A Frequent Source of Lower Back and Leg Pain
One of the most common causes of low back pain occurs with injuries to the sacroiliac (SI) joint and ligaments.
Young and middle-aged women are most susceptible to this condition, which can make sitting and standing a difficult and painful task.
If you are experiencing the seemingly unbearable symptoms of SI joint dysfunction, National Spine & Pain Centers has over forty board-certified pain management doctors who specialize in helping you find relief through accurate diagnosis and treating your SI joint pain with advanced non-surgical techniques.
What’s SI Joint Dysfunction?
First, it’s key to understand that the SI joint connects the pelvic bone (ileum) to the lowest part of the spine (sacrum). There are two SI joints. Each is located on either side of the sacrum. SI joints are small and very strong, providing structural support and stability. They function as shock absorbers for the pelvis and the low back, dispersing the forces of the upper body. Whenever an SI joint is irritated or injured, the resultant joint dysfunction may cause pain in the lower back and legs.
Why SI Joint Dysfunction Occurs
SI joints become painful because of alterations in the normal motion of the joints. Consider the following:
- Two types of changes from normal motion can cause problems
- Those changes are either too much movement (hyper-mobility) or too little movement (hypo-mobility)
- Abnormal motion from work/sports can directly injure the joints via stretching/straining the primary SI ligaments
- Any of these changes in joint mobility may lead to pain, as well as spasm in the supporting back and pelvic muscles
- SI joint dysfunction may also result from direct trauma, such as injuries associated with a motor vehicle accident
- Or an injury from something as simple as a fall on the buttocks or a missed step when descending stairs
Symptoms of SI Joint Dysfunction
The most common symptom is pain in the low back that is aggravated by sitting, standing, and bending at the waist. When SI joint dysfunction is severe, there can be referred pain into the hip, groin, and leg.
Have a Pain Management Physician Conduct a Thorough Diagnosis
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is difficult to diagnose. This is because the pain patterns associated with SI joint dysfunction are frequently mistaken for nerve irritation in the low back, muscle sprain, or hip bursitis. At National Spine & Pain Centers, our board-certified pain specialists understand the intricacies of SI joint mechanics and mobility. Our doctors reach an accurate clinical diagnosis with a comprehensive, individualized approach that begins with a complete medical history, analysis of the injury, and a musculoskeletal examination of the spine and pelvis.
Radiographic studies also assist in this process. They may include x-ray, MRI, CT scan, and bone scan. These tests, while not necessarily detecting SI joint dysfunction, are extremely important in eliminating other causes of back pain. To ensure accuracy, a non-surgical procedure may be used. Under fluoroscopic (x-ray) guidance, the SI joints and/or ligaments are stimulated and anesthetized to achieve final confirmation of the diagnosis.
No Surgery Needed…How Our Advanced Therapies Can Resolve Your SI Joint Pain
The very painful symptoms of SI Joint Dysfunction can be successfully relieved without surgery. Here’s a glimpse at our treatment approach, from simple to advanced techniques, if you decide to have one of our pain management specialists treat the pain in your SI joint:
- Simple measures like heat/cold applications, anti-inflammatory medications, rehabilitation, and SI joint support
- Injections of anti-inflammatory medication and local anesthetic in the SI joint, ligaments, and surrounding muscle
- Radiofrequency neurotomy applies thermal energy to desensitize the nerve supply to the SI joint
- Advanced regenerative treatments such as prolotherapy & platelet rich plasma therapy offer long-term relief
- All of these procedures are safely performed in a sterile, medical office setting
- Lasting pain relief without surgery, no general anesthesia, hospital stays or prolonged recovery periods
- Over 250,000+ patients have been helped by our innovative & comprehensive approach to pain management