Articles by Dr. Arnold

Articles by Dr. Arnold

Small RhombusHealth articles by Dr. Fred Arnold focus on prolotherapy, pain rehabilitation and natural healing.

Articles by Dr. Fred Arnold



Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that deals with physical fitness, treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and exercise. Although sports teams have employed team physicians for many years, it is only since the late 20th century that Sport and Exercise Medicine has emerged as a distinct entity in health care.

Because it is the muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints that become injured during sports injuries, prolotherapy should always be considered as a primary treatment for sports related injuries.

Common sports injuries that benefit from prolotherapy

Neck Injuries: neck sprain and strains, disc problems, cervical radiculitis, whiplash, cervical arthritis, headaches, tempromandibular joint syndrome.

Shoulder Injuries: rotator cuff tears, clavicle injuries, impingement syndrome, dislocations, tendonitis, bursitis, shoulder sprains and strains, adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), shoulder labrum tear.

Elbow Injuries: tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), elbow sprains and strains, golfers elbow (medial epicondylitis).

Wrist Injuries: wrist sprains and strains, carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist osteoarthritis, wrist tendonitis.

Low back (lumbar) Injuries: (herniated disc, lumbar osteoarthritis, sciatica, lumbar sprain, strain, piriformis syndrome.

Pelvic Injuries: hamstring pulls or tears, iliopsoas syndrome, sacroiliac pain, sacroiliac sprain.

Hip Injuries: iliotibial band syndrome, labrum tear, hip arthritis, hip sprain or strain, hip bursitis.

Knee Injuries: ACL injuries, chondromalacia, knee cartilage injuries, knee meniscus injuries, patellofemoral pain syndrome, knee tendon injuries, knee osteoarthritis, medial and lateral collateral ligament injury, PCL injury, Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Ankle Injuries: ankle sprain or strains, achilles tendonitis, achilles tendon ruptures, ankle arthritis, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis.

Prolotherapy is a safe and proven orthopedic procedure to strengthen and regenerate injured musculoskeletal joints affected from sports injuries because prolotherapy injection targets and rebuilds the injured ligaments, tendons, and articular cartilage of the joints.

Just a few of the scientific studies that indicate the effectiveness of prolotherapy for sports injuries includes:

  • In 2008, a study in The Archives Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: prolotherapy is demonstrated by ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to cause tissue growth and repair of tendons, ligaments and medial meniscus (cartilage).
  • In 2000, a study by Alternative Therapies: prolotherapy (Dextrose) injections were clinically and statistically superior to bacteriostatic water injections for osteoarthritis of the knee. There was substantial improvements in joint pain, joint swelling, range of motion, ligament tightening and tendency for knee buckling.
  • In 2009, a study by the International Musculoskeletal Medicine documented the non-surgical repair of a high-grade partial or complete anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear using prolotherapy injections and home exercises.

Prolotherapy treatment is a very effective treatment for sport injuries. Before prolotherapy treatment is started, each patient is thoroughly evaluated with a personal history and physical examination, including observation of the gait. Palpation of ligaments or cartilage that produces pain is usually associated with weakened tissues and can at times be more beneficial in identifying the problem areas than diagnostic testing. On an individual basis further evaluation may include ultrasound evaluation, X-rays and/or MRI before receiving prolotherapy. In cases involving chronic pain, a comprehensive treatment approach is utilized that includes rehabilitative exercises, nutrition, and specific supplements to maximize your health and ability to heal.

Each patient is reassessed in 2-3 weeks and the injections are repeated at decreasing intervals as the patient’s condition is improved and resolved. It is not possible to always predict the exact number of sessions required, since each patient’s condition is unique in terms of his or her ability to repair and re-grow new tissue. Most patients require 4-6 treatments for mild-moderate conditions and some patients require only 1-2 treatments for resolution of their symptoms. Dependent upon each patients individual pain level, prescription pain medication may be provided. Most patients do well with no pain medication or use over the counter Tylenol.

Sports Injuries and Steroids
Although steroids are frequently used for the treatment of sports injuries, it is rare that steroids are ever used in our practice. Steroids such as cortisone shots have the ability to weaken rather than strengthen ligaments, tendons and cartilage and is not used in our office as part of the prolotherapy treatment.

Prolotherapy is a safe, and proven orthopedic procedure that has provided significant relief to thousands of patients for painful sports injuries. Prolotherapy provides relief of painful sports injuries when other treatments have failed for it treats the cause of the problem: weakened ligaments, tendons and degenerative conditions related to the sports injuries. Strengthening weakened ligaments, tendons and rebuilding knee cartilage slows down and even reverses the degenerative changes associated with sports injuries. Prolotherapy treats sports injuries without the negative effects of chronic pain medications. Prolotherapy should always be considered for sports injuries when other treatments have failed and practically when surgery has been recommended.


  1. Reeves,Kenneth D, MD, and Hassanein, Khatab PhD, Randomized Prospective Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study of Dextrose Prolotherapy for Knee Osteoarthritis with or without ACL Laxity, Alternative Therapies, March 2000, VOL. 6, NO. 2
  2. Walter Grote, Rosa Delucia, Robert Waxman, Aleksandra Zgierska, John Wilson, David Rabago, Repair of a complete anterior cruciate tear using prolotherapy: a case report, Int Musculoskelet Med. 2009 Dec 1;31(4):159-165
  3. Fullerton, BD, Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 2008 Feb;89(2):377-85