Sacroiliac joint injections typically serve one of two purposes:
- To confirm that sacroiliac joint dysfunction is the underlying cause of your lower back and/or leg pain.
- To treat sacroiliac joint pain and inflammation with long-lasting medications injected into your joint.
Our video walk-through can help you visualize the entire process of a sacroiliac joint injection.
Your sacroiliac joints are located at the bottom of your spine—below your lumbar spine (lower back) and above your tailbone. You have two sacroiliac joints (pictured in purple), located on either side of your spine.
There is debate over how sacroiliac joints cause lower back and/or leg pain. But most experts agree that the pain is provoked by either too much or too little movement in one of the sacroiliac joints.
To begin the sacroiliac joint injection procedure, you will be asked to lie on your stomach.
Then, the area around your joint is numbed by an injection of a local anesthetic (the numbed area is depicted in pink).
Using fluoroscopy dye and X-rays to assist the guidance of the injection, your physician will next insert a needle into your sacroiliac joint.
The needle delivers a local anesthetic, such as lidocaine or bupivacaine, directly into your sacroiliac joint. The injection may also include an anti-inflammatory medication, such as a corticosteroid.
The injection can confirm that your sacroiliac joint is the source of your back and/or leg pain if the local anesthetic provides immediate relief.
Additionally, the anti-inflammatory steroid may relieve the pain in your sacroiliac joint for several weeks. This can provide the necessary relief to allow you to pursue long-term solutions like physical therapy.