You’ve had nagging lower back pain that sometimes moves to your hips, buttocks, or groin. Now you learn the cause is sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
At Apollo Pain Management in Sun City Center, Florida, we treat many cases of SI joint dysfunction successfully. We can use a number of conservative treatments in tandem to relieve your pain. If those don’t work for you, radiofrequency ablation, a minimally invasive treatment, may work. If you do need surgery, SI joint fusion is the gold standard.
Following is a brief summary of the range of effective treatments for SI joint dysfunction.
If you’ve continued your normal activities instead of giving them a pause, we recommend a brief respite of one to two days from your regular routine. You don’t want to become sedentary as a habit, though, because stiffness can set in quickly.
Apply ice or heat as we direct you. Ice calms inflammation and reduces pain. Heat helps if you’re having muscle spasms or your muscles are knotted up.
You’re already likely taking over-the-counter pain medication. We can prescribe a stronger dosage. A prescription for a muscle relaxant or an opioid may solve your problem. However, we use these drugs as stop-gap measures to ease intense pain; they’re not good solutions for the long term.
SI joint dysfunction can result from too much movement of the joint or too little movement. If it’s the latter problem, you’re diagnosed with hypomobility. Our board-certified expert pain management specialist uses manual manipulation to loosen the muscles around the joint, relieving the stiffness and pain and enabling you to resume your normal activities.
If your joint is too loose, you have hypermobility in it. We prescribe a pelvic brace that you wrap around your waist to keep the joint in place.
If you’re in severe pain when you come in, we may recommend a sacroiliac joint injection. The injection contains an anesthetic along with a steroid to lower your levels of inflammation and pain.
When your severe pain subsides, we prescribe stretches and exercises. These special moves should become a part of your daily life for the rest of your life. Your pain may be relieved by stretching specific muscles: the piriformis, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings.
We also instruct you on how to do specific strengthening exercises so that your lower back is better supported. When you do these every day, you may find that your problem is resolved.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure that destroys the integrity of the nerves that send pain signals from your spinal cord to your brain. Your pain management physician, guided by ultrasound, inserts a thin probe with radiofrequency energy into the area of your pain. We numb the treatment site and can provide sedation to help you relax. If this treatment works for you, you may get relief for up to a year.
If no other treatments work for you, we advise SI joint fusion. We fuse the ilium and sacrum bones together. The procedure may involve a bone graft to trigger bone growth and encourage the two bones to knit together. We use minimally invasive techniques that lessen recovery time.
You may need to wear a pelvic brace while you’re healing. The recovery period is usually two to four weeks, but the joint doesn’t completely fuse for three to six months.
Call Apollo Pain Management today if you have debilitating lower back pain. We coordinate with your referring physician to schedule your appointment.