What Conditions Do Sacroiliac Joint Injections Treat?
The SI joint connects the spine to the pelvis. Small movements within the joint support bending motions and allow it to absorb shock due to walking, running, jumping, and other movements. If the nerves inside the joint’s capsule become irritated or inflamed, or if there is tightening or widening of the joint space, severe pain and limit mobility can result.
This irritation can be caused by sacroiliac joint disease or sacroiliac joint dysfunction, which often occurs due to:
- Sports injuries
- Car accidents
- Excessive impact to the buttocks
As a physiatrist, Dr. Maria Cabodevilla-Conn strives to identify the root cause of patients’ pain with specialized physical examination techniques, medical imaging, and more. This is especially important before sacroiliac joint injections. The pain caused by SI joint inflammation typically radiates through the lumbar (lower) back, buttocks, and thighs and is similar to discomfort due to radiculopathy, lumbar disc herniation, and other conditions of the spine. Accordingly, we must eliminate other sources of discomfort to determine that sacroiliac joint injections are an appropriate pain management technique.
How Do Sacroiliac Joint Injections Work?
SI joint injections combine two components: long-lasting steroids and an anesthetic. These medications are injected directly into the capsule of one or both joints, depending on the source of inflammation.
To ensure precise targeting, Dr. Maria Cabodevilla-Conn guides sacroiliac joint injections with a medical imaging technology called fluoroscopy. Patients can be injected with a small amount of contrast dye to help create a real-time X-ray image that displays full coverage of the joint space. This helps ensure highly accurate placement for more effective pain relief. For those with allergies to contrast dye other techniques are applied to ensure the injection is safe and still accurately placed.
What Should I Expect During a Sacroiliac Joint Injection?
Sacroiliac joint injections are performed as an outpatient procedure and take about 30 minutes or less. After a brief period of observation, you can drive yourself home or opt to have a ride if desired. You should avoid strenuous activity for the remainder of the day. Please note that you may not receive a sacroiliac injection if you:
- Are currently experiencing an active infection
- Have a cold or flu
- Have a fever
You may begin to feel less pain immediately, although discomfort can return once the injected anesthesia wears off. Lasting pain relief due to the steroids will begin in about three to five days and may last for several weeks, months, or even years.
If you feel any discomfort at the injection site, apply ice several times a day as needed. Avoid soaking in a bath or immersing yourself in a hot tub or pool of water for the first 48 hours.
Schedule a Consultation for Sacroiliac Joint Injections
If you’re living with SI joint pain, sacroiliac joint injections may provide the relief you deserve. To learn more about these injections and other back pain management treatments for patients in Newark, NJ, and the surrounding communities, contact Prospect Spine and Pain (PSP) today. We’ll help you schedule a consultation, identify the source of your pain, and create a personalized treatment plan to restore normal function as soon as possible.