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Really Alternative?[edit]

I question the opening statement that prolotherapy is "alternative medicine" - while many insurance companies require pre-approval, I do not see many treating it as an alternative medicine procedure.

Furthermore, this statement: "Major medical insurance policies view prolotherapy as an investigational or experimental therapy with an inconclusive evidence base. Consequently, they currently do not provide coverage for prolotherapy procedures." is considerably incorrect correct, albeit properly sourced.

Some insurance companies feel that way. Others do not.

Is there a serious objection to removing the alternative medicine and other claims? Even NHS in the UK recognizes prolotherapy: (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 05:06, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

The ref is a good review and states "Prolotherapy is an injection-based complementary and alternative medical therapy for chronic musculoskeletal pain." So restored. Government programs comment on alt med treatments. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 11:22, 28 May 2016 (UTC)


Information on Prolotherapy has initially been provided by David Harris, MD. Similar information has been published on my website at and at drdaveharris/

does that mean that we should not consider this article a copyright violation of ? -- Avocado 02:46, 2005 Jun 15 (UTC)


ESPN's show, Outside the Lines recently did a piece on prolotherapy, showing how this one "doctor" from New Zealand ruined the careers of several athletes, including an Olympian, practicing prolotherapy. Should this article have an NPOV tag? 18:06, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Just for the record: I googled for the show you mention above, and it sounds like you might be remembering a different show. I found a cache of an "Outside The Lines" show from 1 Feb 2006. It was about one Dr. Ongley who was practicing in Mexico, not in New Zealand, and he wasn't accused of ruining anyone's career. He was portayed as controversial because his license had been revoked (for reasons that weren't clear) and he was practicing in Mexico, and the US ski anti-doping committee had concerns about what he might be inbjecting. The prodedure he was said to be using sounded like garden-variety prolotherapy, however, and wasn't different from procedures used by docs who use prolo in the US. thx, -Jim Butler 04:39, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

The ESPN show...[edit]

...actually was fairly neutral in that it showed how some people swore by the results of Dr. Ongley's treatment (most notably 4 of the 2006 Men's Olympic Downhill Ski Team) and others said he was a quack (i.e. noted highjumper Dwight Stones).

This article itself doesn't seem too neutral. Many people feel prolotherapy doesn't "do a thing" (most insurance companies do not pay for prolotherapy) and this point of view isn't expressed in this article in its current form.

Quite un-neutral[edit]

Original article grossly biased. I've offered my edits in cooperative spirit, removing criticism into a criticism section, and removing the 4 or 5 instances of 'allegedly', 'practictioners claim', and reference in the intro to the fact that Medicare and Aetna won't cover the treatment - an irrelevant and impertinent fact obviously intended to cast doubt. Yes, I'm a prolotherapy success story - but I think my edits are totally neutral.

Dear Anonymous editor, you are in breach of wikipedia policy here. The policy states that sources must be provided for claims made. I have removed some unsourced claims. If you wish to put them back in you will need to provide evidence. For the flow of the article, other claims which explain what the belief is, have been qualified with appropriate language. Mccready 01:36, 27 May 2006 (UTC)

Insurance companies don't pay for massage therapy either, but that doesn't prove value in any way for massage or prolotherapy. I've had prolotherapy and had excellent results! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:28, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Lead section[edit]

Hi Kevin -- again, I would ask you to please stop making contentious and unverified edits to lead sections. "Pseudoscientific" involves value judgment and is a loaded term. Need to say who says it, not repeat as fact. Prolo is by definition minimally invasive since it involves hyperdermic injection and not cutting. Also changed "alleged" to better NPOV wording. thx, Jim Butler 03:58, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

P.S. I just realized that I wasn't logged in on the edit before yours, 07:02, 29 May 2006 That was yours truly, sorry if any confusion. thx, Jim Butler 05:04, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Jim, you'll just have to get used to the idea that pseudoscience is a legitimate word to use in an encyclopedia whether or not you think it's a loaded term. Check the definition of pseudoscience. Prolotherapy fits. If you can show some objective basis in science for it then we can talk about an alteration. Mccready 11:07, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

First, I don't agree that it's an appropriate designation to give without sourcing who calls it that under NPOV (see WP:NOR), because it's a loaded and contentious term. Second, leaving aside its negative connotations, the designation isn't even technically accurate: prolo's claims are founded in plausible scientific theories and are testable. Are you really arguing that any medical treatment that isn't EBM-proven should be called pseudoscientific? If so, no way is that going to fly. Let's bring in more editors on this one. Also, please stop removing objectively correct "minimally invasive". thx, Jim Butler 20:10, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

"minimally invasive" is a weasel word term used by altmeders in an attmept to make their altmed sound attractive. I call injecting foreign substances into joint capsules very invasive. And yes, any med that doesn't stack up to EBM deserves to be labelled pseudoscience. Please study the defn of psuedoscience. Whether it's testable isn't the point. Pseudoscientists have a religious fervour that no amount of evidence or no amount of not finding evidence will shake - it's quite instructive for example to have a look at the Australian Skeptics DVD on water dousers. The dousers argue till they are blue in the face that somehow or other it didn't work today because ..... So it's revert again I'm afraid. Mccready 07:36, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I'll have to agree that "minimally invasive" isn't appropriate here; it's a relative term. But which definition of pseudoscience do you propose to use? Google around. No single definition is agreed upon. It's inherently a POV term. You're way out in left field claiming that anything non-EBM is pseudoscientific; that's total original research-land. Please follow Wikipedia's pillars and instead cite facts about opinions here. thx, Jim Butler 07:51, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I use the WP defn. Show me a medical practice not EBM and not psuedoscience. Mccready 08:09, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

