Prolotherapy (Proliferative Therapy) is a technique of targeted injections using a solution of dextrose, procaine
and Vitamin B12. Prolotherapy addresses both chronic and acute musculoskeletal issues by stimulating and
aiding the body to repair itself. Unlike cortisone injections, Prolotherapy provides the body with the building
materials to strengthen, repair and even produce new tissue. It is clinically shown to rebuild, thicken, and
strengthen ligament, bone and cartilage. In the case of weakened or torn fibrous tissue, inflammation induced
at the site of injury results in 30-40% strengthening of the attachment points.
Our ligaments hold our bones, including our vertebra, in alignment. They are naturally taut, like a suspension
bridge. Over time, through repetitive wear and tear and through trauma, like a car accident, these
ligamentous fibers can become relaxed, losing their ability to hold the skeleton in correct alignment. The pain
fibers running through the ligamentous tissue send a pain signal to the brain, alerting the body of the need for
repair. Meanwhile, the muscles will often take over the job of the ligaments, becoming very tight, even to the
point of forming adhesions (“knots”)– all in the body’s wisdom and attempt to hold the more important
structure of bones in proper position. This is why some people will have more pain after massage–we’ve
loosened up the muscles that were assisting the ligaments in keeping our bones in alignment. Having lost
their temporary assistant, the ligaments are then too loose. Once again, we get the pain message that there is
trouble! Left untreated, the laxity of the ligaments allowing the bones to slip around and inflammatory
cascade that the pain signal sets off, can result in scar tissue in the muscles as well as bone degeneration and arthritis. While rehabilitative exercises, massage and spinal manipulation help, prolotherapy takes treatment one step further, getting to the underlying causal factor of loose/relaxed ligaments.
Because the pain fibers run through the ligament tissue, prolotherapy can be painful at the time of
injections–the diagnosis is in the treatment and vice versa. If you have pain in a focused area, that is a good
indication that prolotherapy will help significantly. Any aggravation will usually occur only the night of the
injections, sometimes into the next day. After the first 5 days of the inflammatory phase of the human healing
continuum, pain will typically decrease over the course of 4 to 6 weeks as the body uses the materials in the
injected solution to repair itself.
Dr. Sawhill uses the prolotherapy solution that is the most studied and most utilized worldwide: Dextrose
(sugar)*, procaine (anesthesia that is metabolized by all cells and does not need to pass through the liver; the
metabolites have “anti aging” effects.), and methylcobalamin (Vitamin B12 with a methyl group to further aid
cellular enzymatic processes). All solutions are preservative-free and made in a registered compounding
In addition to being a seasoned prolotherapist, Dr. Sawhill is the only naturopathic doctor certified with Advanced
Proficiency in Activator Methods, a non-force method of correcting structural imbalances. She offers the
additional benefit of assessing and correcting alignment with gentle Activator Methods technique. This can
improve your results as well as decrease any potential aggravation, as you will begin your healing in proper
For more information, contact us at Info@DandelionNaturopathic.com
*Prolotherapy is safe for diabetics and has been clinically shown to reduce blood glucose even though Dextrose is part of the injected solution.