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Prolotherapy: Solution to low back pain?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/prolotherapy/AN01330
- With Mayo Clinic internist
Brent A. Bauer, M.D.read biographyclose window
Brent A. Bauer, M.D.Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
Brent Bauer, M.D., is board certified in internal medicine. He is a consultant in the Department of Internal Medicine and director of the Department of Internal Medicine's Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dr. Bauer, a native of Madison, Wis., is also a professor of medicine at Mayo Medical School and a graduate of Mayo Medical School.
He serves on the editorial board of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter and is medical editor for EmbodyHealth Newsletter. He has been on staff at Mayo Clinic since 1992, first practicing at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., before joining Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., in 1996.
Dr. Bauer's principal research focus is the scientific evaluation of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies that patients and consumers are using with increasing frequency. He has authored several book chapters and papers on this topic, and is the medical editor of the "Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine." Dr. Bauer also spearheaded collaboration between Mayo Clinic and Gaiam in the creation of a series of 10 DVDs (Mayo Clinic Wellness Solutions). These DVDs address common health problems (for example, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure) with integrative medicine approaches that empower people to take charge of their health. His work is at the forefront of the emerging field of integrative medicine which combines the best of conventional medicine with the best of evidence-based complementary therapies.
Dr. Bauer has served on the NIH-NCCAM study section and is currently collaborating on over 20 studies being conducted at Mayo Clinic evaluating CAM therapies ranging from acupuncture to valerian. He is also a member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society; the American Federation for Medical Research; the North Central Cancer Treatment Group and other professional organizations.
Prolotherapy: Solution to low back pain?
Is prolotherapy an effective treatment for chronic low back pain?
from Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
Prolotherapy is a complementary treatment for muscle and joint pain. The treatment involves repeated injections of an irritant solution into part of a joint — the joint's interior, for example, or a supporting tendon or ligament. The irritant, usually a sugar solution, is thought to trigger growth in the connective tissue of the joint, eventually leading to reduced pain.
Studies of prolotherapy in people with low back pain have had mixed results. A combination of prolotherapy and spinal manipulation or back exercises seems to be more effective than is prolotherapy alone.
The American Pain Society recommends against prolotherapy for treating low back pain, but other authorities are suspending judgment until larger, more-thorough studies have been done. Until then, talk to your doctor before deciding whether prolotherapy is right for you.
- Distel LM, et al. Prolotherapy: A clinical review of its role in treating chronic musculoskeletal pain. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 2011;3:S78.
- Rabago D, et al. Prolotherapy in primary care practice. Primary Care Clinics Office Practice. 2010;37:65.
- Daganase S, et al. Prolotherapy in the treatment of chronic low back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://www.thecochranelibrary.com/view/0/index.html. Accessed June 13, 2012.
- Chou R, et al. Interventional therapies, surgery and interdisciplinary rehabilitation for low back pain. Spine. 2009;34:1066.