Sacroiliac Joint Injections

Offered in East Orange and Newark, NJ

Individuals coping with sacroiliac (SI) joint disorders often experience debilitating pain and loss of mobility. When other causes of lumbar back pain have been ruled out, sacroiliac joint injections may provide the relief you need to return to daily activities. At Prospect Spine and Pain (PSP) in Newark, New Jersey, Dr. Maria Cabodevilla-Conn, a board-certified, fellowship-trained Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physician, can identify the source of your pain and create a fully individualized, multimodal treatment plan to restore the quality of life you deserve.

At Nirvana Healthcare Network, we are committed to providing innovative and effective treatments for a variety of conditions. One such treatment is sacroiliac joint injections. This method has proven beneficial to many of our patients, particularly those dealing with sports injuries and chronic pain.

What Are Sacroiliac Injections?

Sacroiliac injections are a medical treatment that involves injecting a local anesthetic and a steroid medication into the sacroiliac joint. The sacroiliac joint is located at the base of your spine and connects your sacrum (the bone at the bottom of your spine) with your ilium (part of your pelvis). This joint is a common source of lower back pain and can be affected by both acute injuries and chronic conditions.

What Conditions Do Sacroiliac Joint Injections Treat?

The SI joint connects the spine to the pelvis. Small movements within the joint support bending motions and allow it to absorb shock due to walking, running, jumping, and other movements. If the nerves inside the joint’s capsule become irritated or inflamed, or if there is tightening or widening of the joint space, severe pain and limited mobility can result.

Sacroiliac joint injections are primarily used to treat lower back pain caused by problems in the sacroiliac joint. However, they can also treat a range of other conditions, including common sports injuries like hamstring strains, shoulder injuries, knee injuries, and more serious injuries like anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. This irritation can be caused by sacroiliac joint disease or sacroiliac joint dysfunction, which often occurs due to:

  • Sports injuries
  • Car accidents
  • Excessive impact to the buttocks
  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Arthritis
  • Infection
  • Aging

As a physiatrist, Dr. Maria Cabodevilla-Conn strives to identify the root cause of patients’ pain with specialized physical examination techniques, medical imaging, and more. This is especially important before sacroiliac joint injections. The pain caused by SI joint inflammation typically radiates through the lumbar (lower) back, buttocks, and thighs and is similar to discomfort due to radiculopathy, lumbar disc herniation, and other spine conditions. Accordingly, we must eliminate other sources of discomfort to determine that sacroiliac joint injections are an appropriate pain management technique.

How Do Sacroiliac Joint Injections Work?

SI joint injections combine two components: long-lasting steroids and an anesthetic. These medications are injected directly into the capsule of one or both joints, depending on the source of inflammation.

The procedure for a sacroiliac joint injection involves injecting a local anesthetic and a steroid medication into the sacroiliac joint. The anesthetic provides immediate pain relief, while the steroid helps reduce joint inflammation.

Dr. Maria Cabodevilla-Conn guides sacroiliac joint injections with a medical imaging technology called fluoroscopy to ensure precise targeting. Patients can be injected with a small amount of contrast dye to help create a real-time X-ray image that displays full coverage of the joint space. This helps ensure highly accurate placement for more effective pain relief. For those with allergies to contrast dye, other techniques are applied to ensure the injection is safe and still accurately placed.

What Should I Expect During a Sacroiliac Joint Injection?

While the most common sports injuries can benefit from a wide range of procedures and treatment options, a sacroiliac joint pain injection can benefit your long-term recovery. Having an experienced healthcare provider administer the shots ensures the process goes smoothly, and you can begin your recovery journey in earnest. Here’s what you can expect when you schedule a sacroiliac joint injection with Prospect Spine & Wellness:

Sacroiliac joint injections are performed as an outpatient procedure and take about 30 minutes or less. After a brief period of observation, you can drive yourself home or opt to have a ride if desired. You should avoid strenuous activity for the remainder of the day. Please note that you may not receive a sacroiliac injection if you:

  • Are currently experiencing an active infection
  • Have a cold or flu
  • Have a fever

You may begin to feel less pain immediately, although discomfort can return once the injected anesthesia wears off. Lasting pain relief due to the steroids will start in about three to five days and may last for several weeks, months, or even years.

If you feel discomfort at the injection site, apply ice several times daily as needed. Avoid soaking in a bath or immersing yourself in a hot tub or pool of water for the first 48 hours.

The Benefits of Receiving Sacroiliac Joint Pain Injections

We believe in empowering our patients with knowledge about their health and their treatments. Sacroiliac joint injections are a powerful tool in our arsenal, offering numerous benefits for those grappling with lower back pain, sports injuries, and chronic conditions. These injections can:

  • Provide Immediate Pain Relief: The local anesthetic used in sacroiliac injections offers immediate relief from discomfort, allowing patients to feel better instantly.
  • Reduce Inflammation: The steroid medication injected into the joint reduces inflammation, further alleviating pain and promoting healing.
  • Improve Mobility: By addressing the root cause of pain, sacroiliac joint injections can improve mobility, making daily activities easier and more comfortable.
  • Serve as a Diagnostic Tool: If your pain subsides following a sacroiliac injection, it clearly indicates that your sacroiliac joint is the source of discomfort.
  • Minimally Invasive: Sacroiliac injections are a minimally invasive treatment, meaning less recovery time and a quicker return to your regular activities.

Signs You Need Sacroiliac Injections

It’s crucial to listen to our bodies and acknowledge when something isn’t quite right. At Nirvana Healthcare Network, we encourage patients to note any chronic discomfort or irregularities. If you’re wondering whether sacroiliac joint injections could be beneficial for you, consider the following signs:

  • Persistent Lower Back Pain: If you’re experiencing consistent lower back pain that doesn’t seem to improve with rest or over-the-counter pain medications, it might be time to consider sacroiliac joint injections.
  • Pain Worsens with Movement: Discomfort that intensifies when you move, particularly when bending over or climbing stairs, could indicate a problem with your sacroiliac joint.
  • Difficulty Sitting for Long Periods: If sitting for extended periods causes discomfort or pain in your lower back or buttocks, this could be a sign that sacroiliac joint injections may be beneficial.
  • Stiffness or Swelling: Joint stiffness or swelling in the lower back region can also suggest a problem with the sacroiliac joint.
  • Pain Radiating Down Your Leg: Sometimes, sacroiliac joint issues can cause pain to radiate down into your leg. This is another sign that sacroiliac joint injections might be a suitable treatment.

These symptoms are not exclusive to sacroiliac joint issues, and it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis. At Prospect Spine & Wellness — a division of Nirvana Healthcare Network — we’re here to help guide you on your path to better health while recovering from chronic injuries.

Schedule a Consultation for Sacroiliac Joint Injections

If you’re living with SI joint pain, sacroiliac joint injections may provide the relief you deserve. To learn more about these injections and other back pain management treatments for patients in Newark, NJ, and the surrounding communities, contact Prospect Spine and Pain (PSP) today. We’ll help you schedule a consultation, identify the source of your pain, and create a personalized treatment plan to restore normal function as soon as possible.