Prolotherapy is a non-surgical therapeutic technique that involves the injection of a solution into damaged connective tissue in and around joints that directly repairs the dysfunction. This disruption of normal tissue is due to poor bio-mechanics & structural alignment, incomplete repair from trauma or the degenerative changes associated with aging.
When the solution is injected into the affected ligaments or tendons it causes a local inflammatory response. This, in turn, triggers the body’s natural healing process resulting in the deposition of new collagen, the foundation of ligaments and tendons, at the specific site of damage. This new collagen shrinks as it matures, tightening and strengthening the tissue around the joint that has been injected eliminating chronic pain by addressing the root cause of it.
The technique was first reported in a 1937 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association by Louis W. Schultz, M.D., an oral surgeon who found he could provide full relief for patients with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain with injections of fatty acids.
Over the next twenty years, George S. Hackett, M.D., an Ohio physician, applied the technique to patients with a variety of pain problems. He monitored many patients for years to determine the effect of the treatment and reported his findings in leading publications such as Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Surgery, and the British Journal of Physical Medicine.
- One of his studies involved 665 patients, ages 15 to 88, who suffered with pain from 3 months to 65 years (average: 4 ½ years). Twelve years after treatment 82 percent of the patients considered themselves long “cured.”
- Hackett’s foremost disciple was Gustav A. Hemwall, M.D., an Illinois physician. Between 1955 and 1996, when he retired, he was the leading Prolotherapy instructor and clinician in the United States. He treated more 10,000 patients. In 1974, he reported the results of a clinical survey of 2,007 patients and revealed that 75.5% of the patient considered themselves recovered and cured of chronic pain, 24.3% as generally improved, and only 0.2% as not improved.
Prolotherapy is indicated for most of the various musculoskeletal conditions listed above. Dr. Donaldson went through rigorous post-doctoral training for Prolotherapy at the University of Wisconsin Medical School & studied under the MD, DO & ND disciples of Drs. Hackett & Hemwall. It is one of Dr. Donaldson’s primary means of treatment when symptoms, history and orthopedic tests indicate positive results for associated ligament or tendon damage and accompanying weakness & pain.