Finding the correct combination of treatments is the way to relieve your discomfort from sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The goal is to increase your strength and flexibility, while preventing any ongoing back pain. When you look for an injury clinic near me in NYC, the specialists at Pain Management NYC are experts at finding even hidden causes of back pain, such as sacroiliac joint dysfunction. They understand your pain and work with you to help you regain a pain-free, active lifestyle. Call for an appointment.
The sacroiliac joint, sometimes referred to as the SI joint, is located along the inner portion of your pelvic bone, where the bone begins to widen out and form your hips. It connects the sacrum, which is located at the base of your spine, to the hip bones. The SI joint, along with multiple ligaments and muscle tissue, provides cushioning to absorb the shock between your pelvic bone, spine and legs.
The pain associated with sacroiliac joint dysfunction usually starts in your pelvis and shoots down the back of your leg. It mimics sciatica, making it often hard to accurately diagnose. Because it’s such a well-used and heavy shock-absorbing joint, it’s estimated that between 15 and 30 percent of all back pain can be attributed to the sacroiliac joint.
Causes of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
The muscles surrounding the sacroiliac joint limit the amount of movement in the SI joint, but injury or degradation can cause inappropriate movement. Your symptoms may vary depending on whether you have too much movement, called hypermobility, or too little movement, called hypomobility. That’s why you must seek treatment from the back pain specialist in Midtown, who can accurately determine the cause of your discomfort.
Certain risk factors and activities can increase your chances of developing sacroiliac joint dysfunction. These factors include:
- Pregnancy or recent childbirth. The weight gain associated with pregnancy, the pressure on a woman’s hips while carrying a pregnancy to term, and the act of childbirth itself spreading the hips apart can compromise the sacroiliac joint.
- Issues regarding your gait. If you have a curvature in your spine, called scoliosis, or if one leg is slightly longer than the other, you may develop an uneven gait in your walk that can lead to uneven wear-and-tear on the sacroiliac joint.
- Repeated stress placed on the SI joint by certain activities. Labor-intensive jobs, contact sports and heavy lifting puts repeated stress on ligaments, muscles and the sacroiliac joint itself. Alternatively, weakened muscles from lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle places unhealthy stress on the joint and the surrounding tissue.
- Any prior back surgery. Fusion surgeries or multi-level surgeries commonly cause displaced pressure onto the SI joint, which causes associated symptoms.
Symptoms Requiring Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Treatment
Symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction can take various forms and cause varying degrees of pain and discomfort. Tell your best pain management specialists in NYC when you feel the discomfort most, as well as when it first started, so he can reach a proper diagnosis. Common symptoms include:
- Spreading pain throughout your hips, groin or buttocks, often felt down one side of a thigh, usually only on one leg, although occasionally both legs may be uncomfortable
- Dull aching low back pain that you may feel on one or both sides, ranging from mild to severe
- Extreme stiffness impairing your flexibility in the lower back
- A sense of instability in your low back with feelings of buckling or falling when you rise to stand or after walking for some length of time
- Pain increasing when the sacroiliac joint is under pressure from high impact exercise or when lying down on one side or the other
- Hot, sharp, burning pain sometimes accompanied by numbness, tingling or weakness down one or both legs, often resembling sciatica-type symptoms
Diagnosis of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Because sacroiliac joint dysfunction can be difficult to diagnose, doctors at the top pain clinic in New York depend on multiple tests. SI joint dysfunction symptoms mimic several other back pain conditions, so a thorough physical exam and a possible pain blocking injection may be the best methods for determining if your SI joint is the culprit. Occasionally, imaging tests are also recommended to check for flagrant abnormalities or to rule out other possible conditions.
During your physical exam, your doctor addresses:
- Sleep concerns and frustrations, such as position and pain
- Dietary considerations, especially if you’re overweight
- Exercise habits to understand what’s aggravating your symptoms
- A number of motion and pressure tests with pressure placed at certain key points to measure any discomfort
Treatment for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
At pain management center New York, your doctor’s goals are to relieve your pain and help you return to a normal range of motion within your lower back and hips. As always, treatments begin conservatively with rest, hot and cold packs, over-the-counter medication and careful manipulation. If the pain persists or worsens, additional sacroiliac joint dysfunction treatment may include:
- Prescription pain medications, muscle relaxants or anti-seizure medicine
- Spine-specific physical therapy to increase your range of motion and strengthen compromised muscles
- Braces or supports if the joint is hypermobile and its range of motion needs to be decreased
- Pain blocking or steroid injections directly into the sacroiliac joint to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and restore flexibility
- Minimally invasive surgery, such as a sacroiliac (SI) joint fusion procedure as a last resort
Contact the best back pain specialists in Manhattan to get an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your pain and the most appropriate treatment for sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
Boleslav Kosharskyy, MD, is a top-rated, best-in-class interventional pain management doctor. He is board-certified in Anesthesiology, Interventional Pain Medicine, and Palliative Care.
Dr. Kosharskyy is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Rehabilitation Medicine at Albert Einstein Medical College. He’s also the Associate Medical Director of Pain Medicine and Director of Anesthesia for the Joint Replacement Center at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein Medical College.
He is an active member of the American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA), the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA), and the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists (NYSSA)