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Sacroiliac joint dysfunction (SI pain) is pain you feel in your lower back and buttocks. The dysfunction arises from any damage to the joint that connects your spine and hip (the sacroiliac joints). These two joints provide support and stability and also work to absorb any impact when you walk or lift objects. The SI joints can be seen below the lower back and waist where the two dimples appear before the buttocks.
Reduce your risk.
Your sacroiliac joints can become painful when the ligaments have become loose or too tight, often caused from incidents such as falls, car accidents, pregnancy or hip surgery.
The joint pain often occurs when the pelvic movements are uneven on each side. This can happen when one of your legs is slightly longer or weaker from issues such as arthritis, knee or hip problems. Autoimmune diseases or even using nonsupportive footwear also can contribute to degeneration of sacroiliac joints.
Pinpoint your pain.
You often feel SI pain beginning in the lower back or buttock area. It may begin to radiate to the hips, groin or higher regions of the thighs. Most of the time, the pain will be on one side of your body. However, the pain can occur on both sides from time to time. You may also experience numbness or “pins and needles” in your leg.
Your symptoms may worsen when you sit in one position or stand still for long periods of time. In many cases, the SI joints can be painful when sleeping on the affected side and can worsen with transitional movements such as sitting to standing, or lying down to standing up.
Get the answers you need.
Your doctor at Kayal Pain & Spine Center will examine you to help ensure that the SI joint is indeed the source of your pain. You will be asked about your medical history, symptoms and the locations of your pain—all helpful information to make a proper diagnosis.
In most cases, your pain specialist will conduct physical testing and you will be asked to move in various positions, indicating where you feel pain. Imaging tests such as X-rays, CT or MRI scans may be conducted to solidify the diagnosis and identify any other spine or hip issues. If necessary, a diagnostic sacroiliac joint injection may be used to confirm the root of the sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
Life’s too short to put up with pain.
In less severe cases of sacroiliac joint dysfunction, your team at Kayal Pain & Spine Center may explore nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy and stretching exercises in conjunction with anti-inflammatory medications, topical creams or bracing.
In more severe cases, your doctor may recommend steroids to alleviate nerve inflammation. Joint injections are only mildly invasive and, if successful in minimizing pain, can be used a few times a year. If injections are successful, your Kayal Pain & Spine specialist may recommend a nerve ablation—using electrical currents to remove the painful nerve fibers carrying signals to the SI joints.
If the nonsurgical treatments do not alleviate your pain, your Kayal Pain & Spine Center doctor may recommend a less invasive SI joint fusion surgery, which takes only about an hour. Regardless of the diagnosis, the experts at Kayal Pain & Spine will work directly with you to determine the best possible treatment to ease pain.