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February 19, 2019 Knee0

Do you have lower back pain? Do your glutes complain when you walk?

You could be in the 13% of people who suffer from sacroiliac joint pain.

Sacroiliac joint pain is a chronic condition that causes sufferers significant discomfort. The good news, however, is that there are treatments that can help.

There are several treatment options for lower back pain, but a sacroiliac joint injection will offer long-term pain relief – even if everything else you’ve tried hasn’t worked.

Keep reading to learn more about how to find sweet relief from sacroiliac joint pain with injections.

What Is the Sacroiliac Joint?

The sacroiliac joints are at the base of the spine and connect the hip bone (the ilium) to the sacrum.

Pain happens for many reasons. Chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis, are a common cause. Injuries, such as falls, are also a culprit for causing ongoing sacroiliac joint pain.

Inflammation in the ligaments around the joint, or the degradation of the bone itself, are what cause long-term chronic pain.

Causes of Sacroiliac Joint Pain

There are two types of sacroiliac joint pain: acute and chronic.

Acute pain occurs after a trauma to the area. The ligaments can be stretched in a fall, for example, and this also harms the muscles in the area. Acute pain like this often resolves on its own in a few weeks.

Chronic pain is when the problem persists for more than three months. Acute pain can trigger chronic pain if, for example, a tear injury to the ligament results in permanent damage.

Musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis also trigger long-term chronic sacroiliac joint pain.

Sacroiliac Joint Problems: Symptoms to Look out For

A key symptom of a problem with your sacroiliac joint is a persistent pain in your lower back. This could be in one area or feel like it radiates out to your hip.

You have two sacroiliac joints, one on each side of your sacrum. This means that pain is most often experienced on one side, but in severe or long-term problems the pain will radiate across both sides of the lower back.

Movement will worsen the pain, especially transitional movement such as moving from sitting to standing. Staying immobile, either standing or sitting, for long periods of time will also increase the discomfort.

The sciatic nerve is often irritated with sacroiliac joint problems, too. This nerve runs through the buttock down the back of the leg. If the nerve is irritated you will feel pain in these areas as well as the base of your back.

Pain Relief with a Sacroiliac Joint Injection

There are several treatment routes for sacroiliac joint pain. Chronic pain sufferers find a combination of the below will help to reduce their pain.

Over-the-Counter Painkillers

Start your treatment plan by trying over-the-counter painkillers from your local pharmacy. These will reduce inflammation to minimize pain.

However, this is only a short-term solution as painkillers have their own risks and side effects, such as causing digestive problems.

Prescription Medication

Your doctor will be able to prescribe stronger painkillers than you can buy at the pharmacy counter. 

However, these are also a short-term solution and have added risks such as dependency on opioid-based medications.

Sacroiliac Braces

A special brace that wraps around the lower back can help to stabilize the inflamed joint. The wrap provides added support to the area, reduces the load on your muscles, and limits mobility to avoid aggravating an inflamed sacroiliac joint.

However, a brace shouldn’t be relied upon all day, every day, as this will weaken the muscles and risk further pain.

Chiropractic Manipulation

A trained chiropractor can manipulate your joints into a more neutral alignment to help reduce sacroiliac joint pain.

However, manual therapy can be expensive and will not provide long-term relief without being used in conjunction with other treatment options. Chiropractors focus on bone alignment, rather than muscles, and both elements need to be treated for successful pain reduction.

Physical Therapy

Sacroiliac joint pain can be helped with physical therapy. Exercises to strengthen the muscles and ligaments around the joint will reduce inflammation and prevent flare-ups of pain.

However, you will need to take other courses of treatment, such as painkillers, to reduce inflammation enough for exercise to be conducted safely.

Joint Injections

A steroid injection directly into the sacroiliac joint is an ideal long-term pain relief solution.

The injection reduces inflammation over a longer period of time than painkillers and is safe even for patients who are unable to take some forms of pain blocker medications, too. 

What to Expect During Your Treatment

The injection you receive is a combination of a local anesthetic and a steroid. 

You will lay down on a sterile table and a numbing cream may be applied to the area of your lower back to reduce any discomfort. An x-ray machine may be used to guide a needle to the joint in need of injecting.

The fluid is injected directly into the area of pain, in this case near the sacroiliac joint. The local anesthetic will provide some instant pain relief, but the actual injection may cause a little discomfort at first.

The entire procedure is very short and is an outpatient treatment. That means you only need to be at the treatment center during your appointment – you can go home afterward.

Post-Injection Care Tips for Long-Term Pain Relief

Once the anesthetic wears off, your pain may return for up to 48 hours. Don’t be disheartened! It takes a few days for the longer-term steroid ingredients to get to work on your joint.

