JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN FAMILY PHYSICIAN

 

1. Prolotherapy is an injection-based complementary therapy for common chronic musculoskeletal conditions including tendinopathy, knee osteoarthritis, and low back pain.

2. Patients with severe refractory lateral epicondylitis (Tennis elbow) treated with prolotherapy, reported approximately a 90 percent reduction in resting elbow pain on a 10-point visual analog scale compared with a 22 percent reduction in the control group.

3. Other overuse injuries including Achilles tendinopathy, Abductor tendinopathy, and Plantar fasciitis have responded well to prolotherapy.

4. Prolotherapy has also been used in multidisciplinary care plans. Participants in an Achilles tendinopathy study responded earlier and with less money spent on treatment when physical therapy and prolotherapy were combined compared with either treatment alone.

5. The largest and most methodologically rigorous study compared prolotherapy in 110 participants with an average of 14 years of nonsurgical low back pain. Participants reported substantial and sustained reductions in pain (26 to 44 percent) and disability (30 to 44 percent) at 12 months.

6. Positive outcomes have been reported in prospective studies assessing prolotherapy for the following conditions: refractory coccygodynia, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and leg pain caused by moderate to severe degenerative disk disease.

7. Prolotherapy performed by an experienced injector appears safe; no clinical trials report significant adverse events. Current data suggest that prolotherapy has a positive effect compared with baseline status, and in some cases compared with control therapy, in carefully selected patients for several indications including Achilles tendinopathy, Coccygodynia (tailbone pain), knee osteoarthritis, lateral epicondylitis, degenerative disk disease, nonspecific low back pain, plantar fasciitis, and sacroiliac joint dysfunction.