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Sacroiliac Pain Treatments

The sacroiliac joint is located where the spine meets the pelvis and, when irritated, is one of the major causes of low back pain. It is a weight-bearing joint that supports the mass of the upper body, and sends signals to and from the highly innervated muscle groups and ligaments of the pelvis, hips, and lower extremities. When there is inflammation to the sacroiliac joint, the nerves become irritated, causing patients to experience intense low back pain.


Utah Sacroiliac Joint Treatment


There are a number of procedures that will greatly improve the lifestyle of a patient suffering from pain origination in the sacroiliac joint. A patient will want to discuss all possible options with their physician before a treatment plan is decided on.


  • Sacroiliac Joint Steroid Injections- This procedure tends to take less than 15 minutes and works by introducing both a long-lasting steroid and a local anesthetic into the joint space of the sacroiliac joint, both numbing and reducing inflammation in the irritated nerves.


  • SIJ Traumeel Injections- An SIJ Traumeel Injection is very similar to Sacroiliac Joint Steroid Injection, but uses Traumeel, a homeopathic anti-inflammatory medication for those who don't want steroid medication used.

  • Medial and Lateral Branch Blocks- Both the medial branch and the lateral branch innervate the sacroiliac nerve. Therefore, blocking these nerves can be both therapeutic and diagnostic. If pain is reduced after injections, the patient will likely be a candidate for a radio frequency procedure.


  • Radio Frequency Ablation- The medial branch and the lateral branches both innervate the sacroiliac joint. Their nerve ending can be destroyed by Radio Frequency Ablation. Because the nerves grow back, patients tend to find relief ranging from 3 months to several years.


  • Spinal Cord Stimulation- The physician will place a small electrode into the epidural space in the spine. An electric current will be directed through the electrode, and if pain relief is attained, a permanent, battery operated system can be placed under the skin.


  • Chiropractic Manipulation- If the sacroiliac joint is believed to be out of alignment, a chiropractor can often manipulate the joint back into place.


  • TENS unit- TENS, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, delivers electric current over the skin in the most painful areas. When the current is applied, the pain is no longer perceived as it was before, but is replaced with a "tingly" or "buzzing" sensation. TENS therapy may also cause the brain to release endorphins, the body's natural pain reliever.


  • Physical Therapy- Physical therapy is an important step to recovery in any pain patient. By strengthening the muscles around nerves and joints, the body can often repair itself without the aid of surgical or other procedures.


  • Acupuncture- With roots as an alternative treatment that started some 2000 years ago in China, acupuncture is quickly gaining popularity and acceptance in Western Medicine for the treatment of several ailments.


Risks and Benefits of Common Sacroiliac Pain Treatments


Although it isn't uncommon for low back pain to go into remission for several months at a time, it is certainly beneficial to take care of the problem when it is bothering you, because the pain will likely come back if the underlying problem is not dealt with. In patients dealing with chronic sacroiliac joint pain, injections are often preferred to more conventional treatments. There are very few complications with any of the above mentioned treatments, but as with any procedure, there are potential risks to consider. Although rare, possible side-effects or complications can include weight gain, arthritis, stomach ulcers, elevated blood sugars, and transient decrease in the immune system.

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