"Prolo" is short for proliferation. Prolotherapy treatment causes the proliferation (growth, formation) of new ligament tissue in areas where it has become weak. Ligaments are the structural "rubber bands" that hold bones to bones in joints - acting like the body's shock absorbers. Ligaments can become weak or injured and may not heal back to their original strength or endurance. Ligaments will not tighten on their own to their original length once injured. This is largely because the blood supply to ligaments is limited and, therefore, healing is slow and not always complete. To further complicate this, ligaments also have many nerve endings and, therefore, the person will feel pain at the areas where the ligaments are damaged or loose. The resulting ligament laxity can cause severe pain as bones rub together or muscles are over-worked as they tighten in an attempt to stabilize the bones.

A proliferate solution of natural substances, such as growth factors or growth factor stimulators, is injected directly into the site where the weakened ligament attaches to the bone. These injections trigger the body’s own immune system to grow new and healthy tissue which then properly stabilizes the bones and joints, relieving musculoskeletal pain and stiffness. Usually 3-4 treatments will produce a beneficial response resulting in increases ligament strength and pain relief.

Prolotherapy usually causes some discomfort at the injection site that may last between a few minutes and several days, however this discomfort is seldom severe. Some patients have reported severe headaches after receiving prolotherapy to treat back pain. For the majority of patients with chronic pain the benefits of prolotherpay far out weight the low risk of short temporary discomfort.

Prolotherapy is one of the treatments of choice for chronic pain. A study by Reeves and Hassanein in 2000, found that prolotherapy significantly improved the symptoms and pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. The technique is also beneficial to people suffering from back pain. Prolotherapy can be used at the neck, low back, knee, shoulder, or any joint to prevent progression of arthritis and eliminate pain.