Although upwards of 80 percent of Americans suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives, sometimes the pain is not coming from their spine per se. Sometimes it may come from the sacroiliac joints where the lower spine and pelvis connect.
The two sacroiliac joints are located at the base of the spine, with one joint on each side. They shift the weight of the upper body to the legs when standing and walking. If they become inflamed or unstable, they can cause pain.
Symptoms of SI Joint pain include:
- Pain on one side of the lower back
- Pain that radiates into the buttocks, lower back and groin
- Pain in the lower limbs (this can be mistaken for sciatica)
- Difficulty turning over in bed, struggling to put on shoes and socks, leg pain while getting in and out of the car
- Stiffness in the lower back when getting up after sitting for long periods and when getting up from bed
- Aching on one side of the lower back when driving long distances
How Do I Know if My Back Pain is SI Pain?
Sacroiliac (SI) joint pain can be difficult to accurately diagnose because it often mimics disc or low back pain. Often times, chronic SI joint pain and inflammation occurs as a result of:
- Trauma from a vehicle accident or fall
- Degenerative changes (osteoarthritis)
- Structural deficiencies such as pelvic asymmetry or leg length discrepancies
To determine if the pain originates in the SI joints, a qualified pain medicine specialist can inject a local analgesic specifically into the SI joint region. If the pain does not resolve, other diagnostic tests will be done to locate the source of the pain. But if the injection alleviates the pain, there are more permanent solutions that can offer long-term relief.
An Exciting New Treatment Option – LinQ™ SI Joint Fusion System.
One of the most exciting new treatment options for patients with chronic SI joint pain is a new system called LinQ™. This minimally invasive therapy can be used to fuse and stabilize the SI joints in eligible patients for whom non-surgical treatments such as physical therapy or chiropractic have failed.
Stabilization of the SI joint may provide immediate pain relief, especially for those who have been diagnosed with conditions such as SI joint inflammation due to degeneration (sacroiliitis) and SI joint disruption. This unique procedure involves implanting a small bone graft into the SI joint to stabilize and fuse the dysfunctional joint.
The entire LinQ™ SI joint fusion procedure is done through one small incision on the patient’s back. Performed on an out-patient basis at a hospital or surgery center, patients can go home the same day and are usually able to resume their normal daily routines within a couple of weeks.
LinQ™ lowers the risks of infection and blood loss associated with open surgery and ensures a much faster recovery. It should be performed by a pain medicine specialist who has received training specific on the technique and graft used.
Read more about the LinQ System here:
Dr. Ioannis Skaribas is fellowship-trained and double board certified in Pain Medicine and Anesthesiology. He has been performing minimally invasive treatments to address chronic pain for more than 25 years and is nationally recognized for his expertise in employing the latest advanced treatments such as LinQ™ to help his patients with complex chronic pain.