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Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction - Can you get better?

SlancastvaSSlancastva Posts: 43
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Lower Back Pain
Can you decrease the pain and what methods from Sacroiliac Joint Dysfuntion?



  • I've been dealing with extreme SI joint dysfunction for a few years now, so hopefully what I can share about the treatments I've tried might help give you some direction. The good news is most SI dysfunction responds to conservative treatment:

    1) Physical Therapy: A good manual physical therapist can mobilize the sacrum back into alignment, and then teach you some good strengthening exercises to overcome any hypermobility in the joint. I think PT is probably the most effective in terms of conservative treatments to try for SI dysfunction because strengthening the joint so it doesn't move as much should decrease the pain.

    2) SI compression belt: Another great tool usually prescribed by a physical therapist. If you have difficulty maintaining the alignment of the SI joint then the belt will help hold it while your muscles strengthen. Eventually you are then able to wean off the belt and your muscles take over.

    3) TENS unit: not a fix, but it can definitely provide pain relief. For me, I get significant relief by placing the pads directly on my SI joint.

    4) Chiropractics: Chiropractors can "crack" the SI joints on both sides. I don't think I'd recommend this for hypermobility of the joint, but many people do get relief with it.

    5) Injections: Physiatrists routinely inject SI joints under either fluoroscopic or ultrasound. Make sure if you pursue this that some sort of imaging is used because studies have shown that "blind" injections rarely, if ever get into the actual joint capsule. The injections usually contain a numbing agent and cortisone, and are diagnostic if the numbing agent relieves your pain and the cortisone often provides longer term relief.

    6) Pain meds

    7) Surgery: As a last resort, the SI joint can be fused surgically. Again, most surgeons require 18-24 months of conservative treatment before even considering this surgery. From what I understand, it's usually significant trauma that creates SI dysfunction severe and non-responsive enough to warrant this.

    So, overall you have a lot of different treatment options, and chances are you will get good pain relief. I'd recommend being evaluated by a spinal orthopedist or a physiatrist, and they should be able to decide what treatment is most appropriate for your specific situation.
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