Conditions We Treat

Sacroiliac Joint Pain

The sacroiliac (SI) joint connects the sacrum and iliac bones. The sacrum is a triangular section of bone located beneath the lumbar spine. A thin plate of cartilage covers the surfaces where the iliac bone and the sacrum meet. A fibrous joint capsule surrounds the space between the two bones, filled with clear, viscous synovial fluid.

male doctors hand pointing at the sacroiliac joint

What is Sacroiliac Joint Pain?

The sacroiliac joint is a substantial weight-bearing joint. As we walk, sit, run, and move during the day, the weight of our bodies and upper extremities is transferred down the spine. This single joint joins the hips to the spine and bears the entire weight of the upper body and limbs. This joint has a limited range of motion to preserve stability.

With this much pressure and little mobility, the joint may begin to fuse with age. Furthermore, some persons develop sacroiliac joint arthritis due to wear and tear or as an inflammatory response. SI pain is commonly described as lower back and buttock pain. Usually, the pain does not radiate below the knee, but it can on rare occasions.

Sitting may become progressively painful, but movement can also cause pain, which might grow over time. Sacroiliac joint pain can be hard to identify because it could be due to a fresh injury or strain in the lower back. As the SI joint pain worsens, it can spread to other joints.

What Causes Sacroiliac Joint Pain?

Bursitis, or pain on the side of the legs or in the hip joint, is a common cause of sacroiliac joint pain. When a person experiences pain in one portion of their body, they may begin to change their movement to relieve the pain.

This minor adjustment is frequently the source of bursitis, irritation, and inflammation in the joint connective tissue.

This pain can be excruciating and radiate from the front or back of the hips and legs. In these circumstances, you will treat both bursitis and sacroiliac joint pain.

The following are some more typical reasons or risk factors for sacroiliac joint pain:

  • Trauma (e.g., falls, accidents, or acute injury)
  • Repetitive stress or strain
  • Pregnancy
  • Scoliosis
  • Discrepancy in leg length
  • Gait and biomedical abnormalities

How is SI Joint Pain Diagnosed?

A medical evaluation will help determine whether your discomfort is due to the SI joint. A medical history and physical exam are part of the evaluation. Your doctor will look into all the information you gave him, including any history of injury, the location of your pain, and any issues standing or sleeping.

Particular tests can be helpful to identify whether the SI joint is the source of the pain. Your doctor may ask you to stand or move in various postures while pointing to areas of pain. Your doctor may do joint manipulation or feel for pain in your SI joint.

Imaging procedures, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs, may be conducted to aid in the diagnosis and to rule out other spine and hip issues. To determine the source of the pain, your doctor will use a diagnostic SI joint injection. He will administer local anesthetic and corticosteroid drugs into the SI joint. To guarantee proper needle placement in the SI joint, the doctor will give the injection utilizing X-ray fluoroscopy. He will assess your pain level before and 20-30 minutes after the injection and track it for the next week.

Treatment Options for SI Joint Pain

Treatment for sacroiliac joint discomfort typically begins with more conservative approaches. Here are some non-invasive therapy alternatives for you to consider.

1. Rest:

Usually given for a brief time during the acute phases of an injury

2. Medication:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) sold over the counter can help reduce inflammation and ease acute pain.

3. Physical Therapy/Exercises:

In the case of mechanical difficulties, physical therapy and exercises can help restore range of motion and improve strength in the muscles of your joints.

4. Chiropractic Treatment:

A properly aligned spine can relieve strain on a stressed SI joint.

5. Injections Into The Sacroiliac Joint:

If the non-invasive therapy alternatives listed above fail, your doctor may suggest joint injections. Among the present interventional treatments, steroid injections into the sacroiliac joint have given patients pain-relieving benefits that outperformed placebo in randomized controlled studies. These findings were also confirmed when the patients were evaluated one month later.

These injections are a non-invasive technique that can be performed as an outpatient. You can also get them along with physical therapy to manage acute pain while you work on resolving any underlying causes of your pain.

A physician inserts a small needle into the targeted location using just a local anesthetic and fluoroscopic equipment (or X-ray) as a guide. Contrast dye tests for adequate needle positioning before injecting steroids and optimal solution dispersion throughout the area. Then, the physician gives the steroids. Steroids are given in places where there is the most inflammation. It minimizes the amount of time the patient is exposed to the steroids.

For patients who do not improve with nonsurgical treatment, minimally invasive procedures such as sacroiliac joint arthrodesis are beneficial. The SiLO allograft system for sacroiliac joint fusion was created to decrease sacroiliac pain and stabilize the SI joint by immobilizing and fusing iliac and sacral parts in a brief, minimally invasive surgery.

Improving Patients’ Quality of Life Through Personalized Care

If you’re struggling with neck, back, or hip pain or any other spine related issues, schedule an appointment with us today to get back to living your life the way you’d like to.

Common Conditions We Treat