Sacroiliac Joint Pain in North Texas

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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 or Plano to learn more about your treatment options.

What Are the Causes of Sacroiliac Joint Pain?

SI joint pain can be caused by a variety of factors and conditions. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Arthritis
  • Pregnancy or childbirth
  • Repeated exercises/activities, such as jogging
  • Previous spinal surgery
  • Issues with gait that create uneven pressure on the legs and pelvis

What Are the Risk Factors of Sacroiliac Joint Pain?

Sacroiliac (SI) joint pain involves discomfort in the sacroiliac joints, which connect the base of the spine (sacrum) to the pelvis (ilium). Several risk factors can increase the likelihood of experiencing SI joint pain, which may be due to inflammation, arthritis, injury, or chronic conditions affecting these joints.

Understanding these risk factors can help in the prevention and management of SI joint pain. If you're experiencing symptoms suggestive of SI joint pain, such as lower back or buttock pain that may radiate to the lower hip, groin, or upper thigh, consulting a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment is crucial. Key risk factors include:

  • Age: With aging, the regular wear and tear on the SI joints can lead to degeneration and pain.
  • Infection: In rare cases, an infection in the SI joint can cause pain.
  • Occupational risks: Occupations or activities that place a lot of stress on the joints, including the SI joints, through heavy lifting, bending, or twisting, can increase the risk of pain.
  • Trauma: Accidents or injuries that impact the pelvis, lower back, or buttocks can damage the SI joints.

What Are the Symptoms of Sacroiliac Joint Pain?

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

How Is Sacroiliac Joint Pain Diagnosed?

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.

How Is Sacroiliac Joint Pain Treated?

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 SI Joint Treatments

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.

Surgical SI Joint Treatments

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.

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