Prolozone for Pain Relief

The most remarkable pain reliever I've ever seen

Originally published in Dr. Robert Rowen's Second Opinion Newsletter, Vol. XIX, Issue 3, March 2009


illustration of male skeleton with lower back spine highlighted

Photo by Sebastian Kaulitzki, ©2016 /

If you suffer from joint or muscle pain, what you're about to read will likely change your life. During the past year, I have been using the most incredible healing therapy the world has ever known. This therapy far surpasses any other pain treatment I've ever used. In many cases, pain disappears instantly. And the relief can be permanent!

Hard to believe? Not after you read about Erin and several others.

Erin is a lovely 28-year-old woman who was in a terrible car accident. She was in the passenger seat of a car that had pulled over on a southern California freeway to avoid a police chase. Well, they didn't avoid it. The fleeing car plowed into her car at 70 mph. Her injuries were extensive. Her doctor told her she would never be able to walk again. She defied her doctors and recovered enough to get around, shunning suggested surgery and other harsh treatments.

Erin came to see me seven years after the accident. She limped in with severe chronic pain running from her lower back down through her legs. My evaluation suggested unstable sacroiliac (SI) joints. The SI joint is the most important in your back. Instability can radiate pain from the small of your back down to your toes. And your conventional doctor won't have a clue about how to treat it. He'll offer dangerous and often unsuccessful surgery. And he'll give you pain pills that have terrible side effects.

Erin agreed to this new treatment, which is a modification of prolotherapy. In just a few minutes, she was about 80% pain free. She was shocked! Two days later she came back for other reasons. At the time of the accident, she was still a newlywed. Most of her married life was spent in horrible pain. When she came back in, she told me that her husband emotionally told her it was fantastic to get his wife back.

But Erin isn't the only success story. There's also D. Graham, age 73. He suffered extensive lower back pain for four years. The X-ray showed moderate lumbar degeneration. With just one session, taking only five minutes, his pain was gone, instantly. That was several months ago. So far, the pain has not come back.

Then there's Patrick. He has degenerating hips. Surgeons recommended hip replacement surgery. After only three sessions, he rates his pain dropping from a 10 down to between 0-2 points.

Finally, there's Mary T. and Mary S. Both of them suffer from chronic knee arthritis. Mary T. is 74. She was an avid equestrian. But the degeneration in her knees caused so much pain that she couldn't ride anymore. Her doctor recommended knee replacements. After only three sessions, she was riding her horse again, which is a very strenuous work out on your knees.

Mary S., a bit older at 78, came in with bone hitting bone in her knees. Her X-ray showed absolutely no joint space. She barely made it in with a walker. A complicating factor was her weight. She is about 100 pounds over her ideal weight. That's a serious risk for anyone's knees.

I gave her weight loss suggestions, while we did the therapy. It's been 18 months. Mary comes to the office monthly now, walking in on her own, with significant pain reduction. She has avoided the knee replacements, and she now has her big smile back. And this relief came without even a pound of weight loss. I don't expect to rebuild a destroyed knee. But to give an elderly obese woman an additional 18 months with her own knees and with significant clinical improvement, I'd say we did very well.

So what is this therapy? It's simply a modification of prolotherapy – a therapy I've discussed often in these pages. Prolotherapy involves targeted injections of natural substances like glucose or saline. These solutions cause temporary inflammation, which stimulates your body to heal. It works in areas where most treatments can't do anything, such as your joints, ligaments, and cartilage. They won't heal very well, because unlike muscles, they don't have a blood supply to bring them oxygen. Prolotherapy injections irritate the area just enough to stimulate a temporary blood supply to repair the injury.

By modifying prolotherapy, we can actually supercharge the treatment. It heals much faster, which means fewer injections and less pain.

This modification is Prolozone®. It's an amazing treatment developed by my friend and colleague, Dr. Frank Shallenberger. He used prolotherapy for years, but, like me, was frustrated with the pain and the large number of treatments needed to see complete healing.

So he decided to try using an oxygen/ozone gas mixture instead of the prolo solution. The treatment essentially directs oxidation, my favorite therapy, to the affected painful area. This induces your own body to actually heal the problem.

I was doing ozone joint injections for years, like on Mary T. But Dr. Shallenberger was using them far more extensively. He told me of absolute miraculous recoveries from pain. He convinced me to come to his seminar to see it in action. One after another of the doctor participants underwent ozone injections for various ailments. Most of the participants saw their pain reduced by at least 80% instantly.

