Prolotherapy is a treatment that may be offered for lumbar instability, discogenic pain, sacro-iliac instability or whiplash injury. Prolotherapy consists of a small series of one or more injections of a solution composed from Phenol 2%, Dextrose 30% and Glycerol 30% and mixed with local anaesthetic.
When injected into affected ligaments both between vertebral segments and between the spine and pelvis, the solution stimulates the body to make new fibres which are then laid down in the substance of the ligaments, thickening and strengthening them to increase the stability of joints and reduce the abnormal stress on the joints and discs in the spine.
Complications are very rare since the injection is not placed into the spinal canal or near the spinal nerves. Infection is the main complication and occurs in a very small proportion of cases.