Our ability to stand upright is possible because of our two sacroiliac joints. These joints also serve as shock absorbers when we move, and without them, distributing weight from our lower backs to our hips and legs would be difficult. These joints are essential for reducing spinal pressure and maintaining stability. When a sacroiliac joint becomes inflamed and painful because of overuse injuries, arthritis, or other other health conditions, your daily routine becomes almost impossible to perform.
Many factors can contribute to inflammation in the sacroiliac joint, but the pain and diminished mobility can hinder our daily lives. Sacroiliac injections (SI) offer relief of this discomfort by injecting a combination of steroids and anesthetics into the troubled joint. These injections serve two primary purposes for those suffering from undiagnosed sacroiliac joint pain: diagnosis and pain control.
You will first undergo a diagnostic SI that contains a local anesthetic, which should numb the joint for several hours. Your doctor will need to use fluoroscopic imaging or CT guidance when doing so to make sure that the injection goes directly into the suspected joint. If your sacroiliac joint immediately starts to feel better, it was likely the source of your discomfort. Your doctor will set up a new appointment to establish regular treatment with SI that is therapeutic and contains needed steroids and pain relief.
In cases where the initial diagnostic SI does not provide significant pain relief, your doctor will further evaluate your condition to determine a diagnosis.
After this procedure, you may feel weak or numb in your legs because of the anesthesia. This is a normal side effect—as is feeling a temporary increase in sacroiliac joint pain after the anesthetic wears off. Injection site tenderness is another temporary side effect that will diminish with the use of an ice pack and time.
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There are several key advantages for SI treatments that patients should consider when deciding whether this procedure is right for them. For many patients, being able to receive a diagnosis of their condition is the first step in taking control of their pain and creating an effective care plan that improves their life. The initial injection helps physicians accomplish this goal while also providing immediate pain relief if the issue is sacroiliac joint dysfunction or arthritis.
These injections are also beneficial to patients suffering from an arthritic flare-up. SI provides quick relief and enables the sufferer to resume much-needed physical therapy to treat their arthritis.
Finally, when the SI delivers the necessary steroids directly into the sacroiliac joint, the inflammation that contributes to ongoing pain and discomfort gets temporary relief that can last up to a few months. Since sacroiliac joint dysfunction does not have any real surgical treatment options, SI is a trusted alternative for many patients.
Like many steroid-based injections, the duration of pain relief depends on your case. Your discomfort should remain reduced for a few weeks to several months, depending on the severity of your condition and other factors that your doctor may diagnose. It’s not uncommon for some patients to receive a course of SI treatments a couple of times a year, but the more frequently you receive them, the shorter their effectiveness will last.
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Sacroiliac joint injections are a popular treatment option for many conditions involving lower back and hip pain. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is the most common, but symptoms of this health condition can overlap with other issues and make it hard to diagnose, including:
It is also possible that sacroiliac joint discomfort is a result of repetitive use stress. Athletes and workers alike can experience this pain after repetitively squatting or standing for long periods. Trauma from a slip and fall injury or a car accident can also lead to this type of painful health issue.
Because there is no cure for sacroiliac joint dysfunction, an injection directly into the troubled joint may provide the relief you need to combat painful inflammation. These are rarely a standalone treatment option and are the most beneficial as part of a multidisciplinary approach. You may also need to participate in physical therapy and other comprehensive care options that will improve your overall condition.
At NJ Spine & Orthopedics, we only entrust state-of-the-art equipment and procedures in our aim to help our patients recover faster and live a pain-free life. Our board-certified surgeons and medical experts are successful leaders in the healthcare industry and believe that everyone deserves access to quality care.
Put an end to spine and hip pain that has limited your routine and opportunities. If traditional treatment methods are not alleviating your sacroiliac joint pain, it may be time to speak with one of our physicians about sacroiliac joint injections for relief. Try our free Treatment Finder tool, fill out a contact form, or call (866) 272-9271 to begin seeking the best solution to your pain.
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Effective pain relief; less scarring— a postage stamp-sized incision (less than an inch in length) is often all that it takes to eliminate your pain.
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