Sacroiliac Joint Injections for Lower Back Pain – What to Expect
Suffering from chronic back pain? Whether your pain is centered around the lower back, upper leg, or buttocks, a sacroiliac joint injection (SJC) can help. This simple procedure reduces pain immediately, and the benefits can last for several months.
Here’s what you need to know about this pain-relieving procedure.
What Is a Sacroiliac Joint Injection?
If you’re experiencing chronic lower back pain, your doctor or other healthcare professional may prescribe a sacroiliac joint injection. This simple outpatient procedure uses a combination of local anesthetic and a steroid medication to diagnose and/or treat sacroiliac joint pain caused by the following conditions:
- Ankylosing spondylitis (inflammatory arthritis of the spine and large joints)
- Congenital deformities
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Spinal surgery
What to Expect During a Sacroiliac Joint Injection
Before receiving an SJC, inform your doctor about all prescription medications you take, especially blood thinners. Refrain from drinking alcohol and smoking prior to the procedure and stop taking anti-diabetic medications. The night prior to the procedure, avoid consuming both solid foods and fluids.
On the day of the procedure, your medical professional will inject a contrast agent into your lower back to help outline the joint. Once your SI joint is identified, your medical professional will inject a syringe filled with local anesthetic and steroids into the joint space, and the solution typically enters the area with very little resistance. Using X-Ray guidance, your doctor will have no trouble finding the proper placement in the SI joint.
Most patients state that the stinging of the numbing medicine is the most uncomfortable part of the procedure. This portion only lasts a few minutes; however, every person’s individual response will differ.
What to Expect After a Sacroiliac Joint Injection
Many patients report feeling immediate relief from pain directly following the procedure. This is due to the local anesthetic, and once the numbing medicine wears off, you may feel an increase in pain and soreness at the injection site. The pain typically worsens the day after the procedure, then starts to lessen within two to three days following the procedure as the steroid begins to take effect.
You should start to feel significant relief from your lower back pain within three days following the procedure. In the meantime, apply an ice pack to the affected area several times each day, so you can relieve some of the discomfort at the injection site. You can resume taking your usual pain medication immediately following the injection.
Is a Sacroiliac Joint Injection Right for You?
A sacroiliac joint injection is often effective at alleviating the symptoms of chronic lower back pain. It’s a simple alternative to surgery, and most patients feel the benefits within just a few days after the procedure.
Want to learn whether an SI injection is right for you? Reach out to the pain management experts at Impact Medical Group of Sarasota today at (941) 222-1157 to schedule your free consultation!