Prolotherapy for Elbow Pain

Did you know that the elbow pain most people casually refer to as “tendonitis” is not a true tendonitis at all? Most elbow pain is actually due to joint instability due to weakened or sprained ligaments. This can present itself as tenderness along the ligament and tendon attachments of the elbow joint. The pain can even radiate down the forearm into the wrist, leading some people to believe they have developed carpal tunnel syndrome. For over 25 years, our Prolotherapists have been helping patients with elbow pain obtain a proper diagnosis, alleviate pain, and avoid surgery. For tennis players, golfers, pitchers and other athletes, Comprehensive Prolotherapy is an excellent option for restoring elbow stability and avoid surgery, including Tommy John surgery, to keep you performing at your best. Navigate through the sections below for lots of elbow pain information or get help from our medical staff now.

elbow instability

Symptoms caused by Elbow Instability

  • Crepitation with movement
  • Elbow pain
  • Elbow popping
  • Loss of motion
  • Loss of muscle strength
  • Numbiness in fingers
  • Muscle spasms
  • Referral forearm pain

These symptoms can be signs of the following elbow pain conditions caused by elbow instability that we commonly treat with Prolotherapy.

Chronic Conditions caused by Elbow Instability

muscle tear

Prolotherapy Treatment for Elbow Pain

Eighty percent of chronic elbow pain is due to a sprain of the annular ligament. This ligament is rarely examined by a family physician or an orthopedic surgeon. Nearly all of our patients with chronic elbow pain tell us their doctors told them they have tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is also known as lateral epicondylitis. The latest treatment for this condition is the dreaded cortisone shot! Cortisone weakens tissue, whereas Prolotherapy strengthens tissue. Cortisone has temporary effects in regard to pain control whereas Prolotherapy has permanent effects. However, cortisone does have one permanent effect: continual use will permanently weaken tissue. Anyone receiving long-term prednisone or cortisone shots will confirm this fact.

Valgus Examination of Elbow

elbow examination

Excessive movement or soft end feel compared to non-painful side is indicative of joint instability.

If medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow) or lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) is causing elbow pain, the muscles that attach to these areas are attempting to repair themselves, causing inflammation. The treatment should not be to “anti-inflame,” as is the case with cortisone or with anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen. The correct treatment is to strengthen the muscle attachments that are inflamed due to the body’s attempt to strengthen the area. The muscles that extend the wrist attach at the lateral epicondyle and the muscles that flex the wrist attach at the medial epicondyle. Prolotherapy to strengthen these muscle attachments is very effective in eliminating chronic elbow pain.

Prolotherapy of the Elbow

Annular ligament and radial collateral ligament injuries are a frequent cause of chronic elbow pain. The good news is that these are effectively treated with Prolotherapy.

elbow Prolotherapy

Our Research on the use of Prolotherapy for Elbow Pain

In our retrospective pilot study at an outpatient charity clinic in rural Illinois, Hackett-Hemwall dextrose prolotherapy helped reduce pain and stiffness and clinically improved the quality of life in people with unresolved elbow pain. The complete study and results can be read here: Hauser R, et al. Hackett-Hemwall dextrose Prolotherapy for unresolved elbow pain. Practical Pain Management. 2009;October:14-26.

Average pain level BEFORE Prolotherapy
Average pain level AFTER Prolotherapy

Pain scale is 1-10 where 1 = no pain & 10 = unrelenting pain.

We get patient satisfaction results. 100% of patients in this study felt that Prolotherapy changed their life for the better and 100% have since recommended Prolotherapy to someone else.

Our other studies on regenerative treatment outcomes for elbow pain

Patient Success Stories using Prolotherapy for Elbow Pain

Tennis Elbow

DP suffered with Tennis Elbow for 2 years before receiving a cortisone injection, which gave him only short-term relief. With a physical job and involvement in sports and weight lifting, the pain soon returned. Stiffness and soreness awakened him, and as the day progressed, especially with any lifting, the elbow became painful, warm and swollen. When we examined DP, it was evident the elbow was unstable, causing the tendinosis. DP received 8 Prolotherapy treatments, after which he reported drastic improvement, no longer noting any pain with exercise or with lifting and able to strength training at 100%.


Cortisone degenerates, Prolotherapy regenerates.

Skiing Elbow Injury

EH suffered an elbow injury while skiing at age 64. She developed pain and weakness in her elbow and forearm which greatly limited her activity. She wanted to be able to lift her grandkids and ski without pain! We diagnosed with lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow. After 5 treatments of Prolotherapy, EH is back to activities without pain!


The tendon and ligament attachments along the elbow can become overstretched or damaged, leading to painful elbow instability. Instead of wearing sleeves and braces to try and stabilize it, regenerative injections cause a natural tightening of the ligaments to allow for optimal joint motion without continued strain on the muscles and tendons.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome/Ulnar Neuropathy from Elbow Instability

After a 3 day span of 12 hour sign language sessions, NS began to experience unrelenting dull, achy pain in her elbow, radiating down her arm to the hand and the fingers. She had a slight loss of sensation in the 4th and 5th fingers and a loss of grip strength, making it difficult to hold a 12 oz. cup. For two years this went on, significantly affecting her career, as she could only sign for 20 minutes maximum. After 4 Prolotherapy treatments to her right elbow, the pain and numbness resolved, allowing for unlimited signing and return to weight training with 20 pound dumbbells.


Nerves run near bones; therefore, when ligaments are weak, the bones can start touching the nerves and cause neuropathies such as Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. Prolotherapy, by strengthening the ligaments, can resolve the neuropathy.

More Information about Prolotherapy for Elbow Pain

How well do you understand the cause of your elbow pain?

Take the Joint Instability Quiz! This quiz covers how musculoskeletal pain develops and which important diagnosis is often missing when people are suffering from chronic pain.

Articles about Prolotherapy for Elbow Pain

Videos about Prolotherapy for Elbow Pain

More Elbow Prolotherapy Videos

Books about Prolotherapy for Elbow Pain

Prolo Your Pain Away!Read about treating elbow pain with Prolotherapy in our free E-book, Prolo Your Pain Away! Curing Chronic Pain with Prolotherapy, 4th Edition. This edition explains all about Prolotherapy and how it is used to permanently alleviate pain from arthritis, sports injuries, and all types of chronic pain conditions! Plus, it takes an expanded look at the medical literature and patient studies on Regenerative Medicine: Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma, Stem Cell Therapy, and more!

Caring Medical: Utilizing dynamic testing to properly diagnose and identify the structures causing symptoms and degenerative conditions, and treating with comprehensive regenerative injection therapy, H3 Prolotherapy, and individualized joint rehabilitation protocols

You deserve the best possible results from your elbow pain treatment. Let’s make this happen! Talk to our team about your case to find out if you are a good candidate.

For example, resume marathon training, return to college, walk my children to/from school, be able to perform my manual labor job full-time, etc… Functional goals would not be “to feel NORMAL” or “to feel BETTER” as these feelings differ greatly for each person who is suffering from a chronic condition. You could also list some objective ways by which you are measuring the success of the treatments you have already received or are looking to receive.

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9738 Commerce Center Ct.
Fort Myers, FL 33908
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Hauser Neck Center
9734 Commerce Center Ct.
Fort Myers, FL 33908
(239) 308-4701 Phone
(855) 779-1950 Fax
We are an out-of-network provider. Treatments discussed on this site may or may not work for your specific condition.
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