What to Expect at a Prolotherapy Injection Appointment


What are prolotherapy injections?

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 containing a solution 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.

What to expect at a prolotherapy injection appointment

During a prolotherapy session, a health care professional will cleanse the skin with an antiseptic solution and apply lidocaine cream to the injection site to reduce pain. The solution of dextrose or saline is injected into the affected area. The use of ultrasound guidance or other imaging tools help determine the exact location for the injection. Pressure may be felt as the medication is injected.

The irritant causes cells in the area to burst by changing the fluid pressure. This triggers the healing process, attracting immune cells and inflammation chemicals to the affected area. The average number of injections are between three and six injections; however, more can be given. The exact number and frequency of the injections depends on the location and type of injury.

The procedure typically takes about 30 minutes to complete. A heat or ice pack may be applied for 10 to 15 minutes prior to going home.

After the injection

The injection site may be painful and swollen following the injection. Although soreness and bruising may continue up to a week, normal activities can usually be resumed the following day.

Strenuous activities following prolotherapy injections, such as sports or intense physical activity, should be discussed with the health care provider prior to engaging. If new or worsening pain develops or discoloration, swelling, hives or a rash appears, notify the health care professional immediately.