Living with any spinal condition, be it degenerative disc disease, sciatica, or sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction, can be challenging. A person with any of these conditions can be limited in what they can do, how much they can move, and how productive they can be at work. At Colorado Spine Institute (CSI) in Loveland, we’ve treated many patients who were suffering from these conditions, and the right treatment was different for each person. In this blog, we’re going to look at SI joint dysfunction and what treatments can help a person live with the condition.
What Causes SI Joint Dysfunction?
There are two main causes of SI joint pain – hypermobility (too much movement) or hypomobility (too little movement). With hypermobility, the joint is somewhat unstable and moves too much, causing pain in the lower back, hip, and groin areas. With hypomobility, the joint is too fixed and immobile, which can result in pain in the lower back, buttocks, or back of the leg. Since the SI joint connects the sacrum at the end of the spine to the pelvic bone, either hyper- or hypomobility can cause pain in several areas, and it’s important to seek medical advice should you experience prolonged discomfort in any of these spots. Pain can be concentrated on one side of the body, but some people experience it on both sides.
Treating SI Joint Pain
Since every patient is unique, it may take a unique combination of treatments to properly assuage their SI joint pain. If the joints are inflamed, physical therapy and exercise could be the best option. Your doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or recommend an over-the-counter medicine to counteract the inflammation. You may need to wear a pelvic belt to stabilize the joint and keep you from overexerting yourself. Since the joint acts as a shock absorber when you walk or run, you may have to limit your amount of movement while your body heals.
There are osteopathic procedures and manipulations that can be performed on the joint that can relieve pain. As your spinal specialist, we will help you decide if this is the best course of treatment for you. The final option can be injections directly into the joint, and again, this may be a last resort when all other methods have proven unsuccessful.
A Thorough Examination
During your examination in our clinic, a doctor will thoroughly inspect your SI joint through the use of touch and movement to recreate your pain. It may also be necessary to conduct an MRI scan to determine if the SI joint is the true source of your pain. A herniated disc may be the true cause, even though the symptoms match those of SI joint dysfunction. We want to get to the bottom of the issue as quickly as we can so that proper treatment can begin.
If you’re living with SI joint pain, or you’ve begun experiencing discomfort in your lower back, hip, or groin area, please make an appointment with us right away.