Risks and Benefits of Prolotherapy Injections


What is prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy is an alternative treatment option to reduce muscle or joint pain. Prolotherapy injections, also known as regenerative injection therapy, stimulate the body’s tissue to naturally repair itself. It involves a series of injections of an irritant, either dextrose or saline, that is administered through a small needle into the painful tendon, ligament, joint or muscle.

As the body recognizes the irritant, new inflammation occurs. The body then sends immune cells and other chemicals to the affected area, resulting in the body beginning a natural healing response. Prolotherapy comes with certain risks and benefits.

Risks and disadvantages

As with any medical procedure, certain risks are involved. Disadvantages and risks may include the following:

  • Most insurance plans do not cover prolotherapy injections.
  • There is a low risk of damage to nerves, joints, and other tissue around the injection site.
  • An allergic reaction can occur.
  • Infection is possible.


Prolotherapy may be beneficial for various reasons. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Reduced pain
  • Can be used alongside other treatments
  • Few side effects
  • Effective for chronic musculoskeletal pain
  • May last up to six months to one year, depending on the substance injected