Prolotherapy Injections for Pain - Iffie Okoronkwo, M.D.

Prolotherapy Injections for Pain

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Prolotherapy, by Dr. Joy L. Meyer

When I listen to a patient’s unique complaints, evaluate their biomechanics and diagnose the causes of his or her pain, I often offer prolotherapy injections as part of the treatment. The injections have proven effective, affordable, and are without the risks and down-time associated with surgery and traditional medicines. Together with motor retraining, with prolotherapy we are able to achieve healing and return to full activity.

Prolotherapy is a form of regenerative medicine. I inject a safe solution containing dextrose and lidocaine. It elicits a response which is essentially the opposite of that of a steroid or cortisone injection. This natural inflammatory reaction causes the body to regenerate fresh tissue to the area to take the place of the unhealthy, painful tissue. It is a treatment for tendonitis, instability, tears, and arthritis. There is rarely a patient who cannot benefit from or is not a candidate for prolotherapy.

I will illustrate with three common cases.

Knee pain may be due to patellar tendonitis, a meniscus degeneration/tear, or arthritis. The prolotherapy repairs and strengthens the tendon, meniscus, and other ligaments inside to restore stability, and even support the joint to the point that it is no longer “bone on bone” pain.

Shoulder pain may be due to rotator cuff tendonitis, a tear, a result of neck spasm, or nerve impingement. Ligaments stretched in the course of daily activities can no longer support the neck or shoulder in good alignment. The muscles overwork/spasm, and tendons or nerves get caught between bony prominences and get irritated. By restoring the ligaments with prolotherapy the tendons and nerves are no longer pinched.

Back pain may be due to disc disease, muscular strain, stenosis, or sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction. Prolotherapy to the ligaments strengthens them so they can support the disc spaces, vertebrae, facets, and SI joint. With strong ligaments, these joints are stabilized; they no longer interfere with exiting nerves and the alignment is maintained without muscular overuse. Thus, pain goes away.

Over 16 years ago I had my first prolotherapy. I never imagined how much it would change my life and the course of so many others since.


Iffie Okoronkwo, M.D. is a Spine and Sports Rehabilitation Medicine and Pain Management physician at Manhattan Spine and Sports Medicine (, a private practice based in New York City with 40 years of experience providing the finest expert medical care and services to patients around the world.

Dr. Iffie is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and, as a physiatrist, utilizes ultrasound guided injections, fluoroscopy guided injections, PRP, regenerative medicine, and more to evaluate and treat a variety of conditions affecting muscles, joints, ligaments, and nerves.