You might ask how could there be instant relief of pain endured for years. Well, first the area is anesthetized with procaine, a local anesthetic. A pinch of vitamin B12 and folic acid is added to the procaine. These vitamins stimulate the DNA of cells to get in action for a longer-term fix. Now here's the amazing thing. Procaine typically lasts only about 15 minutes. Yet the pain relief lasts and lasts. How could that be?

Let's consider the obvious – oxygen. After the numbing medicine, a small amount of gas is injected. Because of the procaine, the injection is virtually painless. It's all oxygen, but a small amount is the highly active oxygen called ozone. Any area of pain and injury is begging for oxygen. That's because oxygen is the most critical nutrient for energy production and healing. Without it, cells simply cannot repair. They might languish in an injured state for years, or eventually die. The oxygen alone can get the cells going. It stimulates them to excrete waste material, and promotes their ability to repair themselves and the tissues around them.

Prolozone works by providing energy-producing oxygen to the innermost parts of your joint. This is where ozone, which I call the miracle healer, does its magic. Ozone is a powerful stimulant of cellular growth factors, such as Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGF-B). This powerful cytokine activates cartilage cells to produce matrix proteins necessary for the body to make the white cartilage substance.

TGF-B improves matrix protein arrangement. It protects the surface of the cartilage. It modulates the activity of enzymes that dissolve other proteins and compounds that are involved with inflammation. That's a 1-2-3 punch for healing. Injecting ozone in or around the joint stimulates tissue regeneration, a build up of antioxidant enzymes and a reduction in inflammation. Can it actually regenerate your cartilage? I've seen knee X-rays that show a definite increase in cartilage thickness. So, yes, it really does regenerate cartilage.

Ozone reacts almost instantly with the membranes of the cells it contacts. The oxidation of the membrane jump starts the cells. Immune cells are particularly responsive to ozone. They will produce a cascade of powerful healing chemicals called cytokines. These are the very short proteins immune cells use to talk with each other. Immune cells not only provide protection against infection, they also clean up debris and modulate inflammation.

Research has connected arthritis and chronic pain to subclinical infection. While ozone stimulates cells, when it comes into contact with microorganisms, it kills them. In other words, this non-toxic therapy can kill microbes on its own, and stimulate your immune cells to kill them as well. When delivered directly to a painful area, the combination of oxygen/ozone provides the stimulation to repair while simultaneously providing the essential oxygen to energize them.

I've been doing conventional prolotherapy for some 19 years (see for more information). I was absolutely impressed that in four or more sessions, we could reduce pain in most people by an average of 80%. But conventional prolotherapy has some limitations compared to ozone. It's far more uncomfortable. It requires many more needle insertions to get the fluid to the target area. Prolozone injects a gas which easily diffuses to a much greater area. That promotes widespread stimulation, even to areas that are not in direct contact with the needle. Prolotherapy generally requires several sessions to achieve the same effects Prolozone achieves in just one session. Prolotherapy usually causes inflammatory discomfort at the injection area that peaks in 36 hours. There's almost no lingering discomfort with Prolozone.

Dr. Shallenberger's discovery has changed my prolo practice permanently. In fact, he did Prolozone on some chronic neck and back trigger points I've suffered for some time. My discomfort dropped by 60% almost immediately. I've hardly noticed the pain since.

If you have chronic pain, Prolozone could be your ultimate answer. Any prolotherapy physician can easily adapt prolotherapy to Prolozone. I suggest that you take this report to your prolotherapist. I have no doubt that it will pique his or her interest to get the additional information needed to help you. You can find a prolotherapy doctor at Get Prolo.

Many physicians are unfamiliar with ozone and won't take the steps to learn this fantastic therapy. That's fine. They can still do conventional prolotherapy for you. It's an outstanding treatment. But ozone makes it better in my opinion and experience. If you would like to find an ozone therapist, you can check the physician list at Oxygen Healing Therapies. Doctors also can find out about Prolozone classes at this website.

Author's update April 23, 2011

Since writing this article, my Prolozone work has more than exploded. My wife and I went to India where we introduced the technique to a charitable hospital. What started as a steady stream of patients turned into a torrent of people by the time we left after 2 weeks. Parents brought in their children, husbands brought their wives and parents. The hospital staff lined up for Prolozone as well, as frozen shoulders, herniated disc pain, and terrible pain of knee arthritis simply melted away from seconds to a few hours after treatment. This is one therapy I don't have to sell to anyone who comes to the office. My patients do it for me.

About the Author

Dr. Robert Rowen

Dr. Robert Rowen is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the University of California at San Francisco. He has been board-certified and re-certified by the American Boards of Family Practice and Emergency Medicine. He is currently certified by the American Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology. HeRead more