When it comes to opting for non-surgical alternatives for musculoskeletal pain and injuries, PRP injections and prolotherapy are amongst the two most commonly used treatment methods.

Let’s take a closer look at the two forms of injection therapy.


Prolotherapy is an injection therapy that’s used to strengthen connective tissues and repair damaged ligaments. The injectable material consists of a non-active, non-pharmacological irritant to trigger an inflammation response within the body to kick-start the healing process. The solution being injected typically comprises of lidocaine, glycerine, phenol, dextrose solution, and/or cod liver oil extract.

Once the injectable solution has been prepared, it’s injected in the affected tendons and ligaments. The non-pharmacological irritant used stabilizes the connective joint, while simultaneously healing the injured tissue surrounding it. This helps alleviate pain and speed up recovery.

The number of prolotherapy sessions required depends upon the condition being treated, but typically comprises of 6 sessions. Each session is performed after a gap of 12 weeks, so that the results of the previous session are visible and can be addressed.  

PRP Therapy

PRP stands for platelet rich plasma. As the name suggests, this involves blood plasma with a high concentration of platelets than usually present in the blood.

The biggest difference between PRP injections from prolotherapy injections is that the former use biological components from the patient’s own blood. Around 15–60 cc of blood is drawn from the patient and is then centrifuged. This allows the platelets to be separated from other blood cells and components. The platelets are then extracted, accounting for the platelet rich plasma that’s to be used.  

The PRP component is injected directly at the area where treatment is required. This helps stimulate the body’s natural healing process and promotes collagen production. The growth factors within the PRP component encourage this healing process and help repair the damaged tissues. Thus, the body’s own biological component is used for this procedure, making it an autologous treatment method.

The number of PRP appointments varies depending upon the severity of the condition being treated. While some cases may require up to 3 cycles, others can be treated quite effectively with just a single session.

Both prolotherapy and PRP therapy are minimally-invasive procedures that can be used to treat various musculoskeletal conditions. While the injectable component used in the two methods differs, both techniques trigger a natural healing response within the body and are effective for treating injured and damaged tissues. Recurring or chronic pain, muscle strains, ligament tears, and joint injuries can all be treated through either of these methods.  

Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute clinics offer prolotherapy and PRP injection therapy for treating various musculoskeletal conditions. Located in Thornhill, Sheppard, St. Claire, and greater Toronto, we also offer many other sports medicine services, including active release techniques, acupuncture, concussion programs, sports massage, and sports podiatry among others.

Call at 1-844-223-7364 to get in touch with our team and learn more about our services!