Purpose of review: Osteoarthritis and overuse tendinopathy are common chronic conditions of high societal and patient burden. The precise etiology of pain and disability in both conditions is multifactorial and not well understood. Patients are often refractory to conservative therapy. The development of new therapeutic options in both conditions is a public health priority. Prolotherapy is an injection-based outpatient regenerative therapy for chronic musculoskeletal conditions, including osteoarthritis and tendinopathy. The authors reviewed the basic science and clinical literature associated with prolotherapy for these conditions.
Recent findings: Systematic review, including meta-analysis, and randomized controlled trials suggest that prolotherapy may be associated with symptom improvement in mild to moderate symptomatic knee osteoarthritis and overuse tendinopathy. Although the mechanism of action is not well understood and is likely multifactorial, a growing body of literature suggests that prolotherapy for knee osteoarthritis may be appropriate for the treatment of symptoms associated with knee osteoarthritis in carefully selected patients who are refractory to conservative therapy and deserves further basic and clinical science investigation for the treatment of osteoarthritis and tendinopathy.
Keywords: Musculoskeletal pain; Musculoskeletal rehabilitation; Osteoarthritis; Outpatient therapy; Prolotherapy; Tendinopathy.