Relieving lower Back Pain with Sacroiliac Joint Injections


January 16, 2024

Lower back pain can be debilitating and significantly impact a person’s quality of life. It can limit their ability to perform daily activities, disrupt sleep, and cause emotional distress. Sacroiliac joint injections have emerged as an effective treatment option for relieving lower back pain. This article will explore what sacroiliac joint injections are, how they work to alleviate pain, the benefits and risks associated with this treatment, who is a suitable candidate, what to expect during the procedure, the recovery process, and whether a sacroiliac joint injection is the right choice for you.

What are Sacroiliac Joint Injections?

Sacroiliac joint injections involve the administration of medication directly into the sacroiliac joint, which is located at the base of the spine where the sacrum and ilium bones meet. This joint plays a crucial role in transferring the weight of the upper body to the lower body during activities such as walking and standing. When the sacroiliac joint becomes inflamed or damaged, it can result in lower back pain. Sacroiliac joint injections aim to reduce pain and inflammation by delivering a combination of a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid directly into the affected joint.

How do They Relieve Lower Back Pain?

Sacroiliac joint injections work by numbing the affected area and reducing inflammation. The local anesthetic provides immediate pain relief, while the corticosteroid helps to alleviate inflammation and promote long-term pain reduction. By targeting the source of the pain directly, sacroiliac joint injections can provide significant relief to individuals suffering from chronic lower back pain. The procedure is performed under fluoroscopic guidance to ensure accurate needle placement and maximize the effectiveness of the injection.

Benefits and Risks of Injections

Sacroiliac joint injections offer several benefits for individuals struggling with lower back pain. The primary advantage is quick and targeted pain relief. Unlike oral medications, which may take time to provide relief, sacroiliac joint injections deliver medication directly to the affected area, offering immediate pain reduction. Additionally, these injections can provide long-term pain relief by reducing inflammation and allowing the joint to heal.

As with any medical procedure, sacroiliac joint injections carry some risks. The most common risks include infection, bleeding, allergic reactions to the medication, and nerve damage. However, these risks are minimal when a skilled healthcare professional performs the procedure in a sterile environment. Patients need to discuss the potential risks and benefits with their healthcare provider before deciding to undergo sacroiliac joint injections.

Who is a Candidate for Sacroiliac Joint Injections?

Individuals who experience chronic lower back pain that has not responded to conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medications, or rest may be suitable candidates for sacroiliac joint injections. A thorough evaluation by a healthcare provider will determine if the pain is originating from the sacroiliac joint. Diagnostic tests, such as imaging studies and diagnostic injections, may be performed to confirm the diagnosis. If the sacroiliac joint is identified as the source of the pain, the healthcare provider may recommend sacroiliac joint injections as a treatment option.

What to Expect During a Procedure & Recovery

Before the procedure, the patient will be asked to fast for a few hours to minimize the risk of complications. They will then be positioned on an X-ray table, and the skin around the injection site will be sterilized. Local anesthesia will be administered to numb the area, ensuring a comfortable experience. Under fluoroscopic guidance, a thin needle will be inserted into the sacroiliac joint, and a contrast dye may be injected to confirm accurate needle placement. Once confirmed, the medication mixture of a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid will be slowly injected into the joint. The entire procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes.

After the procedure, patients are typically monitored for a short time to ensure there are no immediate complications. Some individuals may experience temporary numbness or weakness in the leg on the side of the injection, but this usually subsides within a few hours. It is common for patients to experience pain relief immediately after the injection, although some individuals may require several days for the full effect to take place. Patients are usually advised to rest for the remainder of the day and may resume normal activities the next day. Follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor the progress and determine if additional injections are necessary.

Is a Sacroiliac Joint Injection Right for You?

If you have been struggling with chronic lower back pain that has not responded to conservative treatments, a sacroiliac joint injection may be a suitable option for you. It is essential to consult with a healthcare provider who specializes in pain management to determine if this treatment is appropriate for your specific condition. They will evaluate your medical history, perform necessary diagnostic tests, and discuss the potential risks and benefits of sacroiliac joint injections. With their expertise and guidance, you can make an informed decision and take the necessary steps towards relieving your lower back pain.

In conclusion, sacroiliac joint injections have proven to be an effective treatment option for individuals suffering from lower back pain. By directly targeting the source of the pain and reducing inflammation, these injections can provide significant and long-term relief. While there are risks associated with the procedure, they are minimal when performed by a qualified healthcare professional. If you are experiencing chronic lower back pain, consult with a pain management specialist to determine if sacroiliac joint injections are the right choice for you. Take control of your pain and regain your quality of life. Fill out the form below to get started. 

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