If you are looking for SI joint pain relief, you’ve come to the right place today. If you are experiencing SI joint pain today, which is caused by a condition called Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction, you are likely very uncomfortable, to say the least, especially when sitting or standing for long periods and when bending.
The condition occurs from either hypomobility (too little) or hypermobility (too much) movement in the area where the sacrum and iliac bones join. Osteoarthritis, leg length imbalance, cartilage deterioration, pregnancy and injury are among the common contributing factors. Since the joint connects the spine and the pelvis, it doesn’t move much during usual activities.
While treatments are fairly straight-forward, diagnosing SI Joint Dysfunction is more difficult since it resembles a number of other back disorders such as facet syndrome, sciatica and herniated discs. As a result, it is important to be examined by a back care specialist.
Besides the examination which focuses on isolation of the joint to get a pain response, the specialist may request x-rays and an MRI which will not diagnose SI Joint Dysfunction but rather rule out other causes for the pain. The “best” test, however, seems to be a sacroiliac joint injection which includes an anesthetic and usually a steroid. If this relieves your pain, it is concluded that you have Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction.
SI Joint Dysfunction Treatment Options
Rest: This is one of the rare instances where rest and limited activity is recommended beyond the first few days of the incident. In fact, weeks of rest with a gradual return to normal activities may be necessary.
Medication: Acetaminophen (for pain), ibuprofen or NSAIDS (to reduce swelling which in turn relieves pain).
Cold and Heat Therapy: Ice initially, of course, and then heat or a combined method after the acute phase has passed.
Chiropractic Care or Osteopathic Manipulation: In the case of hypomobility where the joint is fixated, certain adjustments may be helpful in regaining flexibility and reducing pain.
Physical Therapy: During the rehabilitation phase, a physical therapist may be able to best assist with gradually re-strengthening the muscles around the joint. Tip: try a practice that offers aquatic therapy especially if you are in significant pain.
Sacroiliac Joint Injections: The same injection that is used to test for the condition, as mentioned above, can be used as a treatment as well. Of course, seek assistance from an experienced practitioner only.
SI Joint Belt: If the condition is a result of hypermobility, a brace or SI Joint Belt may help reduce pain by keeping the area stabilized.
Exercises: Knee to chest stretches, lumbar rotation and press-ups (described below) are typically recommended for SI Joint Dysfunction.
Knee To Chest (10 x each leg) – Lay on your back with both knees bent. Lift one knee at a time towards your chest, pull and release a couple of inches gently three times then return to the starting position.
Lumbar Rotation (30 seconds) – Again lie on your back with both knees bent and simply rock your knees from side to side while keeping the lower spine still.
Press-Up (5 seconds x 10 repetitions) – Lie on your stomach then raise your upper body only by keeping your palms flat on the floor/bed.
Radiofrequency Ablation: A pain specialist can render the nerves connected to the SI joint numb (temporarily but this procedure can be repeated every couple of years) by “burning” them with a radiofrequency probe. Please note, however, this treatment is sometimes unsuccessful.
Sacroiliac Joint Fusion Surgery: Only considered for extreme cases that do not respond over time to conservative treatments.
I hope you are not afflicted with Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction, but if so I hope many of these options will help you get some relief. This condition has been suspected for me a couple of times but the MRIs revealed herniated discs (instead or as well) so I never quite got to the “test” injection. Please share your experience if you have or drop in any other comments.
Take care out there,
Image Credit: Copyright hfsimaging / 123RF Stock Photo