FAQ’s on Sacroiliac Joint Treatment
What is Sacroiliac Joint Pain?
The sacroiliac (SI) joint is the portion of the body which connects the base of the spine, called the sacrum, and the upper part of the pelvis known as the ilium. There are two connections here, one on each side of the spine, with each connection forming a strong movement joint.
These joints help support the upper portion of the body and serve to carry the majority of a patient’s weight. Like other joints of the body, the SI joints are susceptible to cartilage damage from arthritic inflammation.
What are the causes of the Sacroiliac Joint Pain?
There are two major causes of sacroiliac joint pain: sacroilitis and sacroiliac dysfunction. Sacroilitis involves inflammation of the joint and may cause pain in the lower back, buttocks, and thighs. On the other hand, sacroiliac joint dysfunction can cause pain in the lower back and legs. Each of these is thought to be a result of complications with the mobility of the joint, leading to either too much movement within the joint or to too little movement. Degenerative tissue diseases like psoriasis can also be a potential cause of sacroilitis.
One item of note is that unlike other joints of the body, strained ligaments in this joint are unlikely to cause sacroiliac joint pain. This is due to the strength of the ligaments surrounding the sacroiliac joint, which are often stronger than the bone they encompass. In most cases, the pelvis will break before the ligaments holding it together do.
What are the symptoms of the Sacroiliac Joint Pain?
One of the main symptoms of sacroiliac joint pain is a dull ache around the lower back and hips coupled with a partial loss of function. This is a mechanical problem of the sacroiliac joint, as the joint is already has a limited range of movement. Exceeding this range of movement may result in symptomatic joint pain, and can lead to excess wear and tear on the joint, potentially furthering arthritic damage.
The pain around the posterior will usually be moderate, but may become worse when the patient stands from a seated position. In most cases, the pain appears on the left-hand side of the patient’s body. The patient will tend to change postures and body positions in order to avoid discomfort caused by the pain. The patient will experience pain and stiffness at the lower back, which may increase throughout the area after periods of prolonged sitting or prolonged walking.
How is Sacroiliac Joint Pain diagnosed?
No universally accepted standard exists for the diagnosis of lower back pain resulting from sacroiliac joint pain. This is because the joint is irregular in appearance and will vary with each patient. This makes it difficult to properly evaluate the joint using imaging studies like CT scans, X-rays, or MRIs. However, there are innovations being made on the physical examination aspect, which have been used to provide accurate diagnostic results.
Tests include the thigh thrust test, compression test, and what many call the FABER test. This last one involves flexion, abduction, and external rotation on the same side as the suspected diagnosis of sacroiliac joint pain. Other tests like the bone scan have been purported to be among the best diagnostic tools for sacroiliac joint pain, but have been shown by several studies to have limited value.
What are treatments for Sacroiliac Joint Pain?
Treatment options for the sacroiliac joint pain include acetaminophen and NSAIDs among other medications. Treatment options may also include physical therapy, pain management injections, chiropractic treatments and radio-frequency ablation.
At the initial stages of the pain, non-intervention treatments like intermittent medication, PT, or seeing a chiropractor may be effective. Care should be taken to ensure that the patient consumes the medication in the manufacturer’s recommended dosage in order to avoid possible complications.
A radiofrequency ablation may provide six months of pain relief and may be repeated if necessary.
If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic back or buttock area pain, the sacroiliac joint may be the pain generator. A Denver pain management doctor can figure out where your pain is coming from and be able to treat it appropriately. Call Colorado Pain today to get connected with the best pain management Denver has to offer!
Call (720) 306-9575 today.