Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: September 30, 2019
One of the many treatment options that we offer at our clinic is the ability to administer diagnostic and therapeutic injections for back pain management. One such injection is the sacroiliac joint injection. As the name implies, the injection is inserted into your sacroiliac joints, which are located near where your lower spine and pelvis connect. When inflammation develops in this area, localized and shooting pain can occur.
One of the difficulties in treating SI joint inflammation is that the condition typically responds well to conservative care options like exercise, physical therapy and weight management, but those methods can be difficult to pursue if pain is making each movement difficult. That’s where SI joint injections can come in handy. Here’s a closer look at how these joint injections can help in the diagnostic and treatment process.
Diagnostic and Treatment SI Joint Injections
As we’ve mentioned on the blog in the past, the spine is an extremely complex system, meaning it’s not always easy to pinpoint the root cause of pain. Your doctor can get a good idea that your SI joint is to blame with a physical exam and imaging tests, but they may not be 100 percent certain until they perform an SI joint injection. Sometimes these injections are performed as a stand-alone test, while other times they are combined with treatment medication. Here’s a closer look at each.
- Diagnostic SI Joint Injections – As the name implies, this injection into the SI joint is to help the doctor pinpoint the precise location of pain. Your spine specialist will use x-ray guidance to inject a local anesthetic into the SI joint space. Once the anesthetic has been inserted, the doctor will ask the patient to perform some simple movement exercises that previously caused discomfort. If the patient experiences a good deal of relief from the local anesthetic, it’s likely that the SI joint is the root source of pain. With this knowledge, the doctor may be able to prescribe a conservative care routine to help clear up the inflammation.
- Treatment SI Joint Injections – These follow a similar process to the diagnostic injections, but with a twist. With this injection, the physician already knows that the SI joint is the source of the problem. Along with the local anesthetic, the treatment version of the injection also includes a corticosteroid to work as an anti-inflammatory agent. This anti-inflammatory medication helps to provide longer relief. It is by no means a long term solution in and of itself, but this injection can make certain physical activities more bearable. Patients who are having difficulty performing their conservative care routines because of pain may be able to better progress through their rehabilitation program with the assistance of a treatment SI joint injection that provides weeks or months of pain relief. Again, the injection itself should not be viewed as a stand-alone long term treatment, but it can make it easier to participate in more active treatment techniques.
So if you have been bothered by sacroiliac joint pain, or you just want to get to the bottom of your spinal discomfort, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi to see if a diagnostic or treatment SI joint injection may be right for you.