Sacroiliac joint block injections are used to provide temporary relief from symptoms associated with disorders that affect the sacroiliac joints, which connect the sacrum (lower spine) to the interior edges of the ilium of the pelvis.
The sacrum is a triangular bone at the base of the spine, formed by five vertebrae that fuse together during childhood. The ilium looks like wings on either side and is the uppermost and largest bone of the pelvis. Everyone has two sacroiliac joints (or SI joints), one on the right and one on the left. Dysfunctions occur within the sacroiliac joints as a result of degenerative spine conditions such as osteoarthritis or an imbalance between the two joints caused by an alteration in normal joint motion or traumatic injury.
Areas affected by sacroiliac joint dysfunction
Because the sacroiliac joints are located directly behind a portion of the long sciatic nerve, sacroiliac dysfunction can produce symptoms similar to sciatica – burning or shooting pain in the lower body being chief among them. However, unlike lumbar sciatica, pain originating from the sacroiliac joints does not arise from a compressed nerve root. In addition, while sciatica can be experienced along the length of the leg, it’s rare for sacroiliac pain to extend below the knee. Here are the areas of the body typically affected by sacroiliac pain:
- Lower back
When sacroiliac joint block injections are not enough
Since the sacroiliac joints are located relatively deep inside the body, diagnosis of dysfunction can be difficult. If chronic lower back pain turns out instead to be caused by a degenerative spine condition such as spinal stenosis or arthritis of the spine, initial treatment might include physical therapy and pain medication. However, if pain persists after weeks or months of conservative treatment, contact Laser Spine Institute to determine whether you may be a candidate for one of our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures.