What is Prolotherapy?


Prolotherapy is a treatment for ligament or tendon injuries.  Prolotherapy causes new growth of weak ligaments and tendons. Ligaments have many nerve endings so a person may feel pain in areas where ligaments are damaged or loose. Also, when ligaments and tendons become damaged or over-stretched, bones no longer fit well together. This makes the muscles work harder and can cause spasms and pain.  

Prolotherapy is useful for many types of musculoskeletal pain including.  

How does it work?

Prolotherapy treatments inject a solution containing a local anaesthetic and dextrose (sugar) into joints, ligaments or tendons to stimulate tissue repair with a controlled and localized inflammatory response.

Prolotherapy is recommended to be combined with the following for the best response:

  • Treatment of myofascial pain, such as Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) or Trigger Point Injections (TPI)

  • Physical therapy and movement

  • Lifestyle changes such as increased activity, a healthy diet and good sleep

First you need an assessment to confirm treatment is suitable for you.

Most people require 4-8 treatments, and treatments are usually administered every 2-6 weeks. The number of sessions required depends on your goal, the injury, the area, and how fast your tissues heal.

The ligaments and tendons may take several months to heal.  Most people notice real benefit after the 3rd or 4th treatment.

What does treatment involve?

How much does it cost?

Prolotherapy is not covered by MSP, the provincial health insurance plan.    

Total prolotherapy fees depend on the the areas to be treated and extent of injury involved.  Please ask your physician for an estimate of the total cost of treatment for your condition. 

Prices are based on the following: 

$650     Prolotherapy Assessment  

$400     Each Non-Spine Prolotherapy Treatment, per area 

$800     Each Spine Prolotherapy Treatment

Note:  Most people need an assessment plus 4-8 treatments per area.

Some extended health plans and other insurers may cover the cost of treatment. Please check with your insurer to find out if you are covered.

Possible side effects?

Risks mainly depend on the injected areas. Your doctor will discuss these risks with you. Side effects may include:

  • Stiffness and soreness

  • Bruising and swelling

You might experience fever symptoms in the first day after the procedure.  Rarely, severe pain with fever past 24 hours may be due to infection and is usually treated with antibiotics. 

How will I know if it will help?

A CHANGEpain physician needs to assess you and will recommend this procedure if he or she thinks it may help you.  

We know more after you try about three of four treatments.

How long does pain relief last?

The results are different for each person.  If prolotherapy addresses the underlying problem, the pain may be completely resolved.

The first few treatments help us understand whether the treatment will work as there should be progressive improvement with each.

There is the potential for no improvement in pain levels.  For some people, prolotherapy will have little or no effect on pain levels.

How to Prepare

You should stop taking anti-inflammatories 2 weeks before the treatment. These include:  Aspirin, Advil, and Aleve etc. 

For all treatments, we encourage you not to drive so bringing a driver or using alternative transportation are best. If you need anti-anxiety medication, alternative transporation is required.


After prolotherapy you can continue all normal activities, but be careful not to overdo it.  Physical therapy to support whole body conditioning is highly recommended as soon as possible and can increase the benefit of prolotherapy.

A healthy, protein rich diet, and Vitamin C (500mg daily) may also improve your results.

How do I book an assessment?

Please contact our Private Pay Services Coordinator at 604-566-9101, Ext 112 or memmerick@changepain.ca

Cancellation and Refund Policy

We require 48 hours notice to cancel or reschedule your appointment. If less than 48 hours notice is provided, we will charge the full fee.

We do not give refunds.  This includes if the procedure must be stopped for safety reasons or if there is no benefit from the procedure.