As we have discussed several times before on this site, prolotherapy is a regenerative medicine treatment in which a doctor injects a solution that stimulates tissue regeneration. Many regenerative treatments (PRP for example) are relatively new. Prolotherapy, however, is among the oldest recorded injection therapies in history. In this article, we are going to talk about the history of prolotherapy and how it has developed into the treatment used today.
We don’t know when exactly prolotherapy was first developed. The first use of prolotherapy on humans we can find in recorded history is back around 400 BC. There is documentation of Hippocrates using the technique to treat a shoulder injury. While this is technically considered prolotherpy, it is much different than the injections used today.
A more modern version of prolotherapy was developed in the 1830s by Dr. Alfred Velpeau, who is considered the father of prolotherapy. Until the 1920s, prolotherapy was primarily used to treat hernias, using an iodine solution. In the 1930s, Dr. Earl Gedney continued to develop prolotherapy into the treatment we use today.
Since it was first developed, prolotherapy has changed and advanced significantly. The biggest change that has taken place over the history of prolotherapy is the solution that is injected into the joints. Early uses utilized an iodine solution. As medical professionals began to better understand the treatment, they moved to a dextrose-based solution that is still used to this day. Prolotherapy is still used to treat joint conditions like golfer’s elbow, tendonitis, and more.
The doctors at Advanced Spine & Pain Clinics of MN are trained in regenerative medicine techniques like prolotherapy. Our pain management physicians have over twenty years of experience treating Minnesota patients for all types of pain. Contact our clinic today to set up an appointment with a pain doctor and talk about your options for reducing your pain.