful or intractable spasticity: A review of 30 years of use. Am J Pain Mgmt 2:205–210, 1992.

49. Reeves KD: Treatment of consecutive severe fibromyalgia patients with prolotherapy. J Orthop Med 16:84–89, 1994.

50. Reeves KD: Prolotherapy: Present and future applications in soft tissue pain and disability. Phys Med Rehabil Clin North Am 6:917–926, 1995.

50a. Reeves KD, Hassanein K: Randomized, prospective double-blind, placebo-controlled study of dextrose prolotherapy for knee osteoarthritis with or without ACL laxity. Evidence of pain improvement, range of motion increase, reduction of ACL laxity, and early evidence for radiographic stabilization. Altern Ther Health Med [in press].

50b. Reeves KD, Hassanein K: Randomized, prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of dextrose prolotherapy for osteoarthritic thumb and finger (DIP, PIP, and trapeziometacarpal) joints: Evidence of clinical efficacy. J Altern Complement Med [in press].

51. Roos MD, Han IO, Paterson AJ, et al: Role of glucosamine synthesis in the stimulation of TGF-alpha gene transcription by glucose and EGF. Am J Physiol 270:803–811, 1996.

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53. Sadoshima J, Izumo S: Cell swelling rapidly activates Src tyrosine kinase, a potential transducer of mechanical stress in cardiac myocytes [abstract]. Circulation 1(Suppl 1):409, 1996.

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55. Schultz LW: Twenty years experience in treating hypermobility of the temporomandibular joints. Am J Surg 92:925–928, 1956.

56. Shida J, Jingusih S, Izumi T, et al: Basic fibroblast growth factor stimulates articular cartilage enlargement in young rats in vivo. J Orthop Res 14:265–272, 1996.

57. Spindler KP, Imro AK, Mayes CE: Patellar tendon and anterior

cruciate ligament have different mitogenic responses to platelet-derived growth factor and transforming growth factor beta. J Orthop Res 14:542–546, 1996.

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60. Ward CW, Gough KH, Rashke M: Growth factors in surgery. Plast Reconstr Surg 97:469–476, 1996.

61. Wakitani S, Imoto K, Kimura T, et al: Hepatocyte growth factor facilitates cartilage repair much better than saline control.Full thickness articular cartilage defect studied in rabbitknees. Acta Orthop Scand 68:474–480, 1997.

62. Zubay G: Integration of metabolism in vertebrates. In Zubay G (ed): Biochemistry, 4th ed. Dubuque, IA, Wm. C. Brown,1998, p 691.