Prolotherapy at Seattle Naturopathic Center
Historical review shows that a version of this technique was first used by Hippocrates on soldiers with dislocated, torn shoulder joints. “Prolo” comes from proliferation, as prolotherapy treatment causes the rapid growth of new ligament tissue in areas where it has become weak. Ligaments can become weak or injured and may not heal back to their original strength or endurance. This is because the blood supply to ligaments is limited, and therefore healing is slow and not always complete. Since ligaments have many nerve endings, one might feel pain in the areas where the ligaments are damaged or loose. Prolotherapy uses a dextrose solution, which is injected into the ligament or tendon where it attaches to the bone. This causes a localized inflammation in these weak areas which then increases the blood supply and flow of nutrients and stimulates the tissue so that it will repair itself.
Learn more about prolotherapy from Dr. Lee’s blog
Medical Research on Prolotherapy
“Long Term Effects of Dextrose Prolotherapy for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Laxity,” Reeves KD, Hassanein KM, Altern Ther, May/June 2003;9(3):58-62.
In a study of 18 patients with 6 months or more of knee pain with anterior cruciate ligament laxity, subjects received intraarticular injection of 6-9 cc of 10% dextrose at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 10 months, then injection with 6 cc of 25% dextrose at 12 months, and then an injection of either 10% or 25% dextrose every 2 to 4 months for 36 months. Sixteen patients were available at follow-up. Six knees were measured as normal after 6 months, 9 measured normal after 1 year, and 10 measured normal at 3 years. At the 3-year follow-up, pain at rest, pain with walking, and pain with stair use had improved by 45%, 43% and 35%, respectively. Subjective swelling improved by 63%, and flexion range-of-motion improved by 10.5 degrees.