A doctor holds the shoulder of a male patient to test his body's response.

Back and joint pain is a problem affecting millions of people around the world. In the United States alone, one in four Americans suffers from chronic arthritis (CDC). In today’s globalized medical market, there are no shortage of options to choose from when it comes to treatments.

Prolotherapy is an increasingly common form of treatment used for a wide range of health problems, from arthritis to herniated discs. In this article, we’ll look at what prolotherapy is, how it works, and what kinds of conditions it can help to treat.

What is prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy is a natural orthopedic treatment for joint pain and tissue reconstruction. Also referred to as regenerative joint injection, prolotherapy stimulates and strengthens the body’s natural healing process so that it can better combat issues like inflammation, joint pain, ligament injury, and others.

How does prolotherapy work?

Prolotherapy involves the injection of a mild, natural irritant (such as dextrose or lidocaine) directly into the site of treatment. Recently, other kinds of injections have been developed and successfully given to patients, including platelet rich plasma (PRP) and solutions derived from adult stem cells (autologous formulas).

The injection can be placed in virtually any body area of concern. Depending on the patient and their condition, this area could be a knee, shoulder, or hip joint, or a pair of radiated discs in the spine. The reason for an injection and the malady it aims to ameliorate will vary on a case-by-case basis.

Once injected, the medicinal solution elicits a slight inflammatory response in the body, causing it to respond with organic, innate mechanisms for healing, tissue repair, and structural strengthening.

What can be treated with prolotherapy?

As mentioned, a wide range of conditions and diseases may benefit from prolotherapy treatment. Most commonly, prolotherapy is used in the lower or middle back, shoulder, ankle, foot, iliotibial (hip) region, or jaw. This treatment can be administered to virtually any musculoskeletal area of concern, and the zones described in this article should not be seen as an exhaustive list.

In terms of conditions that may be treated by prolotherapy, these range in scope and severity. Relatively minor reasons for treatment including soft tissue tears or sports injuries like tennis elbow, whereas more taxing or chronic conditions include rotator cuff tears and degenerative disc disease.

Although every patient must be individually assessed to determine the best course of treatment, those who have been recommended to try prolotherapy have generally found it be very successful in processes of healing and pain management.


If you or someone you know might benefit from prolotherapy, there’s no need to let the pain progress. Contact Family Chiropractic Care in Santa Fe to experience the healing power of this natural remedy.