An old man wearing a red t-shirt stretching to relieve damaged cartilage.

How Prolozone Stimulates Regeneration of Damaged Cartilage

How Prolozone Stimulates Regeneration of Damaged Cartilage

By Farhan Malik, MD
Atlanta Innovative Medicine 

How Prolozone Stimulates Regeneration of Damaged Cartilage

Cartilage is the strong, flexible tissue that protects your joints and bones. It works like a cushion and shock absorber, preventing bones from rubbing together and reducing friction as you move. 

Damaged cartilage is common, especially in the knees, hips, ankles, and around bones. Sports injuries and osteoarthritis can all cause the breakdown of cartilage.

What Is Prolozone Therapy?

A person receiving an injection in the shoulder from a medical professional wearing purple gloves. Prolozone therapy is a non-surgical procedure that uses medical oxygen injections to help repair joints, cartilage, ligaments, muscle tendons, and more. It can combat pain while also allowing your body to start healing damaged cartilage through added collagen and nutrients. 

Collagen can help tighten loose ligaments or damaged connective tissues by reducing inflammation and jump-starting the healing process. At the same time, the oxygen in the injections stimulates cells to regrow and proliferate.

The Role of Oxygen in Healing

A person sitting and holding their knee in pain. When you suffer an injury, especially in connective tissues like cartilage, your body can usually repair the damage rapidly. Your body calls stem cells and blast cells to the injured area. These cells stimulate growth factors, leading to healing.  

Some injuries have a harder time healing, however, and can lead to chronic pain. In the United States alone, 50 million adults suffer from some type of chronic pain.  

There are several reasons some injuries do not heal, especially those to joints and ligaments. One of these is a decrease in oxygen levels at the injury location. When more oxygen is provided to the area, your body can begin the regeneration process.

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Types of Conditions Affecting Oxygen Level Decreases

Oxygen Tension 

Oxygen tension refers to the activity level of the oxygen molecules in blood plasma. Joints and ligaments, including cartilage in areas like your hips, knees, and elbows, tend to have lower baseline levels of oxygen tension. This tendency can lead to problems as you age. 


With age, circulation levels decrease, leading the areas already prone to lower oxygen tension levels to lose even more oxygen, and making damage and chronic pain more likely. 


Trauma to the area can wreak further havoc. After trauma, excess fluids can cause swelling. This reduces the oxygen tension levels even more at the injury site. 

Low Oxygen

Low oxygen levels can hike up lactic acid production as well as free radical damage and even lead to necrosis. All of these factors contribute to chronic pain and injuries that do not heal. 


Inflammation also leads to decreased circulation, which deprives the area of oxygen and nutrients. Trauma can also be an issue because it can compromise cell membrane potential, which is the difference in electrical potential between the inside and outside of a cell. 

Cell Membrane Decrease

A decrease in cell membrane potential leads to even less oxygen tension. Even though there may be blast cells and stem cells at the location of the injury, they will not have the nutrients or oxygen they need to be effective. 

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain and damage create a vicious cycle, with inflammation causing decreased oxygen levels, which leads to more free radicals that cause tissue damage and increased inflammation. The pain can be severe and might seem impossible to treat without pain medication. 

A therapy option like Prolozone, however, can stop that cycle and allow your body to begin its normal healing process.

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How Prolozone Works

A woman with short gray hair kneeling on a path, smiling while tying her running shoe. Prolozone has various components, each with its own specific biological purpose that can help with cartilage damage to knees, elbows, ankles, and hips. 

Procaine is one of its components. This anesthetic can also help re-establish cell membrane potential, while the anti-inflammatory agents in Prolozone can decrease swelling. Prolozone also contains nutrients like vitamins and minerals that help with oxygen utilization, and the ozone in the injection boosts oxygen levels.  

It is important to know that when there is less oxygen utilization at an injury site, many biological processes slow down or stop. These can include:

  • Cellular division
  • Protein synthesis
  • Growth factor function
  • Maintenance of cell membrane potential

Ozone can help correct this, encouraging cell function to return to normal and leading to healing. It is also a powerful oxidizing agent and can stimulate growth factor production as well as release. 

The stimulation of growth factors is essential for the process of cartilage regeneration. Ozone can also activate the receptors in the membranes that growth factors use to help with healing, making the process more effective and speeding up recovery. 

Unlike other treatment options, which might require the injection of a liquid, Prolozone therapy involves an injection of a gas. When introduced into cartilage, this gas expands, allowing for the treatment of larger or difficult to reach areas with fewer injections. Prolozone also makes it more difficult to miss the targeted area.

Conditions that Respond to Prolozone

A woman stretching on a beach, wearing an orange jacket and white pants. One of the criteria for deciding whether or not Prolozone can be an effective treatment is pain. If you feel pain from damaged cartilage, then Prolozone can be a good treatment option to discuss with your doctor. Some of the conditions that Prolozone can help with include:

  • Hip arthritis
  • Knee arthritis
  • Elbow pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Back pain
  • Chronic neck pain
  • Ankle pain

The best first step is to reach out to a specialist to see if you are a good candidate for Prolozone therapy.

Benefits of Prolozone Therapy

A woman smiling while exercising outdoors with dumbbells. Unlike many other therapies designed to treat damaged cartilage, Prolozone is minimally invasive. It is not a surgical procedure and does not require downtime.  

By interrupting the inflammation cycle after an injury, Prolozone also offers pain relief naturally, without the use of oral medications.  

Other procedures may require days of dealing with treatment sessions, recovery periods, and discomfort. In contrast, Prolozone therapy can also offer immediate results. The treatment is also faster, with people requiring fewer injections than they would with prolotherapy. This translates into quicker relief and less expensive treatments. 

Prolozone therapy is also very effective in treating damaged cartilage in the knees, shoulders, hips, and ankles because it works intra-articularly. This means you receive it directly in the joint.

Because Prolozone therapy involves the injection of a gas into the treatment area, pinpointing the exact location of the damage to the cartilage is not as crucial. The entire area will receive the benefit of increased oxygen levels, circulation, and nutrients. 

This kind of therapy also stimulates the production of collagen, increasing the speed at which the damage heals. It can also increase range of motion, which is crucial when dealing with joints and cartilage damage.

Is Prolozone Right for You?

A smiling woman being comforted by a medical professional. Ensuring damaged cartilage receives the right oxygen levels, as well as the nutrients it needs to heal from an injury, gets more complex as you get older. As circulation decreases and oxygen tension levels also dip, the risk of developing chronic pain because of cartilage damage rises.

Prolozone could be the right, minimally invasive choice to prevent or treat your chronic pain. At AIM, you can speak with experts about ozone therapy options like Prolozone. Our specialists are ready to boost your body’s natural healing processes and help you return to the daily activities you love.   

Contact Atlanta Innovative Medicine today or by calling our Atlanta-area clinic now at 770.416.9995 to schedule your free consultation.


Are you a candidate for Regenerative Medicine?

Regenerative medicine can be an effective therapy and treatment option for lasting pain relief for a variety of conditions like osteoarthritis of the knee, hip or shoulder; ACL or meniscus tears; tennis or golfer’s elbow; chronic neck and back pain; and more.

Is it right for you and your condition? Take 1 minute to answer a few “yes or no” questions that help to assess if you might be a candidate for PRP, stem cell or other nonsurgical regenerative treatments.

Are You a Stem Cell Candidate for Your Joint or Spine Damage?

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Do I have nonsurgical options for my injured or aging joints?

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