Effectiveness, Risks and Complications of Prolotherapy

Prolotherapy is a kind of injection based treatment which is mainly used for treating chronic musculoskeletal conditions. It is highly used in the treatment of low back pain, tendonitis, and knee osteoarthritis. It is basically injected into the soft tissue of the patient mainly on the injured joint. This type of treatment is also called proliferation therapy.

Effectiveness of Prolotherapy

Effectiveness of Prolotherapy

Prolotherapy is found to be very effective and is very safe as well. Prolotherapy is very effective in the treatment of low back pain, tendonitis, and knee osteoarthritis. Apart from that, it is also highly used for treating the injured joints as well as ligaments. It is seen that doctors prescribe to use prolotherapy for treating arthritis as it is very effective in reducing the pain. Doctors may use it on various area of the body of the patient such as knees, hips, shoulders as well as some other joints and ligaments for using prolotherapy.

Prolotherapy has been in existence since early 1900 but still many medical practitioners have several questions in their mind regarding the effectiveness of this kind of treatment. However, it has been found in many types of research that the treatment of prolotherapy is totally safe and is very effective in the treatment of back pain as well as joint pain.

In prolotherapy, a natural irritant agent is included that mainly contains sugar and Sodium Morrhuate. Sugar is a dextrose or glucose, whereas Sodium Morrhuate is derived from cod liver oil. This agent is basically used along with local anesthesia which may include lidocaine, procaine, or marcaine.

In the treatment of prolotherapy, it is required to give a series of injections to the patient. The average number of injections that are generally given to the patient may range from 4 to 10. However, the number of injection that will be required will totally depend on the patient. The treatment may go for 3 to 6 months with the series of injections that may be injected into the patient at an interval of 2 to 3 weeks.

Risk and Complication of Prolotherapy

Although prolotherapy is very effective in the treatment of back pain, still some risks are involved in this kind of treatment. The process of treatment of prolotherapy is not at all easy as it requires extraordinary skills and cares for this kind of therapy. Every physician cannot treat the patient with prolotherapy as the technique of injection involved in this therapy requires some skill that is not known to every physician or everyone is not expert on it. It is very important to have proper training and experience to treat the patient with prolotherapy.

Due to improper treatment of prolotherapy patient may suffer from various kinds of problem which may include swelling, headache, allergic problem as well as extreme pain and stiffness. Apart from that, there can be some serious complication that may include spinal fluid leak, permanent paralysis as well as pneumothorax.

In order to lessen the pain and swelling that happened due to the injection of prolotherapy, doctors may prescribe acetaminophen or hydrocodone bitartrate plus acetaminophen. However, it is very important to keep in mind that during this condition the patient should not be given any kind of aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications.

Apart from that, patients are advised to apply ice in the swelled area 3 to 5 times a day for at least 20 minutes. Moreover, the patient can go for moderate exercise during the period of the treatment but it is very important to avoid heavy exercise or weight lifting.

The most vital thing that every patient should understand is that the treatment of prolotherapy should only be taken from a good physician who has years of experience in this type of therapy. This is very essential because the treatment of prolotherapy is very critical and if prolotherapy is treated in a wrong way, it can have a very bad impact on the body of the patient.


So, in simple words, it will not be wrong to say that the treatment of prolotherapy is very effective in the treatment of low back pain, tendonitis, arthritis, and knee osteoarthritis but utmost care should be taken while going through the process of treatment to avoid any major complications.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 23, 2019

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