It’s estimated that as much as 30% of all lower back pain cases are caused by a problem within the sacroiliac (SI) joint, the small joint that connects your spine to your pelvis. At Kanuru Interventional Spine & Pain Institute in Highland, Valparaiso, and Demotte, Indiana, Dr. Ramesh Kanuru uses SI joint injections to both detect previously undiagnosed SI joint dysfunction and provide long-term pain relief. If you have chronic lower back pain, sciatic nerve pain, or a known SI joint disorder, call or schedule an appointment online today.
Your sacroiliac joint is a firm joint that connects your pelvic bone to your sacrum or the small triangular bone that sits between your lumbar spine and your tailbone. It mainly acts as a shock absorber between your upper body, your hips, and your legs.
While the joint itself moves very little, it helps transfer motion, load, and pressure through your body when you bend forward or backward. Your SI joint is surrounded and reinforced by strong ligaments that provide additional support and help limit movement within the joint itself.
There are two main causes of sacroiliac joint dysfunction, both of which can lead to ongoing inflammation and chronic pain:
Too much movement within the normally restricted SI joint can cause your pelvis to become less stable. SI joint hypermobility typically causes pain in the lower back and/or hip, which may also radiate into the groin.
Too little movement within the SI joint, known as joint fixation, can cause muscle tension, reduced mobility, and pain. SI joint hypomobility usually causes pain on one side of the lower back or buttocks, which may radiate down the back of a leg, much like sciatic nerve pain.
SI joint problems can be difficult to diagnose for a variety of reasons. Because of its location, the joint itself is not easily palpated or manipulated. SI joint dysfunction also shares many of its most typical symptoms with other common problems, including spinal disc herniation and sciatica.
Even when there is a verifiable problem within the SI joint, standard imagining tests like X-rays, MRIs, and CAT scans often appear normal.
If you’re experiencing symptoms that could be related to SI joint dysfunction, Dr. Kanuru can offer a definitive diagnosis after going over your medical history, checking your SI joint for tenderness, and performing a diagnostic SI joint injection.
A diagnostic SI joint injection involves the injection of a numbing medication directly into your SI joint, using X-ray guidance to ensure accuracy. If the injection offers significant pain relief, it’s likely that your SI joint is the source of your pain problem.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with SI joint dysfunction, Dr. Kanuru develops a well-rounded treatment plan that addresses the underlying cause of your pain while providing immediate relief, usually in the form of a therapeutic SI joint injection.
A therapeutic SI joint injection is done in much the same way as a diagnostic SI joint injection, but instead of bathing the area with a temporary anesthetic, it uses a powerful anti-inflammatory medication, or corticosteroid, to reduce inflammation within the joint for immediate and long-lasting pain relief.
To learn more about the benefits of SI joint injections, call Kanuru Interventional Spine & Pain Institute today or use the convenient online tool to schedule an appointment any time.