Classical Prolotherapy was developed in the 1940s by American trauma surgeon Dr George Hackett.
He introduced deep Glucose (Dextrose) injections in concentrations of up to 25% combined with local anaesthetics. This has been proven to be an effective treatment for chronically painful conditions, attributed to ‘weak’ or ‘lax’ ligaments and tendons.
Dr Hackett reasoned that ‘lax’ or ‘weak’ ligaments were the cause of most joint and ligament pain. He targeted lax or weak ligaments with high Glucose concentrations to stimulate inflammation. He proposed this inflammation would eventually lead to normal repair and make tendons and ligaments stronger. Strengthening these tendons and ligaments would resolve the pain.
Dr Hackett was successful in treating chronic pain and published 16 articles and a textbook on this procedure. He claimed an 80% success rate for the treatment of conditions like chronic low back pain and many other painful conditions.
A growing number of classical prolotherapy studies over the last 40 years have indicated very good to excellent results from high concentration Glucose (Dextrose) treatments of joints, ligaments and tendons.
Neural Prolotherapy is a distinct and separate treatment modality and has been developed by Dr John Lyftogt since 2002. NPT targets superficial nerve trunks immediately under the skin with low concentration Glucose injections. In 2010 Dr Lyftogt surprisingly and unexpectedly observed that low concentrations of Glucose (Dextrose) 5% in sterile water injected near superficial nerves extinguish chronic pain and inflammation for up to 4 days. Repeating these NPT treatments on a weekly basis resulted in resolution of persistent pain and inflammation.
Neural Prolotherapy was initially developed for the treatment of Achilles tendonitis and differs from Classical prolotherapy in that the injections are given immediately under the skin while taking great care avoiding needle contact with the exquisitely sensitive tendon. This ‘subcutaneous’ or ‘neural prolotherapy’ protocol was successfully extended to the treatment of tennis elbow, painful knees, shoulders, wrist, neck, hips, ankles, low back pain and compartment syndrome. Results are consistent and two year follow up studies have shown success rates between 80-90%.