SI joint irritation or dysfunction is a painful condition resulting in buttock pain or radiation into the legs.
Although symptoms can be mild or infrequent, many patients experience chronic, intense pain that interferes with daily activities and degrades their quality of life. Often patients describe pain with walking, prolonged sitting, or during transitional movements such as rolling over in bed.
Do you suffer from sacroiliac joint pain? A sport medicine/spine specialist can offer a range of treatment options that can help relieve your symptoms and restore your mobility.
Initial Treatments for SI Joint Pain
The first line of treatment for dysfunction in the sacroiliac joint is usually rest, along with ice to reduce inflammation or heat to improve tissue mobility. Pain medications, including acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen or ibuprofen, are often recommended to lessen symptoms. An SI joint belt may provide improved stability and pain relief.
Your orthopedic surgeon may also suggest physical therapy to address any underlying neuromuscular dysfunction or lumbopelvic stability. Low-impact aerobics also may help with milder pain, as the exercise stimulates healing. If your pain is severe, water therapy may be advised, as this method of exercise reduces stress on the joints.
Other Conservative Treatment Options
If over-the-counter medications fail to provide relief, your physician may recommend steroid injections into the sacroiliac joint. An anesthetic along with a corticosteroid can be injected to reduce inflammation and help alleviate symptoms. A rehabilitation specialist such as Dr. Engelen can provide x-ray guided injections to increase the chances of getting the medication in the right spot.
Some patients also may benefit from an injection of platelet-rich plasma, a regenerative medicine technique that uses the body’s own healing mechanisms to relieve pain.
To stabilize the joint area and provide support, a sacroiliac brace may be prescribed. This orthotic belt wraps tightly around the hips to prevent the joints from moving excessively, thereby reducing pain. As an osteopathic physician, Dr. Engelen may also recommend manual manipulation or adjustment of the spine and joints to provide relief.
Surgery for SI Joint Pain
Most people respond well to a combination of conservative treatments. If, however, you have exhausted all of the conservative measures and are still suffering from severe pain after several months, surgery may be an option.
Surgery for sacroiliac joint pain and dysfunction reduces movement by fusing one or both of the joints in place, using implants or spinal hardware.
At Steward Centers of Orthopedic & Sports Medicine of West Jordan, Utah, the experienced sports medicine and orthopedic surgeons use state-of-the-art medical technology for treatment and pain relief. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your orthopedic injuries or joint pain.