Treatment of Sacroiliac Joint Injury
The term sacroiliac refers to the area of a small joint that lies at the junction of the sacrum, a part of the spine, and the ilium, a part of the pelvis. Although this joint does not move very much, it is critical to transferring the load of the upper body to the lower body. A common source of low back pain, a sacroiliac injury is also linked to sciatica, hip arthritis and back pain in general. The pubic symphysis may also be involved. A confusing pattern of back and pelvic pain that mimic each other often make diagnosis of sacroiliac joint problems very difficult.
How does a sacroiliac joint injury develop?
A sacroiliac injury can result from a direct fall on the buttocks, a motor vehicle accident or even a blow to the side of the pelvis, resulting in strained and weakened, or even torn ligaments around the joint. Injured ligaments lead to excessive motion of the joint, which will eventually lead to wear-and-tear of the joint and pain from degenerative arthritis. A sacroiliac injury can also affect the articular cartilage lining the joint, which, if not treated properly, will also lead to degenerative arthritis in the joint over time.
In some individuals, pain occurs because of an abnormality of the sacrum bone itself. Here, the bones that make up the sacrum never properly fuse together. As a result, the sacroiliac joint is somewhat malformed, leading to problems in the area including back pain that appears to come from that area. Referred pain, which occurs when a ligament injury or weakness in one part of the body causes pain in another part, may also be involved.
In addition, women are at risk for developing sacroiliac joint problems as a result of childbirth. Hormones released during pregnancy that allow the connective tissues in the body to relax cause changes to the joints, making them “hypermobile,” that is, extra or overly mobile. This may lead to back pain during pregnancy and, over a period of time, and particularly after several pregnancies, can eventually lead to wear-and-tear arthritis of the sacroiliac joint.
Looking for a better treatment for a Sacroiliac Injury?
The traditional medicine approach to sacroiliac inflammation and/or injury usually involves stopping whatever activity may have led to the injury and pain, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and physical therapy. If these treatments fail to bring relief, cortisone injections are prescribed. The problem with these treatment approaches is that they do nothing to repair the injured ligaments and cartilage that may be involved and, thus, do not alleviate the chronic pain that people with this condition experience.
Stopping an activity, or rest, is just one of the components of RICE, a treatment approach commonly used for many sport-related injuries. Unfortunately, all the components of RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation – hinder rather than help ligament and cartilage healing. Similarly, the use of steroids and anti-inflammatories actually does more damage than good. Although cortisone shots and anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to produce short-term pain benefit, both result in long-term loss of function and even more chronic pain by actually inhibiting the healing process of soft tissues, and accelerating cartilage degeneration, among other systemic damage in the body.
When all else fails, patients who experience chronic joint pain that fails to respond to other treatments may be referred to a surgeon. In fact, studies are currently being conducted to explore the advantages of surgically fusing a sacroiliac joint that has not benefited from conventional treatment. Unfortunately, surgery often makes the problem worse. Surgeons will use x-ray technology as a diagnostic tool, which does not always properly diagnose the pain source. And if the removal of cartilage tissue is involved in the surgery, arthritis is the likely result.
Prolotherapy addresses the underlying cause of a Sacroiliac Injury
Sacroiliac iliac injuries responds very well to Prolotherapy treatment. This regenerative injection treatment stimulates the growth of the sacroiliac ligament, which helps the bony alignments in the area stay in place, resulting in healing. In addition, it has been found that if the sacroiliac joint is weakened or injured, there is a good chance the pubic symphysis is weakened as well. Both result in pain, especially in the low back. As a result, the pubic symphysis may be treated with Prolotherapy in tandem with the sacroiliac joint.
Chronic pain is most commonly due to tendon, cartilage and ligament damage or weakness. Prolotherapy offers the safest and most effective natural medicine treatment for repairing tendon, ligament and cartilage damage. In simple terms, Prolotherapy stimulates the body to repair painful areas. It does so by inducing a mild inflammatory reaction in the weakened fibro-osseous junctions, thus triggering the body to repair and strengthen.
Read our Prolotherapy research, including a study done on patients with chronic low back pain, on Prolotherapy.org.