Prolotherapy at San Diego Clinic of Integrative Medicine


Prolotherapy has been used as a medical treatment for over 50 years. It is a procedure that injects a solution such as Dextrose and Lidocaine at the point where ligaments and tendons attach to the bone. This stimulates the ligaments and tendons to proliferate, or grow, at the injection site.

Prolotherapy has been shown to be effective in alleviating chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, back, low back, elbows, groin, hips, knees, ankles, feet, wrists, and hands, including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Sometimes through overuse, excessive stretching, or because of an injury, the tendons and ligaments in a particular area become weakened. Since blood flow is essential to healing, and because ligaments and tendons have naturally poor blood supply, there is frequently incomplete healing which results in decreased strength of that area. The weakened ligaments and tendons become too “relaxed” which then becomes the cause of chronic pain.

Ligaments and tendons provide stability of the joints. If joints move too much, bones may compress or pinch nerves or blood vessels resulting in permanent nerve damage. Weakened structures are strengthened by the growth of new, strong ligaments and tendon tissue created by prolotherapy injections. Strengthening weakened tendons and ligaments produces permanent pain relief.

Prolotherapy is given in a series of treatments. The number of treatments necessary can vary from person to person and is often determined by the goals of the individual. Some individuals are only seeking pain relief. Others may seek to regain a level of athletic prowess. In these instances, more treatments to obtain that level of tissue regeneration may be required. Many patients get pain relief after only a few treatment, but some may require as many as twelve treatments in a specific area. Treatments are usually given one to three weeks apart, as determined by our medical staff.

New tissue growth requires specific nutrients including: iron, copper, manganese, calcium, zinc, Vitamin C and various amino acids. A diet lacking in adequate nutrients and protein will hinder the healing process. For these reasons, patients will have better results if they take the vitamin and mineral supplements prescribed by our medical staff.

Anti-inflammatory medicines, like: Motrin, Advil, Aspirin, Clinoril, Volterane, Prednisone, and Cortisone, all inhibit the healing process of soft tissue and should be avoided while undergoing Prolotherapy treatments. Appropriate pain medications will be given if required during the treatment period.

Patients are encouraged to continue with their normal exercise routine while undergoing Prolotherapy treatments so long as there is no pain present. Adjustments by the patient’s regular chiropractor and range-of-motion exercises are also recommended to help with flexibility.

Patients are frequently concerned about whether there is pain involved in Prolotherapy. While it is recognized that most people have an aversion to needles, the vast majority of patients consider the treatments a mild, temporary discomfort and insignificant to the chronic pain experienced every day.

Prolotherapy is safer than taking aspirin daily. Prolotherapy is also much safer for the body than living with pain. Pain creates stress in the body and stress is one of the biggest deterents to good health.

Patients interested in starting Prolotherapy need to have a consultation with our medical staff to set up a course of treatment. It may also be necessary to obtain-X-rays of the area involved before treatment begins.

Dr. Collins teaches prolotherapy to other doctors and is a foremost expert in the field.

Contact Us today to set up an appointment.