Lumbar Injuries

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How We Treat Iliolumbar Ligament Pain

Normally, iliolumbar ligament pain is the result of sports injuries that involved repeated bending or twisting the back. For example, golf and volleyball injuries are frequent causes of iliolumbar ligament problems; car accidents are another common one as well.

Iliolumbar ligament pain may sometimes be called iliac crest pain syndrome, iliolumbar syndrome for short. No matter what the cause, it’s always produced by tearing and/or inflammation in the iliolumbar ligament.

The iliolumbar ligament stretches from the back of the pelvis — the iliac crest — up towards the spine. Inflammation here can produce referred pain that seems to be coming from a variety of places: the back, the hip, the groin, the pelvis, or sometimes even the testicular, vaginal, or rectal areas. This referred pain can make it difficult to diagnose.

Signs of Iliolumbar Ligament Pain

Recurring, frequent lower back pain attacks are common symptoms of iliolumbar ligament pain. These attacks will tend to show up in a triangularly shaped region which is located between the so-called erector spinae muscles, the facet joints, the quadratus lumborum muscle, the lumbar fascia, and the iliolumbar ligaments. Painful attacks may be produced by almost any kind of physical exercise involving a bending or twisting of the lumbar spine.

In some cases, however, the pain only shows itself once the patient has been sitting down for some time — or even just during a brief period of time in the early morning, such as immediately after waking up and getting out of bed.

Lastly, patients with iliolumbar syndrome sometimes experience hip or groin pains next to the standard pains, possibly including some tenderness of the iliolumbar area as well.

Treating Iliolumbar Syndrome

Iliolumbar ligament pain may be difficult to diagnose, since it often involves pain in a variety of areas. Usually doctors assume it is a muscular strain, leading them to prescribe rest and ice.

Sadly, this approach does not actually help heal the damaged ligament, nor can it repair weak ligaments which produce the referred pain. This means that the chronic pain of iliolumbar ligament problems goes unresolved.

Iliolumbar Ligament Pain

iliolumbar ligament pain

After the more conservative program of treatment has failed, usually doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids — yet these often produce more harm than they do good. Though they provide short term pain relief, in the long term these may be harmful, accelerating cartilage degeneration and inhibiting soft tissue healing.

Patients who don’t respond to even these treatments are usually referred to a surgeon. Yet since surgeons tend to rely on the X-ray as a diagnostic tool and X-rays usually fail to identify iliolumbar issues correctly, the surgeon may not recognize before the surgery that they are dealing with iliolumbar syndrome — and as a result they do not recognize the surgery will be unable to alleviate the iliolumbar ligament pain.

How We Treat Iliolumbar Ligament Pain

Instead of using harmful steroids or resorting to surgery, it is our experience that regenerative treatments like stem cells and PRP therapies may relieve ilolumbar syndrome in as little as a single visit to our office, without a hospital stay.

How is this possible? Regenerative therapies allow the body to repair itself quickly and effectively. They involve taking cells which are designed to promote rapid healing from places in the body where these cells are stored and then injecting them into the damaged area.

There, they promote healing and rapid tissue regeneration.

What Is Iliolumbar Ligament Pain — And What Can I Do About It?

Hip painIliolumbar pain is produced by inflammation or tearing in the iliolumbar ligaments, and problems here may be very painful. The reason is that the hip bones are connected to the lower lumbar spine by these ligaments.

The whole lumbar region of the body is quite vulnerable to pain and injury, and the iliolumbar ligaments are responsible for stabilizing it, providing support, and allowing the body to move around the lumbar vertebrae (notably the 4th and 5th vertebrae).

Usually, it’s a sports injury that sets off iliolumbar ligament pain. Sprains, tears, strains, and many other kinds of injuries can damage the iliolumbar ligaments. As a result, the whole surrounding area starts to stiffen up — which only makes things worse. As the area stiffens up, the level of pain increases, and the chances of a complete tear (called iliolumbar syndrome) go up significantly.

As it happens, lower back pain (including the iliolumbar ligaments) is one of the most common reasons that patients seek medical help or even work disability compensation. The most common major treatments — until now — have been chronic opioids, or sometimes surgery. These treatments often produce mixed results, and sometimes patients end up worse than before the treatment.

Fortunately, stem cell and PRP treatments represent a viable alternative. With these treatments, the tissue is itself repaired by cells taken from elsewhere in your body. They allow treatment on an in-office basis, with no hospital stay and minimum downtime following treatment.

What Causes Iliolumbar Pain?

Sports injuries are the most common cause of iliolumbar ligament pain, but car accident trauma may also trigger it. If a sports injury is the cause, it’s most commonly from a sport that requires repeatedly bending and twisting the back — volleyball and golf are common examples.

Since the iliolumbar ligaments go from the back of the pelvis (known as the iliac crest) and up the spine, inflammation in the iliolumbar ligaments can produce “referred pain” in a variety of areas in the body: it may produce pain in the pelvis, the back, the groin, the hip, as well as testicular, vaginal, and rectal areas.

However, the most common symptoms are recurring attacks of lower back pain in a triangularly shaped area which is located in between the iliolumbar ligaments, quadratus lumborum, lumbar fascia, facet joints, and erector spinae muscles.

Especially painful attacks of iliolumbar pain may be brought on by physical exercises that involve twisting or bending the lumbar spine area.

In other cases, patients experience pain only after long periods of sitting, or briefly in the morning after they get out of bed. They may also experience groin or hip pain, or tenderness in the iliolumbar area.

Using Regenerative Medicine to Treat Iliolumbar Ligament Pain
It’s our experience that regenerative medical techniques like stem cell and platelet rich plasma therapies can produce effective relief with often just a single office visit. The reason is that these therapies improve your body’s power to heal itself.

By isolating specific cells from other areas of your body and injecting them into the injured area, these therapies greatly speed healing and promote rapid tissue regeneration. No hospital stay is necessary, and there’s very little downtime or recovery required.