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Pain Treatments

Sacroiliac Joint Injection

Sacroiliac Joint Injection

A sacroiliac joint injection is performed for pain and/or discomfort that involves particular joint. Typically, a sacroiliac joint injection is performed to help determine if the pain is emanating from this structure and to provide lasting pain relief.

The source of joint pain can vary from person to person; however, the most common cause is inflammation, which is a natural response produced by your immune system. The sacroiliac joint is the connecting point between the spine and the pelvis. There is normally very little movement that occurs in this joint; however, the joint surface is similar to that of the hip, knee, and shoulder. When there is damage to the joint surface, pain may be present. Often times the source of dysfunction is biomechanical in nature – meaning the way the body moves can affect the joint.

The doctor will numb your lower back with medication near the tail bone, which is just to the side of the buttocks cleft. Then, guided by an x-ray, he will:

  • Insert a thin needle into your sacroiliac joint
  • Inject dye to confirm that medication is administered into the correct space
  • Inject a mixture of anesthetic (for temporary pain relief) and steroid (for longer term relief)

The medicines then spread in the joint space, thereby hopefully reducing nerve inflammation and pain. Usually, the procedure takes less than 15 minutes and you can go home the same day.

Some patients report pain relief within the first few hours after the injection, but pain may return later that day as the local anesthetic wears off. Longer-term relief usually begins in 48-72 hours, once the steroid begins to work or 6-8 weeks if platelet rich plasma is used.

How long the pain relief lasts varies person to person. For some, the relief lasts several months or longer. If the treatment works for you, you can have periodic injections to stay pain-free.

Do not do any rigorous activity for the first day after your sacroiliac joint injection. Take it easy. You can return to your normal activities the next day. Do not drive the day of the injection if you have had any form of anesthesia.

You can continue your regular diet and medications immediately.

Your response after this initial injection will be a major deciding factor in determining whether repeat injections are to be performed.

Not sure what treatment options are best for you?  Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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