Sacroiliac joint injections are used to treat low back pain and/or sciatica symptoms associated with sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Administered at Franciscan Health, these injections have offered symptom relief in many people.
A sacroiliac joint injection, sometimes called a sacroiliac nerve block, is an injection of anesthetic with a long lasting steroid in the sacroiliac joints. These joints are located in the back where the lumbosacral spine joins the pelvis (your tailbone). They are paired (right and left) and are surrounded by a joint capsule much like your finger joints.
The injected steroid reduces the inflammation in the joint space. This can reduce pain and other symptoms caused by inflammation.
The actual injection only takes a few minutes. The injection consists of a mixture of local anesthetic (like novacaine) and steroid. The injection is done using continuous X-ray equipment and the patient lying on the stomach. The skin is cleaned with an antiseptic before the procedure is performed.
Typically, the local anesthetic will take effect and reduce pain within 10 minutes and last up to six hours. The corticosteroid usually takes longer to start reducing pain - pain relief typically starts within one - five days. Once pain relief takes effect, a physical therapy program is often recommended for long term correction of the joint issues and improved mobility.
If the sacroiliac joint injection is successful in reducing or eliminating the patient's pain for a longer duration, it may be repeated up to three times per year.