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Avoiding Surgery for Low Back Pain with Sacroiliac Joint Injections

At Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation, we provide a number of minimally invasive procedures designed to reduce pain and make more accurate diagnoses. In some cases, Sacroiliac Joint Injections may be used as part of an overall rehabilitation strategy for low back pain in our Red Bank, NJ office—in addition to physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, and/or acupuncture for pain relief. Our goal is to ensure that patients can rehabilitate without surgery (a traumatic, damaging, and yet common response to lower back pain) or the long-term use of oral painkillers.

The Sacroiliac Joints connect the lower spine and pelvis and are held together with ligaments. When these ligaments are injured or negatively affected in any way, pain in the lower back, buttocks and legs may result. In some cases, this pain may be exacerbated by standing for too long or by climbing stairs. In cases of extreme pain, Sacroiliac Joint dysfunction may respond well to injections of an anesthetic or anti-inflammatory medication (such as a corticosteroid).

There are a number of common causes of Sacroiliac Joint dysfunction. Auto accidents and other traumas can cause damage to the Sacroiliac Joints. Osteoarthritis is yet another reason some patients have pain in the lower back. Pregnancy may create a situation in which the Sacroiliac Joints are altered in order to prepare for childbirth, or may damage the joints through additional and distorted weight distribution. Additionally, when the legs are not of equal length, the Sacroiliac Joints (as well as the spinal discs and facet joints) can be affected.

Signs of disorder in the Sacroiliac Joint include:

• Pain—which may be aching or sharp—experienced on either side of the lower back;

• Lower back stiffness in the morning or after sitting for a prolonged period of time;

• Pain that makes turning over in bed difficult. Patients may also struggle to put on shoes or socks, or to twist the legs (such as when getting out of a car); and

• Symptoms similar to sciatica, including referred pain in the lower extremities.

Because this response is symptomatically comparable to other sources of lower back pain, it’s important that a proper diagnosis is made to ensure that a Sacroiliac Joint is, in fact, the genesis of pain. Fortunately, Sacroiliac Joint Injections are used for both diagnosis and treatment of pain generating from the Sacroiliac Joints.