A leading question. The WP definition is (appropriately) fuzzy, and it's not broadly agreed-upon. That's why it's not appropriate. There is a huge difference between things like dousing, which are supernaturalistic, and alt-med procedures that are completely explicable and testable, but don't have much EBM-level evidence. Again, please cite facts about opinions. I doubt consensus will support your extreme ideas about applying this label. Just like "no basis in science". Can't wait to see what you come up with next. How about "quackery"? "Read the definition", you'll say. -Jim Butler 08:56, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree that 'pseudoscientific' is a perjorative term that could be (mis)applied to describe any therapy that does not meet one's personal standards of 'good evidence'. Theoretically, anything that has not been proven to all people everywhere could be labeled by some people somewhere as 'psuedoscience'. Good science allows for varying degrees and qualities of evidence, and great science promotes disagreement and disent. Lack of evidence does not equal lack of science! My understanding is that the scientific investigation of prolotherapy has produced mixed results. So we have a genuine scientifc controversy here, not 'pseudoscience'. 08:11, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Well-said. List of pseudosciences and pseudoscientific concepts (see here for contemporenous version), imo, handles the issue of attribution well. Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view/FAQ#Pseudoscience is useful too for the present state of consensus a/o ArbCom views on this issue. regards, Jim Butler(talk) 06:49, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Bottom line, the designation of "pseudoscience" is an opinion requiring a source. -Jim Butler 19:50, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Ideally, we would indeed provide a reference. In some cases this burden might be too high, for example very new or very obscure cranky claims. We faced this problem in some recent articles related to "energy from the vacuum" schemes; the articles concerned press statements which were only weeks old, so mainstream scientists had not yet reacted with press statements of their own. In such cases, WP must rely on the opinions of its pools of experts in the relevant scientific fields. ----CH 23:53, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm skeptical of prolotheraphy. I don't think it should be used outside of a clinical trial. However, the Cochrane review said that there was evidence that it worked in combination with other treatments. There's no conclusive evidence for it or against it, so further study is justified. Its practitioners publish randomized controlled trials in peer-reviewed journals, which is the definition I use for science. So it's not pseudoscience. Nbauman 15:23, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

I think it's time for prolotherapy evidence to be updated quite a bit. A good deal of research has been done in recent years, and there are many studies that meet Level I and II evidence by the FDAs standards (which are required for approval, and they're the ones that insurance companies take their cues from). Dr. Reeves did a nice overview for AAOM recently: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shera42 (talkcontribs) 22:28, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Minimally invasive[edit]

See the WP article on Minimally_invasive; the definition actually fits and hypodermic injection is even given as an example. It's a legitimate usage of the term. thx, Jim Butler(talk) 16:48, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

A suggestion. : - ) Whether the procedure is accurately described as Minimally_invasive or not, I do not think the term belongs in the lead paragraph. Manual of style, a guide not a policy suggests:
In general, specialized terminology should be avoided in an introduction. Where uncommon terms are essential to describing the subject, they should be placed in context, briefly defined, and linked.
I do not think it is essential for the lead. It will be an unfamiliar term to most readers. Deal with the issue later in the article, okay? FloNight talk 18:41, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Flo, my apologies, I just noticed your comment because I hadn't had this article on my watchlist. I have no problem with your suggestion. Please feel free to edit accordingly if you like. Cheers, Jim Butler(talk) 05:46, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
The fact that the WP article on Minimally_invasive includes hypodermic injection is specious. Injection qualifies as minimally invasive only if the injection is instead of some other, more invasive technique. Minimally invasive as used in the medical field refers to techniques, principally surgical techniques that achieve a given objective with less collateral damage than other techniques. Another example is polio vaccines. The current polio vaccine is given by injection yet is not minimally invasive, compared to the old polio vaccine given by mouth. To claim prolotherapy is minimally invasive, first identify precisely what more invasive technique does exactly what prolotherapy does. Una Smith 03:02, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
That makes sense. --Jim Butler(talk) 06:44, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Non-therapeutic uses[edit]

The article currently makes no mention of the use of prolotherapy to strengthen sinews for the purposes of improving athletic performance. 19:29, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

If anyone has suggestions for scientific papers that meet WP:MEDRS criteria for the use of prolotherapy to improve athletic performance, feel free to add them to the article or suggest them here on the talk page. TylerDurden8823 (talk) 21:50, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

personal experience[edit]

having known many practitioners and undergone the therapy myself, I have come to three conclusions: 1. the treatment works 2. effectiveness depends on the solutions used and skill of the practitioner 3. the solutions used are harmless and the body gets rid of them in a few days, thus no harm.GreatDay 19:46, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

This is not really an appropriate place to discuss an anecdote or your personal experience (even if it's an interesting story). TylerDurden8823 (talk) 21:51, 29 October 2014 (UTC)


The page is tagged suggesting a merge with sclerotherapy. Does anyone else see this as warranted? I can't see a reason for it. They seem to be entirely different therapies and both have a full page of information written about them. DiamonDie 21:21, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Unless there is a convincing argument to the contrary, go ahead and remove it. We discussed this on sclerotherapy and removed the merge tag there. The reason against the merge is that there is strong evidence for the safety and efficacy of sclerotherapy, while there is no evidence for prolotherapy beyond what I cited in the Cochrane Collaboration. Nbauman 21:38, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 16:30, 10 November 2007 (UTC)