If you suffer from chronic lower back pain, you may have heard of SI joint injections as a possible solution. These injections are an increasingly common treatment for patients dealing with pain in the sacroiliac (SI) joints, which are located at the junction of the spine and pelvis.
The SI joint is responsible for allowing movement and stability in the lower back and hips. When it becomes inflamed or damaged due to injury or wear and tear, it can cause significant discomfort and limit mobility. Injections can be used to help relieve this pain by delivering medication directly to the affected area. Read on to learn more about SI joint injections, including how they work, what you can expect during treatment, and potential risks or complications.
How do SI joint injections work?
SI joint injections are among the most popular hip pain remedies in use today. A combination of a local anesthetic (such as lidocaine) and a steroid medication (usually cortisone) is injected into the affected joint. The anesthetic helps provide immediate pain relief, while the steroid reduces inflammation in the area over time. This injection will typically reduce inflammation around your lower back nerves by decreasing their stimulation levels, severely reducing symptoms such as numbness that cause your muscles to not function correctly.
What should I expect during treatment?
Before undergoing an SI joint injection procedure, your doctor will first perform diagnostic tests like X-rays or MRI scans. These allow them to determine if there is a clear issue with your SI joints that could be causing your pain. Once you’ve been diagnosed with SI joint dysfunction or damage, you’ll typically receive one to three injections spaced several weeks apart as needed. This delay helps gauge its effectiveness since variations may exist among individual patients’ systems after each incoming dose is administered.
During each injection procedure, a numbing cream is applied around the target areas to minimize any discomfort and improve accuracy. This also minimizes the chances of bleeding and ensures effectiveness during conduct. After the injection, you should rest for a bit and take it easy for a few days to allow the medication time to work effectively. Over time, most patients report significant or complete relief of their lower back pain, along with improved mobility.
What are the potential risks or complications?
While SI joint injections are generally safe and well-tolerated by patients, there is some risk of side effects. The most common side effect is soreness or bruising at the injection site, which should subside after a few days.
In rare instances, when needle placement within joints is incorrect or when inadequate sterilization measures are taken prior to administration, nerve damage or infections can occur. These situations may lead to debilitating injuries, including paralysis caused by herniated discs compressing the spinal cord canal. This can result in loss of sensation extending to the affected areas, including the distal extremities and adjacent structures. Such scenarios necessitate a thorough assessment of suitability and qualification levels to ensure eligibility for the prescribed care regimen. Close monitoring of progress milestones is imperative throughout the lengthy recovery process before desired improvements can be fully realized on a long-term basis.
These occurrences are relatively infrequent, as certified medical experts meticulously oversee every step of the procedure, utilizing requisite resources and adhering to established regulations guiding their practice. However, it is always crucial to engage in discussions with your doctor before undergoing an SI joint injection. They can offer precise details about potential risks and outline measures they will implement to mitigate these risks during treatment.
SI joint injections offer a viable avenue for addressing chronic lower back pain stemming from SI joint dysfunction or damage. By directly delivering medication to the affected site, these injections swiftly curtail inflammation and provide relief more promptly than oral medications like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. While it’s important to acknowledge that no medical intervention ensures an all-encompassing cure, being mindful of adhering to proper care methods is essential. By being enlightened about potential outcomes associated with this specific therapeutic choice, individuals are better equipped to make informed, objective, and rational decisions concerning SI joint injections.