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What is prolotherapy and could it help relieve my PGP symptoms?

Posted by Madeleine Speed, the Pelvic Partnership, October 2015


You may have heard of Prolotherapy in relation PGP but want to know more about it. Prolotherapy is seen as an approach for a number of pain-related problems, too, such as long-term back pain where it has been used for some time. Prolotherapy is an increasingly used therapy for women with instability associated with PGP. It seems to work well for women whose pelvis can be realigned and pain-free during a physiotherapy or osteopathic session, but as soon as they return to the normal activities of life, the pain and instability returns. 

If you have been newly diagnosed as having PGP, there are some key steps that you would benefit from considering first before looking at Prolotherapy. The Pelvic Partnership team suggest that PGP blog oct 2015 tina bolton imageusually responds very well to manual therapy. So it's worth looking for a manual therapist who has experience of PGP as your first step. Manual therapy is a 'hands-on' approach where a manual therapist, such as a physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath, examines your pelvis to check how it is functioning and if PGP symptoms are apparent. Once stiff or stuck pelvic joints are identified, the healthcare professional uses various techniques to restore smooth and effective movement again. This may take one or several sessions (everyone is different so generalising can be misleading) but after each you should feel some significant progress such as a reduction in pain or an increase in mobility.      

Prolotherapy may be useful if you have longer-term PGP and where pain and instability seem to return almost as soon as you've received a successful treatment session. So if you find that your pelvis cannot seem to stay in position whenever a manual therapist has newly aligned it and you notice that the pain and immobility quickly return as a result, this procedure may be well worth considering. This failure to keep the pelvis in position is often due to a true instability at the pelvic joints where the ligaments have been overstretched. Ligaments are different from muscles, and once overstretched, sometimes cannot return to their normal length. 

Prolotherapy works by injecting a sucrose solution into the ligaments, which causes a local inflammatory reaction, which in turn makes the ligaments tighten up. Some patients report this as a painful procedure but most practitioners use sedation before doing the injections which makes it much less uncomfortable. It is usually given as a course of injections, once a month for three months.

Many of the women who have received this treatment are reporting improvements in their symptoms with a reduction in pain and increase in stability. The best results are in women who have had their pelvis realigned just before and after the injections, so the pelvis is in the best possible position for the ligaments to hold and maintain it. If this has not been done, people have reported disappointing results.

Most women who have had good manual therapy find that this alone works for them  and they make a full recovery. However, if you have good reason to believe that your pelvis regularly shows an instability at the pelvic joints soon after a successful manual therapy session, then it may well be a procedure worth considering. Prolotherapy is sometimes available on the NHS (but not widely) so there may be a significant cost implication to trying this treatment. It is usually seen as an option to try when other options have failed to maintain an improvement.

We have found some weblinks about Prolotherapy that may be useful to you:

* Image courtesy of Tina Bolton.

A heartfelt 'thank you' to our Prudential RideLondon - Surrey 100 cyclists and everyone who sponsored them

Posted by Madeleine Speed, the Pelvic Partnership, September 2015


As many of you will know, Paul Fishburn and Cath Convery took part in the 100-mile cycling event on Sunday 2nd August and both of them successfully completed the course for the benefit of the Pelvic Partnership. Paul and Cath - we take our hats off to you! We want to thank you publicly for your amazing generosity in riding for the Pelvic Partnership and collecting sponsorship money to help fund the charity. We've hung on until the beginning of September to allow as much time as possible for the last deposits of sponsorship money raised to appear on the individual 'Virgin money giving' pages for Paul and Cath. We really appreciate your efforts and thank you so much!

The overall total from both Paul and Cath's individual fundraising was an outstanding £3079.26 including Gift Aid. Really well done, thank you both!

See below for details about how the ride went for Paul and Cath respectively and the total money raised through the tremendous effort of each of our riders.

Paul RideLondonPaul Fishburn

The Pelvic Partnership team was relieved to see that the forecast for Sunday 2nd August this year didn't include the torrential rain that featured so inhospitably for the event in 2014 - Paul was probably even more relieved than the charity that it was a bright and dry day!

Paul said, "Being able to cycle on traffic-free roads through London and out in the countryside was a pleasure, and we had very good weather and a small breeze to help us on the way back in to town." Seeing so many spectators was a reminder that the two days of the cycling festival draw many admirers who voice their enthusiasm and encouragement. Paul remarked that "Lots of people were clapping and cheering us on which I also appreciated."

The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 event starts in Queen Elizabeth Park, follows a challenging route on closed roads into Surrey's beautiful countryside and finishes back on the Mall in Central London. Paul said that "on the day , the course was shortened by 5 miles because of a problem on Leith Hill, but when you add in the 10 miles I had to cycle to get to the start, it means the overall distance was 105 miles and over 1km of climbing, which felt like enough!"

Paul was able to get around the course in the impressive time of 6 hours 47 minutes particularly for those of us who were armchair participants on the day! Understandably, Paul says he is "looking forward to more relaxing weekends now I can lay off the training." Thank you so much, Paul, for raising an impressive £1,492.50 including Gift Aid, which will make such a significant contribution to our plans for raising awareness of pregnancy-related PGP.

Cath Convery (and her friend Debbie Greenfield)Cath Debbie

Cath has done us proud but we also need to mention her friend, Debbie Greenfield who has joined Cath so that they could take part together in multiple events over the course of the year to raise money for five charities and the Pelvic Partnership is very pleased to be one of them. Cath and Debbie have proved to be versatile athletes as they have been participating in both running events as well as cycling challenges to raise money. Cath has kept a diary of these events in a blog; http://fitat50withfatbottomgirls.net/

Cath took part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, cycling for the Pelvic Partnership, this was one of her longer cycling events and certainly one of the most attractive although she didn't have much time to admire the views!

Cath said it was both moving and exciting to be involved in this 100-mile cycle ride. "There were so many cyclists; apparently some 25,000 amateur riders like me were involved in the event this year." At times she explained that we found ourselves bunched together to climb some of the hillier parts but at other times, we were more spread out and the views across the Surrey countryside were stunning."

"It felt like a real privilege to be one of the cyclists involved in this event," said Cath "and the atmosphere was electric as we set off." Cath also commented that it was wonderful to be cycling along roads that are "usually crowded with cars and lorries."

Cath said that it certainly helped to have a lovely sunny day but it was still "a very long way back to the finish but a very satisfying ride up the Mall." Cath made it over the finishing line in 8 hours, 10 minutes and was very pleased to get out of the saddle at the end! Very well done and many thanks, Cath for cycling in the RideLondon event on behalf of the Pelvic Partnership but also for all the events you and Debbie have undertaken and allocated a percentage of the sponsorship money to our charity. Thank you to Cath and Debbie for raising a magnificent total of £1586.76 including Gift Aid for the Pelvic Partnership.

Many thanks, too, to everyone who sponsored our cyclists. Your generosity and the amazing achievement of our cyclists, will help us to go ahead with our key plans for the Pelvic Partnership later this year. Our ambitious objective is to publish articles in GP, midwifery and physiotherapy professional journals to help them recognise PGP, the current best practice for treatment and to raise the bar in the care given to women with pregnancy-related PGP.

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Please note, the Pelvic Partnership consists of volunteers who have had Pelvic Girdle Pain and wish to support other women. We aim to pass on information based on research evidence where available. We are not medical professionals and cannot offer medical advice. The Pelvic Partnership takes no responsibility for any action you do or do not take as a result of reading this information.
 
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