What Is The Treatment For Sacroiliac Joint Pain

May 05, 2022
What Is The Treatment For Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Sacroiliac Joint Pain, otherwise known as SI Joint Pain, most commonly presents as lower back pain or leg pain; in fact, it’s estimated that the SI Joint is responsible for 15-30% of lower back pain cases today.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain, otherwise known as SI Joint Pain, most commonly presents as lower back pain or leg pain; in fact, it’s estimated that the SI Joint is responsible for 15-30% of lower back pain cases today.

When you stand up and feel lower back pain – the SI Joint could be responsible! Don’t worry though – SI Joint Pain, when diagnosed correctly, has many treatment options ranging from at-home stretches to surgical solutions depending on the severity of the pain or joint dysfunction.

Get answers to your most commonly asked SI Joint questions and find SI joint pain treatment suggestions below.

Note – if you suspect you have SI joint pain or SI joint dysfunction, visit your doctor for a diagnosis. The below information should not be taken as medical advice and is merely intended as a guide to understand SI joint dysfunction treatment options available.

What is Sacroiliac Joint Pain?

What Is The Treatment For Sacroiliac Joint Pain

The SI Joint is responsible for protecting the lower body, primarily the pelvis and legs, and the upper body, primarily your torso, by dispersing weight between the legs and torso during movements as you shift your weight. The SI joint connects the hips to the sacrum, which rests right above your tailbone and right under your lower back.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain occurs when the joint is experiencing too much movement, resulting in instability, or too little movement, resulting in stiffness.

Too much movement within the SI Joint feels unstable and can lead to hypermobility, causing pain in the lower back, hip, or groin area.

Too little movement within the SI Joint will cause stiffness and muscle tension, leading to pain on one side of the back, buttocks, or down the legs (this may feel similar to sciatica pain, so it is important to consult with your doctor to identify the correct cause of your discomfort). SI joint pain caused by too little movement may also restrict mobility.

Some of the symptoms of SI joint pain are one-side pain, pain around the hips, low back, pelvis, leg, and groin, worsening pain when switching positions to sitting or standing, increased pain walking or climbing stairs, and increased pain when lying down.

Potential Causes of SI Joint Pain

What Is The Treatment For Sacroiliac Joint Pain

SI Joint Pain commonly sets on gradually, without a specific cause or injury noted as the culprit. This can often make it hard to identify for some patients until they visit a doctor and schedule a physical exam. In some cases, however, the SI Joint Pain is directly related to a trauma or injury, including a fall or impact during contact sports.

Other causes of SI Joint Pain include differing leg lengths, scoliosis, pregnancy, recent childbirth (weight gain, hormonal changes leading to hypermobility, etc.), lower back surgery (fusions and multi-level surgeries), hip joint replacements, labor-intensive jobs, contact sports, and heavy lifting.

Visiting your doctor and consulting on the pain can help identify which activities or injuries may have led to the SI joint pain, to further reduce the impact and help with treatment moving forward.

Treatment Options for SI Joint Pain

The approach for treating sacroiliac joint pain ranges from rest, stretching, medications, and injections, to surgery. The right treatment for SI joint pain ranges from person to person depending on the cause and the severity of the injury. Here are some of the SI joint pain treatment options you should expect:

  • Rest: Sometimes all the SI joint needs is rest. A couple of days' hiatus from rigorous activity can assist with the pain, but do not rest for much longer – this would then cause stiffness, canceling out the rest period or worsening the problem.
  • Ice and Heat: SI joint pain is a type of inflammation, so treating it with a rotation of ice and hot packs can help reduce the inflammation and muscle spasms to decrease the pain.
  • Movements and Exercises: Gentle exercises can help strengthen and mobilize the SI joint, reducing the pain. These can include lower back stretches, hip stretches, and gentle cardio movements that decrease stiffness and increase mobility.
  • Medications: Over-the-counter pain medications or anti-inflammatory medications can assist with SI joint pain. In cases of extreme pain, prescribed pain killers or muscle relaxants may be taken during worsening episodes.
  • Readjustments or Manipulations: When SI joint pain is caused by stiffness, a chiropractor, osteopathic doctor, or another qualified doctor can assist with manual manipulation to increase mobility, alleviating the joint pain.
  • Brace Support: Pain due to hypermobility in the SI joint can be managed and alleviated in some cases with a pelvic brace wrapped tightly around the waist to add support to the lower torso – it resembles a belt and in some instances, the brace can also help alleviate the pain due to SI joint inflammation.
  • Injections: Joint injections are sometimes recommended as a form of SI joint pain treatment. These injections are a local anesthetic combined with an anti-inflammatory. Injections as a form of SI joint pain treatment are most often recommended at the start of physical therapy treatment and should only be received several times a year.
  • Stimulation: Sometimes, stimulation of the area is needed to alleviate the SI joint pain. This can be radiofrequency ablation or electrical stimulation. Radiofrequency disables or deadens the nerve ends causing the pain while electrical stimulation targets the muscles and nerves.
  • Surgery: In rare or extreme cases, surgery is recommended as SI joint pain treatment. The surgery fuses together the ilium and the sacrum, eliminating the movement of the sacroiliac joint altogether. Joint fusion is the last recommended form of SI joint pain treatment and is often only considered after months of working through other treatment options.

Picking the Right SI Joint Pain Treatment

What Is The Treatment For Sacroiliac Joint Pain

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan for SI joint pain. Effective pain relief is found in a trial-and-approach of a combination of various SI joint pain treatments. Rest, over-the-counter medications, and progressing through exercises, injections, and stimulations.

As you work through various SI joint pain treatment attempts, keep a record of the pain you’ve felt, where it was localized, what relief attempts you tried, how long the pain subsided (if at all), if the pain worsened, and what brought the pain back, if anything.

Working together with a qualified doctor for sacroiliac joint pain will help you hone your approach, reduce the risk of making the condition worse, and will allow a proper diagnosis to be made.

Are You Suffering from SI Joint Pain? Contact Us Today

What Is The Treatment For Sacroiliac Joint Pain

At Pain Management Associates, we help assist with all forms of pain, especially back pain caused by SI joint dysfunction. We work through consultation and diagnosis and recommend treatment options based on your condition and cause.

Learn more about the treatments and procedures we offer or get in contact with us today to set up an appointment.

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