Prolotherapy for Musculoskeletal Pain

A primer for pain management physicians on the mechanism of action and indications for use. By Donna Alderman, DO

Prolotherapy is a method of injection treatment designed to stimulate healing. This treatment is used for musculoskeletal pain which has gone on longer than 8 weeks such as low back and neck pain, chronic sprains and/or strains, whiplash injuries, tennis and golfer’s elbow, knee, ankle, shoulder or other joint pain, chronic tendonitis/tendonosis, and musculoskeletal pain related to osteoarthritis. Prolotherapy works by raising growth factor levels or effectiveness to promote tissue repair or growth. It can be used years after the initial pain or problem began, as long as the patient is healthy. Because prolotherapy works to repair weak and painful joint areas, it is a long term solution rather than a palliative measure such as drugs, and should be considered prior to the use of long term drugs or surgery in appropriate patients.

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