Prolotherapy is an alternative therapy that helps repair body tissues. It’s also known as regenerative injection therapy or proliferation therapy. The concept of prolotherapy dates back thousands of years. There are different types of prolotherapy, but they all aim to stimulate the body to repair itself. Dextrose or saline prolotherapy involves injecting a sugar or salt solution into a joint or other part of the body to treat a range of conditions, such as:
Dextrose prolotherapy and saline prolotherapy is injecting a solution containing irritants — a saline or dextrose solution — into a specific area where damage or injury has occurred.
It could help:
The irritants stimulate the body’s natural healing response, leading to the growth of new tissues. People mostly use it to treat tendon injuries resulting from overuse and to tighten unstable joints.
Prolotherapy is likely to be safe, as long as the practitioner has training and experience in these types of injections. However, there are risks involved with injecting substances into a joint.
Possible adverse effects include:
Before giving prolotherapy, your provider will need to see any diagnostic images, including MRI scans and X-rays. Ask your doctor whether you should stop taking any existing medications before having the treatment.
During the procedure, the provider will:
The process should take around 30 minutes, including preparation, after you arrive at the facility.
Immediately after treatment, your doctor may apply ice or heat packs to the treated areas for 10–15 minutes. During this time, you will rest.
Then you’ll be able to go home.
Immediately after the procedure, you’ll likely notice some swelling and stiffness. Most people can resume normal activities by the next day, although bruising, discomfort, swelling, and stiffness may continue for up to a week. Seek medical attention at once if you notice:
These could be a sign of infection.
Prolotherapy doesn’t have approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and most insurance policies won’t cover it. Depending on your treatment plan, you may need to pay $200 or more for each session. The number of treatments will vary according to individual needs. According to an article published in the Journal of Prolotherapy, the following are typical courses of treatment:
Dextrose or saline prolotherapy involves injections of a saline or dextrose solution into a specific part of the body, such as a joint. In theory, the solution acts as an irritant, which stimulates the growth of new tissues.