What is a Sacroiliac Joint Injection?
A sacroiliac joint injection, also referred to as a sacroiliac joint block, is an injection of a steroid medication and local anesthetic that is administered into the sacroiliac joint. This type of injection is used to both diagnose the source of pain and to provide therapeutic relief from pain symptoms. It is mainly used in the diagnosis and treatment of low back pain and sciatica symptoms related to sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
There are two sacroiliac joints in the body, one on the right and one on the left, located between the sacrum and the ilium of the pelvis. These joints connect the sacrum to the hip on both sides. The sacroiliac joints are strong and play a pivotal role in transferring weight and forces between your upper body and legs. These synovial joints help with shock absorption and prevent impact forces from harming the spine.
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SI Joint Pain)
Clinical literature has indicated that up to 25% of all low back pain is related to the sacroiliac joint. While the cause of sacroiliac joint dysfunction is not completely clear, it is believed that an alteration in the joint’s normal motion can lead to sacroiliac pain. Too much movement as well as too little movement can cause SI joint pain to develop.
The pain symptoms experienced with sacroiliac joint dysfunction can range from a dull ache to a sharp, stabbing pain. Common symptoms include:
- Low back pain
- Hip Pain
- Groin pain
- Sciatic leg pain
- Buttocks pain
- Frequent urination
- Transient numbness
Symptoms often worsen with physical activity or prolonged positions. For instance, sitting, standing or lying down for too long in the same position can exacerbate symptoms.
How is a Sacroiliac Joint Injection Performed?
Prior to your procedure, the injection site will be cleansed with an antiseptic and the skin is numbed using a local anesthetic. Using advanced imaging technology, your doctor will guide the needle into the sacroiliac joint. Once it is confirmed that the needle has been properly placed, the steroid medication (combined with a numbing agent) will be injected into the joint. The needle is then removed and the injection site cleansed and bandaged.
Many patients experience immediate pain relief due to the numbing effect of the local anesthetic. Once the numbing medication wears off, your pain may return. The steroid medication can take up to 2 – 3 days to take effect and provide sustained pain relief. The results of a sacroiliac joint injection can last anywhere from days to months depending on the individual patient. Additional injections may be repeated to provide the patient with a greater degree of long-term pain relief.
Learn More about Sacroiliac Joint Injections in Austin
If you are experiencing symptoms of SI joint dysfunction, please contact our Austin pain doctors today to schedule an appointment. Our practice offers a range of treatment options for pain relief including medications, physical therapy, steroid injections and more. Many of our patients benefit from a combination of these therapies, providing a comprehensive approach to managing pain.
Give us a call today at (512) 981-7246 to request an appointment and find out if you are a candidate for sacroiliac joint injections in Austin.