Sacroiliac Joint Pain (cont.)
Catherine Burt Driver, MD
Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What are the sacroiliac (SI) joints?
- What is sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
- What are the causes of sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
- What are sacroiliac joint dysfunction symptoms?
- How is sacroiliac joint dysfunction diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
- What are home remedies for sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
- What is the prognosis of sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
- Is it possible to prevent sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
- Find a local Rheumatologist in your town
What is the treatment for sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
As stated above, injections into the SI joint can provide both diagnosis and treatment. The duration of pain relief from injection can last from one day to much more long term. The injections can be repeated each month up to three each year. Oral anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs, ibuprofen [Motrin], naproxen [Naprosyn]) are often effective in pain relief as well. These can be taken long term if the patient does not have any other medical problems that prevent them from taking these medications. Oral steroids (prednisone) are used as well for short periods of time occasionally to treat the inflammation.
Physical therapy can be very helpful. Pain in the SI joint is often related to either too much motion or not enough motion in the joint. A physical therapist can teach various stretching or stabilizing exercises that can help reduce the pain. A sacroiliac belt is a device that wraps around the hips to help stabilize the SI joints, which can also help the SI joint pain. Other options to stabilize the SI joints include yoga, manual therapy, and Pilates.
If other treatments fail and pain continues to interfere with normal activities, surgery might be an option. Surgery for SI dysfunction typically involves a fusion of the SI joints. In this surgery, the cartilage covering the surfaces of the SI joints is removed and the bones are held together with plates and screws until they grow together (fuse). This eliminates all motion at the SI joints and typically relieves the pain. This should be considered only if other less invasive treatments have not been successful.
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