Foot & Toe Pain

A Retrospective Observational Study on Hackett-Hemwall Dextrose Prolotherapy for Unresolved Foot and Toe Pain at an Outpatient Charity Clinic in Rural Illinois

Hauser R, Hauser M, Cukla J. A retrospective observational study on Hackett-Hemwall dextrose prolotherapy for unresolved foot and toe pain at an outpatient charity clinic in rural Illinois. Journal of Prolotherapy. 2011;3(1):543-551.


To study the efficacy of Hackett-Hemwall dextrose Prolotherapy for foot and toe pain, a retrospective observational study was commissioned using the data obtained at a charity health clinic in rural Illinois. Foot and toe pain is a common complaint affecting the lives of millions. Nearly 25% of the population suffers from foot and toe pain at any one time. The diagnoses given to these patients by their medical doctors and podiatrists are many and varied. Some of the most common are hallux rigidus and hallux malleus. Prolotherapy is an injection treatment used to initiate a healing response in injured connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments, common in painful foot and toe conditions. This retrospective study documents the improvements the subjects obtained after receiving Prolotherapy treatments, which included reduction of their pain and an increase in quality of life measures.

Objective: To investigate the outcomes of patients undergoing Hackett-Hemwall dextrose Prolotherapy treatment for unresolved foot and toe pain.

Design: Nineteen patients who had been in pain an average of 54 months were treated quarterly with Hackett-Hemwall dextrose Prolotherapy. This included a subset of eight patients who were told by their medical doctor(s) that there were no other treatment options for their pain. Patients were contacted an average of 18 months following their last Prolotherapy session and asked questions regarding their levels of pain, physical and psychological symptoms, as well as activities of daily living, before and after their last Prolotherapy treatment.

Results: In these 19 patients, all 100% had improvements of their pain and stiffness. Eighty-four percent experienced 50% or more pain relief. Dextrose Prolotherapy helped the patients make large improvements in walking and exercise ability, as well as produced decreased levels of anxiety and depression. One-hundred percent of patients said Prolotherapy changed their lives for the better.

Conclusion: In this retrospective observational study, Hackett-Hemwall dextrose Prolotherapy helped cause large decreases in pain and stiffness and improved clinically relevant quality of life parameters in people with unresolved foot and toe pain.

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