HealthDay News — For patients with chronic low back pain, ultrasound (US)-guided sacroiliac joint (SIJ) injection with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is effective for reducing pain, according to a study published in Pain Practice.1

Varun Singla, MD, from the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow, India, and colleagues examined the efficacy and safety of PRP vs methylprednisolone in US-guided SIJ injection for low back pain. 

Forty patients with chronic low back pain diagnosed with SIJ pathology were randomized into 2 groups and received either 1.5 mL methylprednisolone and 1.5 mL lidocaine with 0.5 mL saline (Group S) or 3 mL leukocyte-free PRP with 0.5 mL calcium chloride (Group P) in US-guided SIJ injection.

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The researchers found that, compared with Group S, Group P had significantly lower intensity of pain at 6 weeks and at 3 months. In Group S the efficacy of steroid injection was reduced to 25% at 3 months, while in Group P it was 90%. 

Patients receiving PRP had a reduction of visual analogue scale score to over 50% from baseline. There was initial improvement in the Modified Oswestry Disability Questionnaire scores and Short Form Health Survey scores for up to 4 weeks in Group S, followed by further deterioration at 3 months; in Group P both scores improved gradually for up to 3 months.

“The intra-articular PRP injection is an effective treatment modality in low back pain involving SIJ,” the authors write.

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  1. Singla V, Batra YK, Bharti N, Goni VG, Marwaha N. Steroid versus platelet-rich plasma in ultrasound-guided sacroiliac joint injection for chronic low back pain. Pain Pract. 2016 Sep 27. doi: 10.1111/papr.12526 [Epub ahead of print]