Prolotherapy is an injection therapy designed to rehabilitate and stimulate healing in damaged tendons, ligaments and other forms of connective tissue. Prolotherapy serves to promote healing, decrease pain and increase function. The term prolotherapy was coined by George Hackett who developed the technique in the 1940’s.
The term is shorthand for proliferative therapy or proliferative injection therapy. The basic concept of prolotherapy involves the injection of an irritating substance into a damaged structure and that this irritation stimulates increased blood flow and resources to the area thereby promoting healing. Prolotherapy is very successful at strengthening ligaments and reducing pain. Prolotherapy is often performed as a series of injections spaces out over weeks to months. The most common substances used in prolotherapy include but are not limited to lidocaine, saline or sterile water, dextrose, and vitamin B-12.
Prolotherapy can be performed on multiple areas at the same time, depending on the individual needs of the patient. After the treatment the patient is requested to abstain from taking ant-inflammatories like aspirin, ibuprofen, Tylenol or anti-inflammatory herbs like Turmeric so as to allow the inflammatory cascade to progress naturally.
Most patients tolerate the injections quite well. Prolotherapy can be performed on both new and old injuries.
Common reasons for prolotherapy include:
- Sports injuries
- Joint instability
- Ligament injuries
- Back pain/sciatica
- Knee pain
- Weak or sore wrists
About SCNM’s Prolotherapy Experts
Nick Buratovich, NMD, received his bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College and his naturopathic medical degree from National College of Natural Medicine. Dr. Buratovich has maintained a naturopathic family practice for over 20 years and focuses primarily on pain management and the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries. His clinical focus is the patient with a foundation in naturopathic philosophy and principles.
He uses manipulation, acupuncture and nutrition, as primary modalities with botanical and homeopathic medicines. He also is trained in cold-laser therapy, infusion therapy and prolotherapy, and is a certified practitioner in bio-cranial therapy. Dr. Buratovich is an associate professor and the Department Chair of Physical Medicine at SCNM. He is also the secretary of Southwest College’s Board of Trustees.
Heath McAllister, ND, RH (AHG), earned his naturopathic medical degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. After completing his clinical and didactic training, he went on to do a 1-year residency in general family practice. Dr. McAllister currently practices and teaches at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA). He practices general family medicine with a focus on gastro-intestinal disorders, fatigue, autoimmune conditions, men’s health, pain management and environmental medicine.
Dr. McAllister is trained in acupuncture, spinal manipulation, nutrition, homeopathy, mind-body medicine, IV therapies, minor surgery, prolotherapy and applied kinesiology. He is also a registered herbalist and uses herbal medicine a great deal in practice. Dr. McAllister graduated summa cum laude from the University of New Hampshire. Dr. McAllister worked as a plant biologist for both the US Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Land Management.