Sacroiliac Joint Pain Treatment in Phoenix
Sacroiliac joint pain (SI joint pain) stems from the sacroiliac joint, which resides in the lower back. There are two in number, and they are located on each side of the very low spine. The job of these two joints is to carry the weight of your upper body when you stand, walk, or even shift weight to your legs. One way you may feel the sacroiliac joint pain is when you rise up from a sitting position and feel pain in the lower back. It’s sometimes only aggravating, and at times it can be unbearable.
In a recent study, 746 sacroiliac joint computed tomography (CT) scans were done to evaluate the prevalence of SI joint arthritis and syndrome. Of the patients, 161 were male and 192 were female. The mean age was 57.7 years. The prevalence of sacroiliac joint degeneration in at least one SI joint was 65%, and the overall prevalence of substantial arthritis was 31%.
SI Joint Pain is the reason for 25% of back pain and should be included as a potential during the workup for why back pain is occurring.
There are a few causes of pain concerning sacroiliac joints. It sometimes starts out once inflamed. Several reasons why it can become inflamed are:
- Falling, getting hurt, or repetitive motion.
- Jogging or running
- Uneven strides or a leg being a bit longer than the other.
- Damaged joints
- Ankylosing spondylitis affects the spine, and it can damage the SI joint.
- Cartilage wears over time.
- Hormonal release causes joints to loosen up and move more, which leads to changes in the way the joints move.
Starting at the SI joint, you may experience a sharp or even dull pain, which can move to the upper back, groin, buttocks, and thighs. The pain may be triggered by standing up, and many times, you may feel it on one side of the lower back only. The symptoms seem to bother most people more in the morning, and they improve throughout the day. This condition is quite common. Up to 30% of people who experience this type of pain have problems with the SI joint.
Your doctor will require your medical history, clinical examination results, and imaging studies. The doctor will also do a physical exam, in order to access the condition of sacroiliac joint. He/she will also check the spine and hip area. The doctor will look for any pain that may exhibit any or all of the following symptoms during a physical examination:
- Pain from procedures such as moving of the hip (Faber test).
- Pain in the lower back.
- Tenderness of the posterior pelvic sacroiliac region.
- Joint asymmetry as seen on MRI and CT scan.
Confirmation is provided by CT or fluoroscopic-guided injection, when the SI joint is suspected as the source of the patient’s low back pain. A diagnostic “litmus test” is the injection, and it is used to assess if the SI joint is the source of the patient’s low back pain. When lidocaine is injected into the joint, symptoms temporarily resolve, confirming SI joint dysfunction.
There are many choices for treatment for sacroiliac joint pain. Nonoperative treatments are the best option and may include:
Physical Therapy – this includes stretching or strengthening and possibly modalities such as ultrasound and electrical stimulation.
SI Joint Injections – These include possibly cortisone along with some numbing medicine. This can help for weeks to months at a time, and can be repeated as necessary. The procedure is outpatient and performed under image guidance by the Board Certified Phoenix pain management specialist.
SI Joint Radiofrequency Ablation – this is a newer procedure that involves heating the nerves that provide sensation to the sacroiliac joint. These are not motor nerves, only sensory ones called lateral branches. Pain relief has been shown to last on average six months and the procedure may be repeated as needed.
Pain and Spine Clinics in Phoenix offers exceptional treatment not only for back pain but also for sacroiliac joint pain. The Board Certified Phoenix pain specialist, Dr. Ramin Abbasian, treats each patient with customized care and compassion. Most insurance is accepted at the pain management clinic in Phoenix, call today!