Related Terms

  • Sclerotherapy


Principal Proposed Uses

Other Proposed Uses

What Is Prolotherapy?

Invented in the 1950s by George Hackett, prolotherapy is based on the theory that chronic pain is often caused by laxness of the ligaments that are responsible for keeping a joint stable. When ligaments and associated tendons are loose, the body is said to compensate by using muscles to stabilize the joint. The net result, according to prolotherapy theory, is muscle spasms and pain.Prolotherapy treatment involves injections of chemical irritant solutions into the area around such ligaments. These solutions are believed to cause tissue to proliferate (grow), increasing the strength and thickness of ligaments. In turn, this presumably serves to tighten up the joint and relieve the burden on associated muscles, stopping muscle spasms. In the case of arthritic joints, increased ligament strength would allow the joint to function more efficiently, thus reducing pain. Prolotherapy has not been widely accepted in conventional medicine. The technique is used by prolotherapy practitioners to treat many conditions, including back pain , osteoarthritis , fibromyalgia, plantar fasciitis, sciatica , sports injuries, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) , tendinitis , and tension headaches . Most studies have focused on its use in back pain and osteoarthritis, but this evidence does not clearly support its effectiveness.

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