The concept of creating irritation or injury in order to stimulate healing dates back to Roman times where hot needles were inserted into the shoulders of injured gladiators.

In the US, Prolotherapy originated in the 1950s by American surgeon Dr. George Hackett who used a sclerosing agent in weakened or elongated ligaments to make them stronger.  Hackett reasoned that if weak ligaments were the cause of most joint and ligament pain, strengthening them would resolve the pain.  He was quite successful, publishing 16 articles and a textbook on his procedure, and claiming an overall 80% success rate. In 1955, Dr. Gustav Hemwall became acquainted with George Hackett at a medical meeting and started practicing prolotherapy shortly thereafter.  Dr. Hemwall is regarded as a pioneer of Prolotherapy, and taught the treatment to numerous physicians until his passing in 1998.