Sacroiliac (SI) joint injections deliver a combination of a local anesthetic and a powerful anti-inflammatory medication (steroid) directly into an SI joint that is believed to be inflamed. Located at the base of the spine, the sacroiliac joints connect the iliac bone and the sacrum. While these joints don’t move in a traditional sense, they do bear a significant amount of body weight, which makes them particularly susceptible to irritation and inflammation. This can result in low back pain that travels through the buttocks, legs and feet.
Individuals who are experiencing these symptoms may benefit from sacroiliac joint injections. These procedures can also be helpful for diagnosing SI joint problems.
What does an SI injection do?
The goal of an SI joint injection is to calm an irritated nerve in a sacroiliac joint, which in turn can:
- Provide immediate (but temporary) pain relief that can allow a physician to confirm the source of a patient’s symptoms and recommend other appropriate treatments, if necessary
- Provide long-lasting symptom relief by reducing painful inflammation with the use of time-release steroid medications
- Allow a patient to return to daily activities without pain
- Allow a patient to participate in physical therapy, which can further enhance the benefits of treatment
If a sacroiliac joint injection is effective, a patient will typically experience immediate relief, followed by a flare-up of the original symptoms within a few hours. Then, within a few days, the patient may begin to experience meaningful relief, which can last for up to several months. If the pain later returns, a physician may recommend additional sacroiliac joint injections.
Are SI injections appropriate for you?
The best way to determine if a sacroiliac injection is right for you is to schedule a consultation with a physician. Your physician can provide personalized advice and guidance after performing a comprehensive physical examination, which will include an assessment of your health history and imaging scans (such as X-rays and MRIs).