Low Back Pain / SI Joint Pain
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) & Prolotherapy of SI Joint Pain
Most of us aren’t even aware we have a joint just above our buttocks called the Sacro-Iliac (or SI) joint. The SI joint is where the sacrum (the triangular bone that creates the bottom of our vertebral column) and our iliac bones (the two big wing-shaped bones that make up our pelvis). It is held together by a section of very strong ligaments.
Not much movement happens at the SI joint – most movement in that area of the body happens at the hip joint or the vertebral column. However, the SI joint must hold the weight of our entire upper body when we are sitting or standing which places a huge deal of stress on them.
The SI joint can become stressed and hyper mobile due to a number of factors.
Anything that alters the way you walk – pregnancy, legs that are different lengths, a sore knee or hip – can stress the ligaments at the SI joint. Lifting injuries and falling can also cause damage to the SI joint.
Hyper-mobility (increased movement) at the SI joint can be a source of chronic low back pain. Many people report a dull achy pain that can become sharp when performing certain twisting motions. Stiffness and pain after sitting for a period of time is also common.
Fortunately Platelet Rich Plasma or Prolotherapy injections can help.
Platelet Rich Plasma injections use the patient’s own blood to heal & strengthen the ligaments around the SI joint. Prolotherapy uses Dextrose (a sugar solution) to recruit the immune system to the area to strengthen the joint.
A study in 2010 compared prolotherapy injections and steroid injections for SI joint pain. Each group received injections (either prolotherapy or steroids) every 2 weeks for a maximum of 3 injections. Patients were assessed at 2 weeks and 15 months after the start of treatment. At 2 weeks there was no difference in pain for both groups.
However, after 15 months, the number of people who had a greater than 50% reduction in pain in the prolotherapy group was 59% versus only 10% in the steroid group. Wow, great results from the prolotherapy group and patients received a maximum of only 3 injections (some only received 1 injection). And lasting results as well – after 15 months the treatment was still effective.