See Dr. Sally’s 5-Minute Video: 5-Step Non-Surgical Low Back Procedure
Lower back pain is no rarity among the US adult population. With nearly 50% of adults aged 45 years and up experiencing some form of recent back pain, it seems to be the norm. Symptoms of lower back pain (or even sciatica pain) can be relatively the same across multiple conditions, so diagnosis may sometimes be difficult. When physical therapy or chiropractic do not work, many doctors recommend surgery. Watch Dr. Sally’s videotaped procedure for sacroiliac joint pain (lower back) with a 5-step/3-part non-surgical process.
5 Steps Included In The Video
- Dr. Sally administers a pain-blocking local anesthetic
- Dr. Sally uses highly precise ultrasound image guidance to place the PRP application port
- Part 1: Once the needle is in the correct place, Dr. Sally injects the PRP in the sacroiliac joint
- Part 2: Dr. Sally performs PRP injections into the ligaments around the sacroiliac joint in order to stabilize it
- Part 3: PRP injections into the Piriformis and other gluteus muscle structure (often helpful to prevent sciatic pain)
- (Not shown) Patient returns home the same day and is back to normal activity in a few days. Improvement continues over the next months.
More Helpful Info IF You Suffer from Low Back or Sciatic Pain
According to a 2019 CDC survey, 39% of US adults aged 18 and over experienced some form of back pain in the last 3 months (1). Unfortunately, this number only continues to grow when the survey group is an older portion of the population: 44.3% of older adults (aged 45-64) and 45.6% of senior citizens (65+) experienced recent back pain (1). Of those 18 and older, 40.6% of women experienced back pain, compared to 37.2% of men (1). Additionally, adults of a higher socioeconomic status (determined by family income compared to the Federal Poverty Level) were less likely to experience back pain than those of a lower socioeconomic status (1).
The Role of Sacroiliac joint and Piriformis Muscle in Low Back Pain and Sciatica
The sacrum is a bone located on the posterior side of the pelvis that acts as a base bone of the spine (2). It is located just above the coccyx, or the tailbone. The iliac bones are the hip bones, which are connected to the sacrum via the sacroiliac joint (2). This joint is particularly important, since it provides support and stability for the spine and plays a role in helping absorb shock from movements like walking or sitting (2). Sacroiliac joint pain will manifest in the lower back or buttocks (2). This can occur when the cartilage surrounding the joint wears down or degenerates with age or frequent movement, or when one experiences trauma to the pelvis, like from a car accident or a particularly rough fall (2).
The piriformis muscle connects the femur to the sacrum and helps rotate the femur during hip extension movements (3). This keeps the body stable while one is walking. The piriformis muscle can cause lower back and buttocks pain via a neuromuscular disorder called piriformis syndrome (4). When the piriformis muscle compresses the sciatic nerve, a long and thick nerve at the back of the leg that passes between the iliac bone and the piriformis muscle, it results in pain, tingling, or numbness in the buttocks (4).
Symptoms of Lower Back and Sciatic Pain:
- Pain in the lower back and buttocks, typically one-sided, but can occur on both sides (2)
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the upper thigh (2)
- Pain that worsens with sitting, standing, walking, or climbing stairs (2)
- Pain in the buttocks (can extend down the back of the leg), especially while sitting or running (4)
- Stiffness in the lower back or problems with standing upright (5)
If lower back pain is acute, typically, one may just rest and apply ice to treat the area (5). However, if the pain is chronic, medications like NSAIDs or steroid injections can help to reduce pain and inflammation (5). Methods that actually treat the pain include physical therapy, which strengthens muscles for better flexibility and support, or chiropractic treatment, which can help realign the hips if needed (5).
How PRP can help Non-Surgically
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a treatment in which a patient’s blood is extracted and spun in a centrifuge, so that all the parts of the blood can separate.The platelets in the blood contain growth factors that play an important role in the body’s healing process. During a Regenexx PRP treatment, a Regenexx physician uses very precise centrifuge techniques to remove impurities and create an optimal super concentrated solution of platelet rich plasma.. The physician then injects the PRP sample directly into the patient’s area of the body that is originating the pain. In the video, Dr. Sally injects directly into the sacroiliac joint (area that is causing the pain), as well as injecting a few places around the joint for stability.
Research on PRP Vs. Steroids for Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Researchers in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, ON conducted a 2017 case study treating patients with sacroiliac joint pain with PRP (6). The patients were asked to rate their pain before the PRP treatment, 12 months post-treatment, and 4 years after the treatment (6). The researchers found a collective improvement from all patients in joint stability and reduction in pain both at the 12 month follow up and the 4 year follow up (6). A related experiment compared the efficacy of steroid injections to that of PRP injections in treating sacroiliac joint pain (7). The experiment not only found PRP to be an effective treatment option, but noted that those who had received the PRP injections continued to have less pain as more time post-treatment progressed, while those who received steroid injections began to feel more significant pain at about 3 months post-treatment (7).
Outcomes Evidence from Almost 10,000 Regenexx Low-Back Procedures
The Regenexx patient outcome data reflects the long term results of the PRP vs. steroid injections. Patients report that their joint is functioning at less than 50% before treatment, and 61% one month after treatment, and the condition continues to gradually improve as more time post-treatment passes (8).
Find out if you’re a Regenexx candidate for non-surgical low back and/or sciatica treatments with PRP–Tap the “TALK TO AN EXPERT” BUTTON below.