What is Prolotherapy?

Prolotherapy involves the injection of an irritating solution, such as dextrose, into the site of a tendon or muscle injury to stimulate inflammation. The natural inflammatory reaction is caused by the irritating solution, as well as by the puncture from the needle. The inflammation is low grade, temporary, and local to the injection site.

Inflammation is the body’s method of healing injury and trauma. Inducing mild inflammation with prolotherapy stimulates the recruitment of immune cells and stem cells, and the release of substances required for healing and repair, such as cytokines and growth factors. The healing process begins as old tissue is cleared away, new blood vessels supply oxygen and nutrients to the area, and new connective tissue is laid down.

What is PRP?

PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma, which is obtained by taking blood from your vein and spinning it in a centrifuge to separate it into its constituent parts. The plasma and platelets are retained, giving a solution which contains a significantly greater concentration of platelets than the originally collected blood. The platelet rich plasma solution is injected into the site of your tendon or muscle injury, much like prolotherapy. However, unlike dextrose prolotherapy (described above), the PRP solution does not act as an irritant, but as a stimulant for healing.

Platelets are an essential component of the inflammatory and healing process, stimulating the migration of inflammatory cells and substances to the injury site. The more platelets there are at the injury site, the more healing substances will be recruited to the site, which is why it is necessary to spin and separate the collected blood first to achieve the highest concentration of platelets possible.

The PRP injection stimulates the same inflammation and healing process as prolotherapy (described above), leading to injury repair.

What kind of conditions can be treated with PRP/prolotherapy?

  • Pain in muscles or joints
  • Muscle, tendon and ligament tears
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tendonitis & tendonosis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Knee meniscus tears
  • Tennis elbow
  • Lower back pain & neck pain

PRP and prolotherapy may be particularly useful for old injuries which no longer elicit the healing response.

Are there any risks or side effects of PRP and prolotherapy?

Inducing inflammation at the injury site with PRP and prolotherapy may result in some pain at the site, however this is usually local only, and short lasting.

As PRP uses an autologous blood injection (the patient’s own blood) rather than donor blood, there is almost no risk of the transfer of an infectious disease or an allergic reaction.

PRP and prolotherapy are procedures which involve injection and hence carry the usual low risk associated with this method of administration.

PRP and prolotherapy at NIIM

PRP and prolotherapy is administered by Dr Amir Nekoee, a general practitioner with a specific interest in musculoskeletal medicine.

The procedure is performed at the NIIM Clinic in Hawthorn, Melbourne, and takes approximately 20 minutes.

Patient response to treatment varies depending on health status, and the type and nature of the injury. Some patients may require one or two sessions, while others may need more.

PRP and prolotherapy are not covered by Medicare.

How to make an appointment

To make an appointment, please contact NIIM Clinic reception on (03) 9804 0646.