Sacroiliac Joint Blocks and Joint Injections

Sacroiliac joint injections, also referred to as sacroiliac joint blocks, are used to treat lower back pain or sciatica. Located next to the spine, the sacroiliac joints are responsible for connecting the sacrum with the hips. Should the joints become inflamed or begin functioning improperly, pain can result.

Preparing for Sacroiliac Joint Injection

Prior to the procedure each patient will be given specific instructions from their doctor. This information will include what medications are okay to take before the procedure and which should be avoided. General instructions before the procedure often include:

• No food or drinks after midnight the night before the procedure

• Many medications may be taken with water with doctors approval

• Use of blood thinners should be stopped before the procedure as indicated by the doctor’s instructions

During Sacroiliac Joint Injection

Sacroiliac joint injections are typically done as an outpatient procedure. The procedure itself only takes a few minutes. During the procedure:

• An IV may be used to deliver medication and to provide fluids

• The patient is required to lie on the table

• The back is thoroughly cleaned by the medical team

• Numbing medication is provided via local injection to increase comfort

• Using an x-ray as an guide, needles are inserted into the sacroiliac joint

• Verification is done to ensure the needles are placed in the correct positions

• Once verification is done, the injection is made, typically consisting of pain medication and an anti-inflammatory medication

After Sacroiliac Joint Injection

Once the procedure is done, the patient may be prescribed physical therapy and rehabilitation. These things will help the patient to increase their strength, return to normal activities and further reduce the pain. For a long-term approach, the sacroiliac joint injections may be done as many as three times annually. These additional injections should be used to maintain the level of relief found with the initial injections.

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