Prolotherapy is a technique involving the injection of a solution into body tissue to cause a controlled inflammation which will initiate blood flow and promote new tissue growth.  In essence it is a procedure which stimulates the regeneration of connective tissue.  Prolo is a shortened version for proliferate based on the Latin root word ‘proles’ meaning offspring. 

A solution of concentrated sugar and an anesthetic such as lidocaine is injected in the affected or injured area (tendons and ligaments) which causes an inflammation at the site.  This initiates cell growth and collagen stimulation.  Blood flow and nutrients flow increases to the area which results in tissue repair and healing.  Decreased pain signals in the nerves of the area lead to overall pain reduction. 

In the 1940’s Dr. George Hackett, an American surgeon, who worked as an insurance examiner noticed that people injured through car accidents suffered from chronic pain. Often they underwent surgery to repair injury, but they still dealt with pain related to soft tissue.  Dr. Hackett recalled a technique used in the 1800’s whereby injections of irritants were used to treat hernias.   He tested it with these patients with great success but was curious as to why it worked.  He spent the next years refining the procedure and analyzing the test results.  Dr. Gustav Hemwall took up Hackett’s preliminary work and fine tuned the technique in the 1950’s.

Prolotherapy can be beneficial for conditions such as: back pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, ankle and wrist sprain, rotator cuff injuries, TMJ, neck pain, tendonitis, knee ligament injury, arthritis.

Many naturopathic health practitioners include prolotherapy in their service program.  This treatment is also offered by large integrated health centers which tend to offer a collaborative approach through physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage, naturopathy, sports medicine, yoga, acupuncture and other health modalities.  The number of treatments depends on the specific condition the client is presenting and treatment response.  On average, 3-6 treatments are done.

Specific Techniques


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