Prolotherapy involves injecting a substance into the body to promote
the growth of normal cells, tissues, or organs. There are three types of
prolotherapy. The type used to treat joint pain is called inflammatory
In inflammatory prolotherapy, a sugar water solution (dextrose) is
injected into a weakened ligament near where the ligament attaches to the bone.
The injection is intended to cause inflammation. The body responds to the
inflammation by increasing blood flow to the area and stimulating the ligament
to repair itself. Usually, a person would have a series of 4 to 6 treatments,
each about 2 weeks apart.
To diagnose back pain -- unless you are totally immobilized from a back injury -- your doctor probably will test your range of motion and nerve function and touch your body to locate the area of discomfort. Sometimes blood and urine tests are performed to make sure that the back pain is not caused by an infection or other more widespread medical problem.
If your symptoms persist more than four to six weeks, you have suffered trauma. Or, if your doctor suspects a serious cause behind the back pain,...
A review of several
studies suggests that prolotherapy injections alone may not be helpful for
chronic low back pain. But they may reduce pain and help you be more active if
they are used in addition to other treatment such as exercise and spinal
manipulation.1 A separate review concludes that prolotherapy may not work.2
The biggest risk in prolotherapy treatment is nerve damage
from an injection placed too close to a nerve. There are also no established
guidelines for the procedure at this time. Most pain experts do not recommend prolotherapy for low back pain.