The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Prolotherapy and low-back pain

    When combined with spinal manipulation, exercise, and other co-interventions, prolotherapy may improve chronic low-back pain and disability.

    Think of it as complementary therapy for complementary therapy.

    Researchers from Ontario, Canada identified 5 studies that examined prolotherapy injections in 366 patients with chronic low-back.

    Here’s what they found.

    When prolotherapy injections were used alone.

    • 3 studies (206 participants)
    • No more effective than placebo injections for chronic low-back pain and disability.

    Prolotherapy plus spinal manipulation, exercise, and other therapies

    • 2 studies (160 participants)
    • More effective than placebo injections for chronic low-back pain and disability.
    • Both studies reported a significant difference in the proportion of individuals who reported over 50% reduction in disability or pain.
    • Only one study reported a significant difference between groups in pain and disability at 6 months after treatment.

    The bottom line?
    Prolotherapy uses a dextrose (sugar water) solution, which is injected into the ligament or tendon where it attaches to the bone. This causes a localized inflammation, which then increases the blood supply and flow of nutrients and stimulates the tissue to repair itself.

    Hippocrates first used a version of this technique on soldiers with dislocated, torn shoulder joints.

    Maybe so, but 5 studies over two millennia don’t tell us much. On the other hand, maybe it tells us all we need to know.

    7/14/07 21:50 JR

    Leave a Comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.