Sacroiliac (SI) joint pain, though very rarely helped by surgery, can be successfully treated by the sacroiliac joint pain therapy administered by the skilled doctors at Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine. As a matter of fact, our doctors are all physiatrists, physicians who specialize in pain management and rehabilitation.
You may think that the word “sacroiliac” sounds old-fashioned; this is because until early in the 1900s many other types of back and buttock pain, such as disc herniations, were misdiagnosed as problems with the sacroiliac joint. SI joint pain actually occurs where the lower spine and pelvis connect. Now that diagnostic methods are much more refined, spine specialists realize that SI pain accounts for only 10 to 15 percent of back pain cases.
At Long Island Spine, we concentrate on correctly diagnosing the source of your pain so that we can treat it effectively. Once we confirm that you have sacroiliitis (inflammation of one or both SI joints, we will determine which type of sacroiliac joint pain therapy is most likely to be successful in your case — spinal injection procedures, pain medication, SI joint pain physical therapy, or acupuncture. In most cases, two or more SI joint pain therapies will be combined to enhance results and provide more rapid relief.
Causes of Sacroiliac Joint Pain
There are many reasons you may be experiencing SI joint pain. No matter what the cause, the pain can be severe and debilitating. SI joint pain may result from:
- Traumatic injury due to an accident or assault
- Osteoarthritis resulting from the wear and tear of normal aging
- Arthritic conditions known as spondyloarthropathies
- Pregnancy, during which the joint stretches to give the fetus room and for childbirth
- Weight gain, which alters the gait and puts stress on the SI joints
In rare cases, disease conditions or infection may be the causes of SI joint pain.
Symptoms of SI Joint Pain
Because of the location of the SI joints, symptoms may include:
- Pain in the low back
- Pain in one or both hips
- Pain in the buttocks
- Pain down one or both legs
- Pain in the groin
Often SI joint pain increases with prolonged standing, putting more weight on one leg than the other, running, taking long strides, or stair climbing.
Diagnosis of SI Joint Pain
Since many types of back pain have been notoriously misdiagnosed as stemming from the sacroiliac joint, at Long Island Spine we are very careful to differentiate sources of pain in the back, hip, and leg. In addition to taking comprehensive medical histories, performing extensive physical exams, and checking diagnostic imaging results, we use sacroiliac injection procedures for diagnostic as well as therapeutic purposes.
Diagnostic injections are administered under fluoroscopic guidance. During the sacroiliac injection procedure, an anesthetic is injected directly into the SI joint presumed to be affected. By monitoring the patient’s pain level after the injection, our doctors are able to assess whether they have pinpointed the precise origin of the pain. Using the same principle, our highly skilled physiatrists may be able to find the origin of your pain during your physical examination, by pressing on, or mildly stressing, the place pain is suspected to emanate from.
On occasions when we are looking to rule out conditions like disc herniation or ankylosing spondylitis, we may also use an MRI scan, a nerve conduction study, or electromyography (EMG) for diagnostic purposes.
SI Joint Pain Treatment
Among the successful SI joint pain treatments offered by Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine are:
As noted, therapeutic injections may be effectively used to address the pain, inflammation or degeneration of the SI joint that is causing sacroiliac distress. Such sacroiliac injection procedures may be epidurals that anesthetize the affected area or injections of corticosteroid to reduce inflammation in the area. One shot may also include both medications. Whatever substance is injected as a form of SI joint pain treatment, such injections must be administered under fluoroscopic guidance to ensure accuracy.
Depending on the severity of your pain, as well as its diagnosed cause, our doctors may recommend over-the-counter analgesics or prescribe stronger drugs, such as muscle relaxants, to reduce the muscle spasms often associated with sacroiliitis.
Sacroiliac Joint Pain Physical Therapy
At Long Island Spine, our therapists are certified by the McKenzie Institute and have in-depth knowledge of therapeutic techniques as well as extensive hands-on experience. We maintain ongoing contact with them to ensure progress and patient satisfaction.
Sacroiliac joint pain therapy may include applications of ice and heat, ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, pelvic traction, and stretching exercises. Our physical therapists will also educate you in stretching and range-of-motion exercises that may help you strengthen your muscles for stability and restore your joint flexibility for easier movement.
Don’t Suffer Debilitating Sacroiliac Joint Pain — Call Long Island Spine Today
If you are in pain due to sacroiliac or other joint pain, contact one of our five convenient offices now. Remember, our practice is committed to relieving your pain and giving you increased function and mobility. The sooner you contact us, the sooner you can begin feeling more comfortable and more energetic.