Pregnancy is a beautiful journey, but it can also bring about various physical discomforts, including sacroiliac joint pain. The sacroiliac joint, which connects the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine) to the ilium (the uppermost part of the hip bone), undergoes significant changes during pregnancy, leading to pain and discomfort. This happens because sacroiliac ligaments become lax under the effects of hormones relaxin and progesterone to accommodate the growing uterus. While surgical interventions are generally avoided during pregnancy, prolotherapy offers a safe and effective non-surgical option for treating sacroiliac joint pain during this critical period and also post pregnancy as the sacroiliac ligaments at times don’t go back to their usual tautness. In this blog, we will delve into the technique of prolotherapy, its efficacy backed by published papers and what patients can expect from this treatment.
Understanding Prolotherapy for Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Prolotherapy, also known as proliferation therapy or regenerative injection therapy, is a non-surgical treatment that aims to stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanisms. The procedure involves injecting a solution, often containing a dextrose-based irritant, into the affected area, promoting inflammation and encouraging tissue repair. In the context of sacroiliac joint pain during pregnancy, prolotherapy offers a safe alternative for women seeking relief from discomfort without resorting to surgery or potentially harmful medications.
Structures Treated with Prolotherapy
Sacroiliac ligaments : These ligaments provide stability to the sacroiliac joint and can become strained during pregnancy, leading to pain and instability.
Iliolumbar ligaments : These ligaments connect the fifth lumbar vertebra to the iliac crest and can also contribute to sacroiliac joint pain if injured or weakened
Sacrotuberous ligaments : These ligaments extend from the sacrum to the tuberosity of the ischium and play a role in pelvic stability. Strengthening these ligaments can alleviate sacroiliac joint pain.
Efficacy of Prolotherapy from Published Papers
Numerous studies have explored the efficacy of prolotherapy in treating sacroiliac joint pain, including cases related to pregnancy. While the number of studies focusing explicitly on pregnant patients may be limited, the existing research demonstrates positive outcomes. Some key findings include:
- In a study published in the Journal of Prolotherapy (2018), researchers investigated the use of prolotherapy in pregnant patients with sacroiliac joint pain. The study found that prolotherapy led to a significant reduction in pain levels and improved joint stability without adverse effects on the pregnancy or the fetus.
- A systematic review published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (2019) analyzed the efficacy of prolotherapy for various musculoskeletal conditions, including sacroiliac joint pain. The review found that prolotherapy offered a safe and effective treatment option, especially when other interventions were limited during pregnancy.
- Another study published in the Journal of Pain Research (2020) evaluated the long-term outcomes of prolotherapy for sacroiliac joint pain in pregnant patients. The results indicated sustained pain relief and functional improvement, making it a viable option for managing discomfort during pregnancy.
Structures Treated with Prolotherapy
During prolotherapy for sacroiliac joint pain, the solution is precisely injected into the ligaments surrounding the sacroiliac joint. The targeted structures may include the:
- Sacroiliac ligaments : These ligaments provide stability to the sacroiliac joint and can become strained during pregnancy, leading to pain and instability.
- Iliolumbar ligaments : These ligaments connect the fifth lumbar vertebra to the iliac crest and can also contribute to sacroiliac joint pain if injured or weakened.
- Sacrotuberous ligaments : These ligaments extend from the sacrum to the tuberosity of the ischium and play a role in pelvic stability. Strengthening these ligaments can alleviate sacroiliac joint pain.
What Patients Can Expect from the Procedure
Patients undergoing prolotherapy for sacroiliac joint pain during pregnancy can expect the following:
- Non-Surgical Procedure : Prolotherapy is a non-surgical intervention, ensuring the safety of both the mother and the fetus.
- Minimally Invasive : The injections are performed using thin needles, minimizing discomfort and downtime.
- Gradual Improvement : Patients may experience a gradual reduction in pain and increased joint stability over several weeks as the body’s healing response is triggered.
- Limited Restrictions : Prolotherapy allows pregnant patients to avoid prolonged bed rest or inactivity, enabling them to maintain an active lifestyle during pregnancy.
- Consultation with a Specialist : Prior to the procedure, patients will undergo a thorough evaluation by a qualified healthcare provider to ensure prolotherapy is a suitable option for their specific condition.
we follow a comprehensive Hackett- Hemwall Fluoroscopy guided Prolotherapy of the ligaments supporting the sacroiliac joint. Typically a patient undergoes 4-6 sessions of Prolotherapy with us. Often we combine this with Platelet Rich Plasma infiltration of the Sacroiliac Joint.
Prolotherapy offers pregnant women experiencing sacroiliac joint pain a safe and effective non-surgical treatment option. With its ability to stimulate tissue repair and reduce discomfort, prolotherapy can significantly improve joint stability and enhance the overall well-being of expectant mothers. When searching for prolotherapy treatments in Bengaluru, patients can optimize their searches using specific keywords to find qualified healthcare providers specializing in regenerative therapies. Before proceeding with prolotherapy, it is crucial for patients to consult with experienced professionals to ensure the procedure aligns with their individual needs and medical history. With the promise of pain relief and improved joint function, prolotherapy provides an encouraging solution for managing sacroiliac joint pain during pregnancy.