29 Oct Sacroiliac Joint Injection
Your pain management doctor may recommend a sacroiliac (SI) joint injection. In some pain clinics this is called a sacroiliac joint block. Regardless of which name is used, this procedure has two purposes: it can be used to diagnose a problem or it can be used to treat low back pain as well as sciatica symptoms that are often associated with sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
Your sacroiliac joints are right next to your spine. They connect your sacrum to your hips, on the right and left sides. When inflammation occurs in this area, pain is often the result. The level of pain can vary from person to person, with some people experiencing severe, sharp pain.
For Diagnostic Purposes:
When the SI joint injection is used as a diagnostic tool, it confirms or rules out sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The procedure involves numbing the sacroiliac joint using a local anesthetic. This injection is done using fluoroscopy to ensure target accuracy. After the needle enters the SI joint, a contrast dye is injected into the joint and a numbing medication follows.
Once the medication is placed into the joint, the patient does a few movements that othewise would cause pain. If there is a significant reduction of pain, a diagnosis of SI joint dysfunction can be given. Your pain management doctor may do a second injection to confirm. Once a diagnosis is made, your pain doctor can formulate a treatment plan for your particular problem.
For Pain Relief Treatment:
As part of your pain management plan, a SI joint injection may be called for as a way to reduce pain that is associated with certain types of sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The process is the same as described above except an anti-inflammatory agent such as corticosteroid is also included. This medication can reduce pain because it reduces inflammation within the affected joint.
For those who have success with a therapeutic sacroiliac joint injection, physical therapy may be started to help reduce even more pain. Injections may be repeated three times a year, if needed. Also, a part of the patient’s pain management program may include certain types of rehabilitation. The combination of injections, physical therapy, and rehab will often bring about the best results for most people.
As is true with all types of chronic pain, the sooner you see a professional at a pain clinic, the sooner your recovery can begin. You should keep in mind that many types of pain will not go away on their own, but will, instead, only become worse (and harder to treat) as time goes by.
If you are experiencing pain in your back or hips, consider seeing a pain management specialist. There are treatments available today that can help you live a fuller life, with less pain.