How to Find Relief for Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Pain

If you're constantly dealing with SI joint pain, but you have no idea what's causing this common issue, then it's time to start looking for some info and help. We've done all the hard work for you and found some great tips that could come in handy. If those self-care treatments don't help, it might be a good idea to turn to medical treatment options like steroid injections or even nerve ablations.

Self-Care

Most SI joint pain can be treated with self-care techniques, as there are typically no permanent issues. Therefore, your doctor would likely recommend you stop activities and sports that cause pain, and let your body rest. Within a few days, depending on the severity of your condition and how active you are, it is said that after some rest, the surrounding inflammation will disappear, which will in turn enable recovery without having to take any additional action, and that is all you need to do. According to many doctors, here are some recommended home treatment options, according to many doctors.

Stretches and Exercises

Stretching and exercise are two key medicines used to treat the back pain caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Exercise can strengthen supporting muscles, which in turn better support the sacroiliac joint muscle itself. Stretching relaxes the muscle and reduces tension, which could be a significant contributing factor to any kind of pain.

Supports and Braces

Wearing a brace can potentially provide relief from lower back pain. While hip support won’t stop the cause of your pain, it can help give you time to heal and disrupt the pain signals, while also providing support for your muscles and joints during activity or exercise. These braces have metallic structures that help arthritic hips function properly when performing daily tasks, such as walking or biking.

Heat & Cold therapy

Heat & Cold work in a sort of complementary, yet contrary matter when it comes to treating sacroiliac joint pain. We know that if we are experiencing such pain due to an injury, the best thing we can do is go and see our doctor as soon as possible, so they can do some tests to identify what exactly caused the damage. But until you get there, you will want to use either cold therapy packs or herbal heating pads on your lower back to relieve any and all discomfort in the area.

Icing your injury will numb and reduce swelling, while bringing more blood to the site. Similarly, heat calms sore muscles, which go hand-in-hand with overuse injuries like strains brought about by repetition. Once you have done this for a couple of days, after a few days off from activity (your doctor should tell you how many days exactly), you can turn to alternative ways of healing such ailments, which include basic stretches or physical therapy!

TENS Therapy

A TENS unit is a great alternative to medication and other therapies, like physical therapy. The device sends high frequency electrical signals through pre-applied patches that go anywhere near the area of pain - from the sciatica down your leg to your back, ankle and foot. Through this mechanism, it can provide relief for a period of time by interfering with the pain signal sent to your brain. It can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments, like physiotherapy, for example, especially if you want to catch some Z’s at night while doing it.

Pain Cream

Pain creams vary in effect, depending on the treatment ingredients. Some pain creams numb the area by cooling it down, which provides relief from pain caused by arthritis. Other pain cream heats the injury site, interrupts or stops the pain signal traveling to your brain, while other ingredients soothe your joints to provide temporary relief. To get the most out of a pain cream, you should use it along with other treatment options for SI joint pain, such as exercises and stretches.

Lifestyle Changes

Your lifestyle is a key factor in getting rid of lower back pain. You will need to adjust your diet and include more foods that combat inflammation - minimize when possible physical activities, which could worsen symptoms and improve your sleep pattern. It is also important to learn how to sit with upper back pain, in order to not worsen symptoms throughout the day.

Medical Treatment

If self-care treatment isn’t working, then medical treatment is the next step. You need to consult your doctor, who reviews your medical history and performs an initial physical exam. After reviewing any imaging, like x-ray, your doctor will give you medical advice on how to proceed with treatment. It’s important when you have a chronic condition, such as SI joint pain, to stick with the treatment plan recommended by your doctor, and stick closely to their protocol!

Surgery

Surgery on a SI joint is typically a last-ditch effort to relieve pain. In this procedure, surgeons fuse the sacrum (base of your spine) and ilium (top of your pelvis) together with screws, rods, and/or bone grafts to eliminate movement in the SI joint. This helps restore normal weight distribution along the sacral ala and pubic arch, which should relieve pain. Recovery from fusion surgery takes two to three months on average.

Nerve Ablations

Most patients are worried about the pain of a surgical treatment, so doctors suggest non-surgical treatments to help relieve that pain. Radiofrequency ablation is for people who want a relatively nonsurgical solution, because there is little risk involved with this procedure, and no incisions are made. Under local anesthetic, small needles are inserted into the nerves that cause pain, which transmit heat (energy), which causes scar tissue to form around the nerve (lesion). This destroys the nerve in question and prevents it from sending a signal to your brain telling you where you're experiencing pain.

Joint Injections

Did you know that taking steroids can be extremely harmful to your body? Steroids are drugs that can reduce swelling by increasing the production of proteins in the blood. Unfortunately, steroids may have other side effects on the body and can be dangerous. One way a doctor can help provide relief is by conducting a steroid injection, which is administered into a joint (knee, elbow, shoulder etc.) using a syringe containing Kybella or Kenalog-40. The injections will give you temporary pain relief, but they are not without risk, as they could cause further damage to your bones and cardiovascular system.

Physical Therapy

If you suffer from SI joint pain, there are many ways to help yourself by visiting a physical therapist. A physical therapist is trained to deal with the many aspects of SI joint pain and provide effective methods for getting your body back into alignment. They can also assess your posture, muscle development and strength in balancing out your movement patterns. Overall, a physical therapist can be a great asset to help you manage and recover from SI joint pain.

Prevention

Preventing SI joint pain is the goal, and understanding the primary causes of this condition will help you avoid it. To prevent SI joint pain, one needs to identify what triggers or aggravates this condition, so that he/she can make modifications and changes to his/her lifestyle accordingly. Some of the most common causes of SI joint pain include:

  • Falling
  • Pregnancy and/or childbirth
  • Work injury
  • Car accident
  • Hip and spine surgery

While prevention isn't always an option, taking some natural steps to ensure that you don't become afflicted by these common symptoms of illness can drastically alter the way they affect your life. One should commit to strengthening their body regularly by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Make sure you're sleeping enough - sleep is crucial for both cognitive function and mood, so letting yourself get too exhausted will increase your chances of becoming ill in the first place and moving about with a higher frequency.

  • Maintain proper posture
  • Use good ergonomics when sitting at a desk
  • Warm-up your SI joint before exercise
  • Stretch and exercise regularly
  • Avoid excess weight and eat a healthy diet
  • Don’t smoke

Medications

When it comes to treating SI joint pain, there are always pros and cons to medication. For example, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can be found over-the-counter, but may lead to side effects down the line. Acetaminophen is another type of analgesic (or pain reliever) that works differently, but still provides users with some relief from pain. Of course, you should always talk to your physician or pharmacist about this type of treatment, as each medication has its own side effects or risks.

Safe & Effective Treatment for SI Joint Pain Relief

When it comes to treating your SI joint pain, you need to make sure that any alternative treatment choices you may consider are safe for you. When exploring options like chiropractic care, massage therapy or yoga, it can help if you have a general sense of the effectiveness of each one. You should also be aware that most doctors agree that when dealing with this type of joint pain, the only real remedy is surgery. Hopefully, by providing some useful information regarding self-care and medical treatments, we can help you decide on the best course of action, given your specific symptoms, so you can get back out there quickly and enjoy all those activities again!


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