Sacroiliac Joint Injections (SI) are often prescribed for back pain. The purpose of SI joint injections is usually diagnostic, so they allow your doctor to uncover the cause of your back pain, but they will not provide long-term pain relief.
By injecting an anesthetic medicine into the SI joint, the joints, ligaments, and nearby joints are temporarily numb. After injecting the SI joint, your pain may disappear for several hours, indicating that the SI joint is extremely painful. When your doctor determines what structure causes your pain, you can discuss treatment options with him or her.
At the base of the spine, below the lumbar spine is the sacrum. A triangular bone forms at the sacrum when several vertebrae fuse during development. The reason for the name “sacroiliac” joint is due to what happens at the SI joint. Illium (also called the sacrum) is situated between the sacrum and the iliac bone. On both sides of the lower back near the joints, you can see a couple of small dimples at the beltline.
In the lower back, the SI is one of the largest joints in the body. In the same way that two gears fit together, so does this joint. Both surfaces have waves. This joint is almost entirely fixed in position. It is possible to move either sliding, tilting, or rotating. It will probably move a few millimeters as it slides, and it can rotate or tilt to a few degrees.
The SI joint is surrounded by a number of large, strong ligaments. In the back of the joint, an extremely strong ligament exists outside of the pelvis. Almost like the holes in a barrel, these ligaments hold the pelvis together. This can lead to pelvic instability when the ligaments are torn during the healing process. This can be caused by ligament injuries or fractures of the pelvis. It is rare for these ligaments to be completely torn in an injury to the SI joint.
After your injection has been successful, an IV will be placed in the procedure area. Our medical professionals can administer medication to you via an IV during the procedure. Since you will be given the medicine by injection, it is for your safety as you will be able to respond efficiently if you experience an allergic reaction. If you experience anxiety or pain during the procedure, you will be given medication through an IV.
SI joint injections are done under fluoroscopic guidance. When our doctors operate, fluoroscopes provide them with an x-ray image of the operation site. The doctors can do this by looking at the needle placement as the needle is inserted. This technique greatly increases the safety and accuracy of injecting you. As soon as the needle reaches the target site, radiographic dye is injected into it. Cortisone and anesthetic medications are indicated by liquid dye on the x-ray image. There are areas where treatments are most likely to be effective. When a doctor confirms the correct position, anesthetic, and cortisone are injected and the needle is removed.
Spondylolisthesis can be treated through multiple methods, including medications, surgical procedures, and exercise. It is important that you first stop or avoid any activities that cause you pain prior to attempting any treatment. The first step in treating SI joint dysfunction is rest, along with medications and physical therapy.
Many medications are available to treat sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Pain or inflammation may initially be treated with over-the-counter medication prescribed by your physician. Some of these medications include:
There are both oral and injectable medications available to treat SI joint inflammation. Despite being powerful anti-inflammatory agents, they offer months of relief from inflammation. Corticosteroids may not be appropriate for you if you have certain health problems, such as weight gain or osteoporosis. Therefore, you should consult your doctor before taking them.
The pressure on your SI joints that comes with standing or sitting can over time deteriorate your joints. You can strengthen this part of your body through exercise and reduce the stress on your joints. With specific movements, such as range-of-motion and stretching exercises, you can strengthen your SI joints as well as your abdominal and back muscles. Keeping your joints flexible is a key part of aging, and physical therapy might be able to help.
In order to reduce SI joint pain, radiofrequency ablation and electrical stimulation are used (by temporarily interrupting the nerves and blocking the transmission of pain signals) and reducing pain expression.
You wear this belt or brace around your hips to maintain the posture of your SI joints, which soothes pain.
A number of gentle exercises and stretches can help you manage your SI joint dysfunction on your own. By exercising your back, you can improve the health of your spine and reduce pain.
You should also rest adequately. Sleeping enough (4 to 7 hours per night) will help you recover more quickly. Aside from that, you can reduce your SI joint discomfort by sitting and lying down instead of standing all day.
You can also minimize swelling and pain by alternately applying ice and heat.
Most people have no trouble with the combination of these treatments and do fine with the process. You may need to consider surgery if none of these options work for you.
There are a few surgical options available to reduce the pain of the SI joint, although surgery is rarely used to solve this issue.
The stabilization or fusion of the SI joint is an example of surgery to treat SI joint dysfunction. Occasionally, the SI joints will need to be fused, even if other treatments don’t work.