What is prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy is the injection of a solution, typically hypertonic dextrose, into entheses (where tendons attach to bone), ligaments and/or joints to repair and proliferate soft tissue, for the purpose of reducing chronic pain and ligamentous laxity.

Its purpose is to stimulate the body to repair and strengthen ligaments and tendons, thereby restoring stability, improving function, and reducing pain. It has proven to be remarkably effective and remarkably safe over the years. As the late Dr Jeff Patterson (icon in the international prolotherapy world) would say, prolotherapy is a simple, safe, elegant and effective procedure.

It has been practised in its modern form for about 100 years, although Hippocrates performed a cruder version in ancient Greece. In Canada today prolotherapy may be performed by a physician (MD or DO), a naturopathic physician (ND), or a nurse practitioner, if they have had sufficient training.

Think prolotherapy

  • when manipulation or acupuncture relieves pain, but the relief is short-lived, maybe only hours or a couple of days.
  • when you can walk around OK, but can’t stand still for 20 minutes without pain.
  • for osteoarthritis (wear-and-tear arthritis, degenerative arthritis).
  • for “mechanical” back pain.
  • for conditions such as:
    • Low back pain, even including those with sciatica and those resulting from pregnancy
    • Neck pain, including whiplash injuries
    • Cervicogenic headache (Most tension headaches and migraine)
    • Plantar fasciitis and other foot and ankle problems
    • Shoulder/elbow problems including rotator cuff problems and tennis elbow
    • Hip or knee problems
    • TMJ syndrome

Information on prolotherapy

Journal of Prolotherapy

Hackett Hemwall Patterson Foundation

and IART education and training section

Dr. Ross Hauser

Florida and Chicagoland

American Osteopathic Association of Prolotherapy Regenerative Medicine

K. Dean Reeves, M.D.

Marc Darrow, M. D.

Contains several videos of Dr. Darrow performing prolotherapy


For the lay public as well as professionals.

Prolo Your Pain Away! Curing Chronic Pain with Prolotherapy, 4th Edition

Dr. Ross Hauser

Principles Of Prolotherapy

Drs. Thomas H. Ravin, Mark S. Cantieri, and George J. Pasquarello