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What Is the Treatment for Sacroiliac Joint Pain

Sep 27

Sacroiliac joint pain is a common condition that affects millions of Americans every year. It causes severe lower back pain, hip pain, buttock pain, leg pain, groin pain, and even numbness in the legs.

There are many treatments available for sacroiliac joint pain including physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage therapy, and surgery. However, most patients find these treatments either ineffective or painful. Fortunately, there is another treatment option that works well for almost everyone who suffers from sacroiliac joint problems. This treatment involves using a special type of laser called low level laser therapy.

Low level laser therapy has been shown to help with pain relief, healing, and muscle recovery. In fact, it may be the only effective treatment for sacroiliac joints.

This article will explain how low level laser therapy helps treat sacroiliac joint issues and why it should be considered as a viable alternative to traditional treatments.

What Is Sacroiliac Joint Pain?

woman suffering from joint pain

The sacroiliac joint (SIJ) is located at the base of your spine where the ilium meets the sacrum. It’s made up of two bones called the ilium and the sacrum. The SIJ connects your lower back and pelvis together. This joint helps keep you upright when standing, walking, running, or sitting down. When there's too much stress on this joint, it can cause pain.

Sacroiliac joint pain occurs when one side of the joint becomes inflamed or damaged. A variety of conditions can lead to inflammation of the sacroiliac joint including arthritis, injury, pregnancy, infection, tumors, and certain types of cancer. In some cases, the symptoms of sacroiliac joint pain may go away without treatment. However, if left untreated, these problems can become chronic and worsen over time.

When you're experiencing pain in your sacroiliac joint, try taking steps to relieve the discomfort. You might find relief from medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen; corticosteroids, such as prednisone; or acetaminophen. If these treatments don't help ease your pain, talk to your doctor about other options. Your doctor might recommend physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage, or other therapies.

If you think you've been injured, seek medical attention immediately. Don't put off seeking medical advice because you feel embarrassed or ashamed. Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect you've suffered a serious injury or illness.

You should never delay seeking medical assistance after suffering an injury. While waiting for medical attention, make sure you stay hydrated and avoid alcohol consumption. Also, take note of any signs of bleeding, swelling, bruising, or discoloration around the affected area.

Two Types of SIJ

There are two types of SIJD. One type occurs when the sacrum bone becomes misaligned with the ilium bones. This causes pressure on the nerves in the lower spine. The second type occurs when the sacral vertebrae become misaligned with the pelvis. This causes pressure on nerve roots in the spinal cord.


How to Diagnose Sacroiliac Joint Pain

Sacroiliac joint pain occurs when there is an injury to any of these joints. In most cases, the cause of sacroiliac joint pain is unknown. However, trauma to the area may result in inflammation of the sacroiliac joint. Trauma to the joint may occur during sports activities such as running, jumping, twisting, turning, falling, and landing; during accidents such as motor vehicle collisions, falls, and sporting injuries; or due to repetitive movements such as lifting heavy objects, working long hours, sitting for prolonged periods, or sleeping on hard surfaces.

Symptoms of sacroiliac pain include backache, hip pain, leg pain, groin pain, and buttock pain. These symptoms often worsen after standing or walking for extended periods of time. Some patients also experience numbness, weakness, or loss of balance.

Diagnosis of sacroiliac problems usually involves physical examination of the patient and x-rays of the pelvis. An MRI scan may be used to determine whether there is damage to the nerves or ligaments surrounding the joint. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the condition. If conservative treatment fails, surgery may be recommended.

When you stand up from sitting, your body naturally tilts forward slightly so that your head is at the top of your neck. This movement causes pressure on the SIJ. When this happens, the muscles around the SIJ become tight and painful. If these symptoms persist, then there could be a problem with the SIJ.

Symptoms include:

• Lower back pain

• Neck pain

• Headache

• Difficulty sleeping

Treatment of Sacroiliac Pain

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is treated conservatively with rest, ice packs, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and chiropractic care. Surgery may also be used to treat SIJD.

Some people take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Others use physical therapy to strengthen muscles that support the SIJ. Physical therapists also teach exercises that help keep the SIJ strong and healthy.

If these treatments don't work, doctors may recommend injections into the affected area. Doctors inject cortisone directly into the inflamed tissue. They also sometimes prescribe stronger medications like prednisone or methylprednisolone.

Other treatment options include surgery and radiation therapy. Surgery involves removing the inflamed tissue and replacing it with scar tissue. Radiation therapy uses X rays to kill cancer cells. Both types of treatment can relieve symptoms and reduce swelling. But they won't cure the problem.

Patients were eligible for cool radiofrequency denervation of their SIJ only when they met these criteria:

  • predominant axial low back pain below L5;
  • continuous pain for more than 6 months;
  • failed to achieve adequate pain relief after physical therapy or pharmacotherapy.


Heat applied around the joints may reduce muscle tension or spasm. See also cold therapy. Anti-inflammatories, such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen, may alleviate some forms of chronic pain. Over-the-counter analgesics (e.g., acetaminophen or aspirin), NSAID's, and steroids may be used.