Coastal Podiatry Foot & Ankle Therapy Centre

Case Study: A Step in the Right Direction: Chronic Ankle Pain Alleviated Through Prolotherapy


Sarah, a 38-year-old marathon runner, found her passion and lifestyle severely restricted due to chronic, disabling ankle pain that had persisted for over a year. Despite numerous attempts at conservative management, including physiotherapy and pain medication, the pain’s intensity and frequency only escalated, significantly impacting her daily activities and mental health. 

Pre-Treatment Condition: 

Sarah’s ankle pain, localised primarily around the lateral aspect of her right ankle, had a profound impact on her life. Not only was she forced to abandon running, but even simple activities like walking her dog or standing for moderate durations became excruciating tasks. Her pain, assessed using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), was consistently between 7 to 9 out of 10, with spikes of intense pain reaching the maximum. This pain was not just a number; it was a barrier that stood between Sarah and her active, vibrant lifestyle. 

Introducing Prolotherapy: 

After extensive research and consultations, Sarah was introduced to prolotherapy as a potential treatment option. Skeptical yet hopeful, she decided to undergo this regenerative injection therapy, intrigued by its promise of addressing the underlying cause of her pain by promoting the natural healing processes of her body. 

The Treatment Process: 

Sarah’s treatment plan included a series of prolotherapy sessions targeting the affected ligaments and tendons around her ankle. Each session involved injecting a dextrose solution into specific areas to induce a mild inflammatory response, which would then kick-start the body’s healing mechanism. 


The turning point in Sarah’s recovery journey was noticeable after the third session. Gradually, the intensity of her pain decreased, allowing her to reintroduce light physical activities without the looming fear of a pain flare-up. By the end of her prolotherapy treatment, Sarah’s VAS score had dramatically improved, dropping to a consistent 1 to 2 out of 10. 

Life After Prolotherapy: 

The improvement in Sarah’s ankle pain was not just reflected in her VAS scores but also in her regained ability to live fully. She was able to walk her dog without pain, stand and teach her art classes without counting down the minutes, and most importantly, she began running again. Starting with short distances, Sarah has been progressively increasing her mileage, with the goal of returning to marathon running. 

Reflecting on the Journey: 

Sarah’s journey from chronic pain to recovery highlights the transformative effects of prolotherapy for individuals suffering from similar debilitating conditions. Beyond the numbers and medical terminology, Sarah’s story is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the innovative approaches in regenerative medicine that support it. 


Sarah’s case underscores the effectiveness of prolotherapy not only in reducing pain but in enhancing the quality of life for those burdened by chronic musculoskeletal conditions. Her journey from debilitating ankle pain to reclaiming her active lifestyle is a compelling example of how innovative, non-surgical treatments can offer hope and healing. 

This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Always consult a healthcare professional to explore treatment options suited to your specific needs. 

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About The Author

Dr Peter Shelton

Dr Peter Shelton BSc Hons. is an Accredited Podiatrist based in the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.

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