Located between the base of the spine and the pelvis, the sacroiliac (SI) joint is essential for connecting the two. A large number of people experience SI joint pain due to the tremendous amount of stress the joints undergo from daily movements. Fortunately, there is a large variety of effective treatment options. Having a better understanding of this condition can lead to an improved quality of life.
Causes of SI Joint Pain
The SI joint is responsible for transferring energy between the upper and lower body to enable movement. The two main causes of SI joint pain include natural aging and strenuous activities. High-stress activities put excess strain on the joint causing pain and dysfunction that requires rest to heal.
The SI joint is also subjected to degradation that affects other joints and soft tissue throughout the body. The amount of water content the body can retain decreases with age, making the connective tissue and protective cartilage brittle and stiff. This causes deterioration and friction between the bones creating inflammation.
Basic SI Pain Relief
The initial approach to treating SI joint pain is to consider conservative options, such as:
Alternating hot/cold compression
Activity modification such as a change in lifting habits
These are designed to relieve symptoms and improve function as the condition is monitored.
SI joint pain symptoms include:
Sharp pain in the pelvis and hips
Shooting pains in hips and legs
Tingling and numbness
Stiffness/popping sensation in lower back and pelvis
A thorough examination is important for any of these symptoms as SI joint pain is often misdiagnosed as a lumbar (lower) spine condition due to the overlapping symptoms. Specialized tests may be needed in order to confirm SI joint pain.
Advanced Conservative Therapy
If your joint pain is more severe and/or persists for more than a few weeks, physical therapy and SI joint injections should be considered. Physical therapy can help strengthen key supporting muscles and increase range of motion while joint injection can decrease inflammation and relieve pain allowing patients to engage in normal activities. A joint injection is often used in conjunction with physical therapy.
Surgery can be considered a viable option if conservative treatment is ineffective. SI joint fusion is an example of surgery that helps stabilize the region and reduce painful/dysfunctional movement. Minimally invasive techniques allow for this surgery to be performed on an outpatient basis.
Get In Touch with The Experts at BEST Health System
If you’re suffering from SI joint pain and are seeking lasting relief, contact the team at BEST Health System today. Our caring team of multidisciplinary experts will work closely with you to create a personalized SI joint pain relief plan that fits your needs and lifestyle. From SI joint injections and physical therapy to outpatient minimally invasive surgery, we want to help you on your journey toward relief.
If you have experienced any of these symptoms or recieved a diagnosis and need treatment, BEST can help. Take the first step towards relief today.