In the January/February 2007 issue of this journal, a review article on Prolotherapy outlined the use of Prolotherapy for musculoskeletal pain. This is the first of a series of articles which will go into more detail regarding the use of prolotherapy for different areas. This article will discuss the use of prolotherapy for low back pain, disc disease, and sciatica, together with case reports.
Prolotherapy is a method of injection treatment designed to stimulate healing. Many different types of musculoskeletal injuries and pain lend themselves to prolotherapy treatment including 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.
Prolotherapy works by causing a temporary, low grade inflammation at the site of ligament or tendon weakness (fibro-osseous junction), “tricking” the body into initialing a new healing cascade. Inflammation activates fibroblasts to the area, which synthesize precursors to mature collagen, and thereby reinforcing connective tissue. This inflammatory stimulus raises the level of growth factors to resume or initiate a new connective tissue repair sequence to complete one which had prematurely aborted or never started. Prolotherapy is also known as “regenerative injection therapy (RIT),” “non-surgical tendon, ligament and joint reconstruction,” or “growth factor stimulation injection therapy.”