About Sacroiliac Joint Pain
The sacroiliac joints (SI joints) are positioned in the lower back on either side of the spine. With the main function of shifting weight from the upper body to the legs, the SI joints can cause significant lower back and/or leg pain when one or both of the joints become inflamed or damaged. Caused by several different factors, SI joint pain can be treated through both nonsurgical and surgical treatments. At Spine Care of North Texas, board-certified spine surgeon Dr. Kendall Carll helps to both diagnose and treat spinal conditions in order to diminish pain and discomfort. If you are experiencing SI joint pain, contact one of our offices in Addison, Frisco, or Plano to learn more about your treatment options.
"I recently experienced a pinched nerve that severely affected my ability to use my right hand. I contacted Dr. Carll who immediately went to work on my behalf. Knowing that this was a time sensitive situation Dr. Carll went out of his way to ensure that I received the appropriate MRIs, CAT scans, and nerve studies to properly diagnose my situation. After reviewing all the test Dr. Carll exhibited true professionalism and integrity by referring me out to Dr. Patty Young (I am so thankful for your referral) who specialized in the surgery that I would need. Dr. Carll could’ve chosen to operate because I had several degenerative disc, however he chose ethics over profit. Dr. Carll is a true professional that will put your health over profit! When it comes to your health there’s nothing more important than having a doctor that you can trust to be professional and ethical. Thank you Dr. Carll for providing me with both!"- K.H. / Google / Aug 29, 2018
"After being in pain for 3 years, my neck surgery changed my life!"- K.B. / Google / Apr 30, 2023
"Dr carrell read my chart even after not seeeing him for over one year and I appreciate that more than anything. Thank you!"- C.T. / Google / Apr 17, 2023
"Dr Carll treated a broken L4&5 on our teenage son years ago - and is helping me with a degenerative disc. The office is nice, the PA is wonderful, Miss Mary even called back to let me know the prescriptions were called in. Dr Carll was kind, helpful and professional. I couldn’t be more grateful as we work to reduce this pain. I highly recommend Dr. Carll."- A.B. / Google / Mar 27, 2023
"Had an excellent diagnosis, back surgery, and recovery. Dr. Carll must have done an excellent job because I was back on my racing bike for a (short) ride only 7 weeks after surgery - and after 3 months I was back up to 60 miles. 100% recommended."- W.S. / Google / Mar 17, 2023
SI joint pain can be caused by a variety of factors and conditions. Some of the most common causes include:
- Pregnancy or childbirth
- Repeated exercises/activities, such as jogging
- Previous spinal surgery
- Issues with gait that create uneven pressure on the legs and pelvis
Dysfunctions of the SI joints are most identifiable by pain that exists in the lower back, but pain can also spread to other areas of the lower body. If only one of the SI joints is affected, pain may only be felt on one side. Other symptoms that can occur with SI joint pain include:
- Loss of range of motion in the lower body
- Difficulty walking and/or balancing
- Increased pain associated with exercise or long periods of standing
- Difficulty sleeping due to pain
- Numbness and tingling
The diagnostic process for identifying SI joint pain includes a combination of physical exams, an evaluation of your complete medical history, and in some cases, minimally invasive diagnostic procedures. Dr. Carll will begin by conducting a physical exam to identify which areas experience pain with applied pressure. He may then conduct imaging tests including an MRI, CT scan, and/or x-rays. An SI joint block may sometimes be necessary in order to identify the exact cause of the pain. This procedure involves injecting a numbing solution into the SI joint(s). If the pain is alleviated, then it can be confirmed that the SI joint(s) is the source.
Treatment for SI joint pain can vary greatly depending on the cause. Most often, nonsurgical approaches are provided as the initial form of treatment. If none of these approaches are successful, then Dr. Carll may suggest a surgical procedure.
Nonsurgical treatments for SI joint pain may include physical therapy, injection therapy, chiropractic treatment, and/or nerve treatment. In many cases, a combination of the treatments is suggested for the most beneficial outcomes. For example, injection therapy may help to alleviate the pain long enough for you to fully rehabilitate the area through physical therapy. Additionally, an SI joint block can also be used as a form of treatment in order to diminish pain.
When less invasive forms of treatment fail, Dr. Carll may recommend sacroiliac joint fusion. This involves the placement of screws, rods, and/or bone grafts across the joint to encourage bone growth. Sacroiliac joint fusion also reduces pain and can restore mobility through diminishing inflammation.
SI Joint Pain FAQ
Is SI joint pain a chronic condition?
SI joint pain can manifest as either acute or chronic. Acute SI joint pain often resolves with appropriate treatment within a short period. Chronic SI joint pain, on the other hand, can persist for extended periods, sometimes lasting for months or even years, requiring ongoing treatment and management.
Is SI joint pain similar to sciatica?
While both SI joint pain and sciatica affect the lower back and can cause leg pain, they are distinct conditions. SI joint pain originates from the sacroiliac joints near the pelvis, whereas sciatica arises due to irritation of the sciatic nerve. Treatment approaches for each condition also differ.
What is the age range most affected by SI joint pain?
SI joint pain is most commonly observed in adults between 30 – 60. While it can affect individuals outside of this age range, these middle-aged adults are more susceptible due to factors like wear and tear, lifestyle habits, and the onset of conditions like arthritis.
Reduce SI Joint Pain
SI joint pain can cause unpleasant and painful symptoms that can make it difficult to enjoy your daily life. Through both nonsurgical and surgical treatments, board-certified spine surgeon Dr. Kendall Carll can find a solution to diminish your pain and allow for restored mobility. If you are experiencing SI joint pain, contact one of our North Texas offices to learn more about your options for treatment.