Sacroiliac Joint Blocks and Joint Injections

Sacroiliac joint blocks or joint injections could be the solution to your lower back pain and sciatica. Read on to learn what they are, why they are needed, and what you need to know to prepare for the procedure.

If you are looking for a skilled neurologist to help with your lower back pain, why not call Cayman Neurology and Pain Management? Situated in the Cayman Islands, we are assisting many to find the pain relief they are looking for!

3D rendering of hips and sacroiliac joint.

What is a Sacroiliac Joint Block/Injection?

Sacroiliac (SI) joint injections are special shots for lower back pain that are put in an area where your spine meets your pelvis. This injection accomplishes two things. Firstly, it can help diagnose and evaluate sacroiliac joint pain. Secondly, it can relieve SI joint pain.

Why Are Sacroiliac Joint Injections Needed?

Your health provider might recommend a sacroiliac joint injection to figure out or provide pain relief in your sacroiliac joint. This joint links the bottom spine bone (sacrum) to the wide hip bones (ilium). You have two of these sacroiliac joints, one on each side.  They each play the role of shock absorbers. They handle the weight and forces between your upper body and legs.

Sometimes, if you’re feeling a bit of a twinge in your lower back, buttock, or hip, these joints might be acting up. That’s where the sacroiliac joint injection can help. It’s like a detective for your pain. It helps a doctor figure out if these joints are the cause. And as a bonus, it can also treat pain in that area.

During the procedure, your healthcare provider injects a local anesthetic into the joint. To ensure they get the right spot, they might use X-rays to show where the needle needs to go. A tiny bit of X-ray contrast dye may also be used to ensure the medicine goes precisely where it’s needed.

There are two types of these injections. The first is a diagnostic one. It only uses numbing medicine. If it provides immediate pain relief, chances are your sacroiliac joint was the cause. The second injection is a therapeutic SI joint injection. It contains both numbing medicine and steroids. It works to reduce the inflammation in the joint and treats the pain.

Preparing for Sacroiliac Joint Injection

Before the procedure, you will be given specific instructions from your 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 the doctor’s 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.
  • You may be required to lie on the table.
  • Your back is thoroughly cleaned by the medical team.
  • Numbing medication is provided via local injection to increase comfort.
  • Using an X-ray as a 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 the Sacroiliac Joint Injection

Once the procedure is done, you may be prescribed physical therapy and rehabilitation. These may help you to increase your 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.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

If you’re interested in diagnosing or treating your lower back pain, call the expert neurologists at Cayman Neurology and Pain Management. Our doctors are skilled in several diagnostic and treatment methods that can help you understand and relieve your pain. Book your appointment today!

Medically reviewed by Sara T.

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