How to Find Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Pain Relief
Oh my aching back! How many times have you said this out loud or thought about it? It might have been pain from your sacroiliac joint in your lower back. If so, keep reading to discover how to find sacroiliac (SI) joint pain relief.
What Commonly Causes Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Pain?
We have one sacroiliac joint on each side of our body, and it’s where your ilium and sacrum bones join together. The sacrum is the wide flat bone between your tailbone and lumbar spine, and the ilium is often called the hip bone. This joint rarely moves.
A sudden injury or repetitive stress can cause the SI joint to become inflamed and painful.
It can develop from:
- An infection
- Sitting for extended periods
Conservative Treatments for SI Joint Pain
Once pain management specialist Marcie Merson, MD has made a diagnosis, the treatments are usually very conservative at first and then, if needed, gradually increase one at a time or tried concurrently.
At the first sign of SI pain, try not to twist your body. After resting for several days, the pain should subside, just be careful not to overdo the rest time or the joint may become stiff. Try walking.
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can help right after an acute injury. They can be combined with ice to reduce pain.
Dr. Merson may prescribe muscle relaxers if needed.
Ice and Heat
Both help to reduce inflammation and pain. Use ice for several days right after the pain begins, but don’t begin using heat until later.
Ask Dr. Merson to refer you for some physical therapy. This can begin as early as a couple of days after the pain begins. PT will help you strengthen weak muscles putting stress on the SI joint. It will also help you treat any underlying issues that cause the injury.
A physical therapist may also perform manipulations to relieve tight muscles in the lower back and make your joint more mobile.
Minimally Invasive Treatments
Most patients are pain free after the above treatments, but for those who find no relief, injections may be the next course of action. The injections will contain a mixture of corticosteroids with anesthesia to both reduce inflammation and pain. You can only be injected a few times a year. This treatment has a 90% success rate.
When None of the Above Works
Most patients are relieved of pain when these treatments are applied.
For the few who do not find relief, there are two other options:
- Radiofrequency ablation which uses radio waves to destroy the pain signals from the joint to the brain.
- Spine fusion surgery is the last resort.
There is no single way to manage SI joint pain that will work for everyone. A combination of non-surgical treatments is usually necessary for effective pain relief.
Contact Palm Beach Pain Institute at (561) 499-7020 if you are having lower back pain in the Delray Beach area to schedule a consultation with pain management specialist Marcie Merson, MD. You can also request an appointment through our secure online form. Dr. Merson has extensive experience diagnosing and treating sacroiliac joint pain, and she may be able to help you, too.