Efficacy of dextrose prolotherapy in elite male kicking-sport athletes with chronic groin pain

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2005 Apr;86(4):697-702. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2004.10.007.


Objective: To determine the efficacy of simple dextrose prolotherapy in elite kicking-sport athletes with chronic groin pain from osteitis pubis and/or adductor tendinopathy.

Design: Consecutive case series.

Setting: Orthopedic and trauma institute in Argentina.

Participants: Twenty-two rugby and 2 soccer players with chronic groin pain that prevented full sports participation and who were nonresponsive both to therapy and to a graded reintroduction into sports activity.

Intervention: Monthly injection of 12.5% dextrose and 0.5% lidocaine into the thigh adductor origins, suprapubic abdominal insertions, and symphysis pubis, depending on palpation tenderness. Injections were given until complete resolution of pain or lack of improvement for 2 consecutive treatments.

Main outcome measures: Visual analog scale (VAS) for pain with sports and the Nirschl Pain Phase Scale (NPPS), a measure of functional impairment from pain.

Results: The final data collection point was 6 to 32 months after treatment (mean, 17 mo). A mean of 2.8 treatments were given. The mean reduction in pain during sports, as measured by the VAS, improved from 6.3+/-1.4 to 1.0+/-2.4 ( P <.001), and the mean reduction in NPPS score improved from 5.3+/-0.7 to 0.8+/-1.9 ( P <.001). Twenty of 24 patients had no pain and 22 of 24 were unrestricted with sports at final data collection.

Conclusions: Dextrose prolotherapy showed marked efficacy for chronic groin pain in this group of elite rugby and soccer athletes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Football / injuries*
  • Glucose / administration & dosage*
  • Growth Substances
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intralesional
  • Male
  • Osteitis / drug therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pubic Symphysis*
  • Soccer / injuries


  • Growth Substances
  • Glucose