Prolotherapy Uses a Sugar Solution to Trigger the Immune System
Prolotherapy is an alternative therapy that claims to relieve pain by injecting a dextrose sugar solution into the joint. The solution causes irritation in the joint, which triggers your body’s immune response to start healing the damaged area. Like many alternative medical approaches, there is some evidence of a slight benefit of prolotherapy but not enough for most doctors to recommend it.
Some small studies have shown slight, short-term improvements in knee pain following the treatment. But the lack of long-term data or controlled studies makes it difficult to determine how much of the benefit is a placebo effect. Although the effectiveness of prolotherapy is debatable, the treatment is inexpensive and has few safety concerns. Some doctors say that as long as patients are continuing other, more proven treatments, there’s no harm in trying prolotherapy.