SI Joint Injection As A Treatment Option
Beyond their use in diagnosing SI Joint Dysfunction, SI joint injections may be a conservative treatment option for some patients.
In combination with physical and medication therapy, your physician may also prescribe a course of SI joint injections administered for the purpose of pain relief. In this regard, it is considered a “therapeutic” treatment. Though therapeutic SI joint injection is delivered using the same technique as that of a diagnostic SI joint injection, the therapeutic injection includes an anti-inflammatory medicine, also known as a corticosteroid, to aid in pain relief by reducing inflammation of the SI joint.
How is an SI Joint Injection Performed?
An SI joint injection is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, in a physician’s office or other outpatient medical facility. The treatment itself takes only minutes and patients go home the same day.
An SI joint injection procedure begins with the patient lying on their stomach – medically referred to as the prone position. A cleaning and sterilizing agent is used to prepare the area prior to the injection. In some cases, a local anesthetic may be used to numb the skin in the area that is to be injected by the needle. Then, using a type of X-ray machine called a fluoroscope or C-Arm, the sacroiliac joint is visualized by the physician and a needle is inserted into the appropriate site.
After the needle is visualized in the joint, a small amount of dye may be injected into the joint to confirm that the needle is in the correct position. Once the correct position is confirmed, the medication is injected into the Sacroiliac (SI) joint.
How Does a Therapeutic SI Joint Injection Work?
In a therapeutic SI joint injection, a corticosteroid or anti-inflammatory medication is used with the goal of obtaining longer lasting pain relief by calming the irritation caused by inflamed tissue. If you and your physician deem the treatment successful in achieving that goal, your doctor may recommend the SI joint injection be repeated up to three times per year, in conjunction with other treatment types.
What if SI Joint Injection Doesn’t Work?
As with most other SI Joint Dysfunction treatments, not every treatment type is right or effective for every patient. In the case of SI joint injection specifically, the treatment is deemed as a positive response when the patient achieves significant relief or improvement in function related to activities that had otherwise caused pain before the injections were administered. For some patients, this length of time this relief lasts may be too short to act as an effective treatment. In these cases, other treatment options may need to be further explored. Learn more about them here.
Your SI Joint dysfunction symptoms are unique to you and should be discussed with a spine specialist to determine the best possible treatment options. Finding a physician trained in diagnosing Sacroiliac pain and effectively treating it is important. Whether it is an SI joint injection or other treatment type, consultation with a skilled professional is the first step.