The Effects of Prolotherapy on the Lumbar Herniated Nucleus Pulposus

Background: Prolotherapy is an effective treatment for the pain in patient with ligament or tendon laxity. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of prolotherapy in relieving the lower back pain associated with a lumbar herniated nucleus pulposus.

Methods: The patients who complained of lower back pain, with radiculopathy and a herniated nucleus pulposus, confirmed by MRI, were investigated for their pain scores by a retrospective review of their outpatient charts. Groups I (n = 18) and II (n = 5) were the patients that received, or did not receive, an epidural block before prolotherapy, respectively. Prolotherapy was performed using 15% dextrose to the regions, according to the Hackett's referral patterns. We recorded the NRS (numeric rating scale) scores just before the prolotherapy, and 8 weeks after considered the patients who effectively halved their NRS scores.

Results: Overall, 74% of the patients effectively and satisfactorily reduced the NRS scores (NRS; 7.5 before, 3.0 after prolotherapy): Group I; 67% (NRS; 7.6, 3.2) and Group II; 100% (NRS; 7.0, 2.4). There was no statistical difference between the two groups.

Conclusions: The prolotherapy, with 15% dextrose, resulted in a clinically significant improvement in the lower back pain associated with a herniated nucleus pulposus.