Lower back pain can have many causes such as muscle spasm or disc herniation. An often overlooked reason for low back pain is an SI joint disorder. Here are some indications that an SI joint issue is the cause of your undiagnosed back pain.
There are two sacroiliac joints located to the right and left of the lowest part of your spine. They connect the spine to the pelvic bone. The SI joints are covered with heavy ligaments, have very limited range of motion, and act as nonmobile shock absorbers. Breakdown of the SI joint can result in a lot of pain.
An acute SI joint injury can occur with any kind of strong jolt that throws the joint off kilter such as a motor vehicle accident, suddenly stepping down off a curb, or landing forcefully on one foot when running up and down stairs.
Chronic causes for SI joint related back pain could be the habit of sitting unevenly on one side or with one leg over the other over a long period of time. Pregnant women may also have SI joint pain when the hormonal changes cause the supporting ligaments to become lax.
Typically, the SI joint pain is felt in the back of the hip on one side. The pain may radiate to the buttocks, groin, and leg. There may be associated numbness, tingling, and weakness in the leg. Your doctor will usually be able to diagnose the pain by moving your legs into certain positions to apply pressure on the SI joint.
Most of the time, the condition gets better with rest and conservative treatment such as physical therapy or a sacroiliac belt. However, if the back pain does not improve with these measures, surgery may be necessary.
Traditional open SI joint surgery is a major surgical procedure that requires a long postsurgical recovery. Recent advances in minimally invasive SI joint fusion offer a new option - The iFuse Implant System. Under X-ray guidance, 3 triangular implants are used to provide immediate stabilization of the SI joint through small, 1.5-inch incisions. Many patients that have received iFuse implants are able to recover faster and report significant relief of back pain, less disability, and improved quality of life.
Dr PayamMoazzaz specializes in advanced minimally invasive spine surgery that allows patients to heal quickly after surgery and return sooner to their active lifestyles. Please call (760) 904 5444 to book your appointment.