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What is a Sacroiliac Joint Injection?

Low back pain can have many origins, which is why determining the exact cause and proper treatment can be complicated. For example, there is a very specific treatment that provides pain relief for those experiencing inflammation in the sacroiliac joints (or SI joint).

These joints are located at the base of the spine or tailbone and connect to the pelvis with very strong ligaments. There are two sacroiliac joints, one on the right and one on the left. The joints serve as a shock absorber and experience wear and tear as we age.


Sacroiliitis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Options

Where Do You Feel SIJ Pain?

Pain from this inflammation can be felt from the lower back through the hips, buttocks, groin, and legs. Sacroiliac joint pain can be felt on one or both sides of the body. Low back pain on one side is an early indication that the SI joint may be the culprit. Pain can be felt in the lower back and pelvis and radiate down the back of the leg, often resembling a well known condition, sciatica.

SI joint pain makes it difficult to function in everyday life. It will cause difficulty when standing, walking, or changing positions, like sitting to standing. Pain may be especially bad when climbing stairs or walking up an incline. It can be disruptive to sleep when you feel pain from lying on the affected side for too long.

The challenging part of diagnosing SI joint inflammation is that pain in these areas is common and may often be caused by any number of other issues. So how can you know if you are dealing with SI joint dysfunction or, for example, a muscle pull? Dr. Manvar may first treat your discomfort with medications or refer you to physical therapy.

How Will a Sacroiliac Joint Injection Provide Relief?

Because sacroiliac joint dysfunction or arthritis in the sacroiliac joint does not respond to traditional pain treatments, a pain management specialist may utilize a treatment called a sacroiliac joint injection.

The injections have two purposes. First, they can properly diagnose the condition, and secondly, they can treat it. The injection itself is a mix of steroid medication and local aesthetic medication. The injection helps reduce swelling and inflammation in the joint, which reduces pain. Typically, joint injection is performed along with fluoroscopy (x-ray) image to view and guide the needle through the joints. This is all performed quickly in the office as an outpatient procedure.

This will reduce inflammation and provide pain relief for several months. The entire procedure lasts about 5-10 minutes. There is minimally recovery time and for most patients, there will be pain relief after two to three injections.

SI joint injections are not a permanent cure for joint pain, but they can provide long-lasting relief. Injections are a non-surgical treatment option for lower back pain.

If you are experiencing this type of pain, make an appointment with Dr. Manvar to get back to an active life!

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