While you might not think much about your sacroiliac joints, they serve a vital purpose: they support your upper body weight when you stand. You have sacroiliac joints on your right and left sides, and each one connects your pelvis with your lumbar spine. This joint contains the sacrum and the ilium (top part) of your pelvis. If this joint moves too much (or too little), it’s known as sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
Arthritis and pregnancy are two common causes of sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Still, regardless of the cause, it’s crucial to know how to manage your discomfort so you can get some much-needed relief.
Here’s what you need to know about managing sacroiliac joint dysfunction, courtesy of our team of providers
What does sacroiliac joint pain feel like?
Sacroiliac joint pain can cause lower back pain. Typically, the pain is felt just on one side, near the affected joint, but it’s possible to feel discomfort on both sides. Lower back pain can be described as dull and achy, and it can range in severity from mild to severe.
In addition to lower back pain, you might also notice:
- Pain in your hips, buttocks, or groin
- Reduces the range of motion in your lower back
- Sciatica-like sensations
- Pain that worsens during any activity that puts stress on this joint, e.g., jogging, climbing, or lying on one side
- Sensation that your lower back may buckle
Because some of these symptoms, such as sciatica, can be related to other conditions, it’s crucial to receive an accurate diagnosis before trying any sacroiliac joint dysfunction treatments. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is diagnosed with a physical exam and diagnostic images, such as x-rays.
How to manage sacroiliac joint dysfunction
Once our team has determined that sacroiliac joint dysfunction is the source of your discomfort, you may consider:
1. Activity modification
Sometimes the easiest solutions provide the quickest relief. If you find that certain activities exacerbate your symptoms, try modifying your positions. For example, if sitting makes your pain worse, try switching to a standing desk. Alternatively, if sleeping on your back hurts, try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees.
2. Physical therapy
Here at International Spine, Pain & Performance Center, our physical therapy team excels at curating exercise and stretching regimens to reduce joint pain, improve your range of motion, and improve joint stability.
3. Steroid injections
Corticosteroid injections, often referred to as steroid injections, contain a local anesthetic and a steroid. While the anesthetic provides pain relief, the steroid helps reduce inflammation.
4. Regenerative medicine
Depending on your specific needs, our team may also recommend regenerative medicine treatments such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections or stem cell therapy. Studies show that PRP injections reduce joint pain, improve joint stability, and improve quality of life. Participants who received the PRP injections reported a reprieve in back pain for up to four years after the initial treatment.
Say goodbye to sacroiliac joint dysfunction
Joint pain, regardless of which joint is affected, can take a toll on your quality of life, but you don’t have to manage sacroiliac joint dysfunction on your own. As orthopedic specialists, we’re on a mission to help you find relief from joint pain. To explore your treatment options, schedule an appointment in our Arlington, Virginia, or Washington D.C office and say goodbye to joint pain today.