Sacroiliac Joint Pain

WHAT IS THE SACROILIAC JOINT?

The sacroiliac joint, also commonly referred to as the SL joint, is present in the lower back. The human body has two of them, with one sitting on the right and the other on the left of your spine. They play a pivotal role in carrying the weight of your upper body when you walk or stand and transfer that load between the spine and legs.

HOW DOES THE PAIN FEEL?

People with sacroiliac joint pain could experience tingling, dull or sharp pain. It originates in the SL joint, but can move to your upper back, buttocks, groin or thighs. Standing up may trigger the pain, and most of the times, it can only be felt on one side of your lower back. You may also notice that the pain causes more discomfort in the morning, and improves during the day.

HOW IS SACROILIAC JOINT PAIN CAUSED?

A number of different factors can cause SL joint pain. In most cases, the pain in caused by frequent participation in sports or activities that bend or twist the spine from side to side. Infection or arthritis of the joint can also lead to the problem. Sudden trauma or stress fractures are some other common causes. SL joint pain may also be experienced during pregnancy with no underlying condition or injury; in these cases, the pain usually stops after giving birth.                 `

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF SACROILIAC JOINT PAIN?

Besides back pain, patients with sacroiliac joint pain may also experience discomfort in their pelvis and buttocks, stiffness of the lower spine as well as pain that radiates from the hips all the way through to your legs and feet. You may also face difficulties in lying on one side or sitting down and low back pain while climbing stairs.

HOW CAN SACROILIAC JOINT PAIN BE TREATED?

Most patients suffering from SL joint pain can get relief from:

  • Sacroiliac injections, which typically include numbing medicine and cortisone (a steroid). These injections are usually combined with chiropractic treatment, pain medication, and a TENS unit for the best results. Since there are no great surgical options available, these injections serve to be the most effective treatment option for sacroiliac joint pain.
  • Physical Therapy may help.
  • SI Joint radiofrequency ablation is a newer treatment that can “deaden” the sensory nerves and provide longer lasting pain relief.