There is sometimes a little bruising and discomfort around the injection site, too. You can alleviate this by applying an ice pack for ten minutes every hour until the site feels less sore.

After a few days, inflammation will be significantly reduced and your pain minimal or even gone completely.

This is a good time to take up gentle exercise and find a physical therapist for additional support. Learn some stretches and exercises that will add flexibility to your lower back, strengthen your core muscles for support, and reduce the chance of your pain returning.

Seek Pain Relief for Your Back Pain Today

Chronic back pain doesn’t have to disrupt your life the way it does right now. A sacroiliac joint injection could significantly reduce your long-term pain experience and help you move towards a pain-free life.

Book an appointment with a pain specialist to discover if an injection, or other treatment option, will be able to help your back pain problems.


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August 6, 2018 Knee0

As you try to get out of bed in the morning, your knees feel stiff, making it difficult to start your day. When you engage in physical activity, your knees begin throbbing with pain. You may even experience some swelling.

Over time, you end up asking yourself, “This can’t be arthritis, can it?”

You shouldn’t rule out the possibility. When it comes to Americans over 45, up to 13.5% of men and 18.7% of women are currently dealing with knee osteoarthritis. But approximately 2 million more Americans below the age of 45 suffer from the condition as well.

Are you looking to get to the bottom of what’s causing your chronic knee pain? Read on to find out the signs and risk factors for knee osteoarthritis, what causes the condition, and what steps you can take to treat it.

What Causes Knee Osteoarthritis?

The term “arthritis” actually covers between 100 and 200 health conditions. It simply refers to the inflammation of at least one joint in the body.

There are several sources of arthritis pain in the knee. These include post-traumatic knee arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and gout, among others. However, osteoarthritis is the most common type.

While most types of arthritis have similar symptoms, they have distinct causes.

For example, rheumatoid arthritis is a disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cartilage. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is a degenerative form of arthritis that occurs due to wearing down of cartilage.

Osteoarthritis progressively worsens, as you lose more and more cartilage in your knee. In the end, you typically end up with bone rubbing against bone. This can lead to painful bone spurs that form in the space where the two bones come into contact with each other.

Who Is Most at Risk of Developing It?

People who are 65 or older are the most likely to have osteoarthritis. But believe it or not, young adults and kids can get it too.

Trauma can play a significant role in the development of osteoarthritis in the knee. This is especially the case among young sufferers.

That said, everything from genetics to environmental factors impacts your odds. Here are a few of the biggest risk factors for osteoarthritis:

  • Family history
  • Old age
  • Obesity
  • Repeat injuries
  • Joint overuse
  • Weak muscles
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Diabetes
  • Giving birth
  • Underactive thyroid

It’s also important to note that women are more likely to suffer from this condition than men. Although estrogen is anti-inflammatory, women’s estrogen levels take a significant hit after menopause.

Is the Condition Preventable?

Of course, you cannot control genetics or stop your body from aging. But the good news is that there few ways you can reduce your risk of developing knee osteoarthritis.

For example, obesity is one of the major risk factors that you can control. Obese individuals are nearly 7 times more likely to get knee osteoarthritis.

Exercising regularly can help you reach and maintain a healthy BMI. It also combats muscle weakness, which is another risk factor. Just make sure to stretch before your workout, and stick to low-impact movements.

If you’re looking for other lifestyle changes you can make, try resting more. This allows your joints to heal and helps you avoid recurring injuries.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms?

When we think of arthritis, we immediately imagine severe joint pain.

While knee pain is a symptom of knee osteoarthritis, there are many more. These include the following:

  • Morning stiffness
  • Swollen knees
  • Warm sensations
  • Crepitus
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Bowed legs

In total, there are five stages of knee osteoarthritis. Keep in mind that symptoms vary depending on how advanced the condition is.

If you’re in stage 0 or stage 1, you probably won’t even feel any pain. In fact, you most likely won’t notice any symptoms whatsoever. An x-ray might not reveal anything troubling either.

At stage 2, x-rays should show some bone spur development. There will still be plenty of healthy cartilage in your knee. But you’ll begin feeling occasional pain after engaging in strenuous physical activities.

Stage 3 is when cartilage loss will be easy to spot on an x-ray. You’ll notice pain and discomfort throughout the day. Chances are, you’ll deal with some swelling as well.

The symptoms of stage 4 osteoarthritis are severe. The cartilage in your knee is almost entirely depleted by this time. You’ll experience constant inflammation, stiffness, and pain.

What Treatment Options Are out There?

Currently, there’s no cure for osteoarthritis or most types of arthritis for that matter.

But there are multiple routes you can take to minimize your knee pain. Let’s look at a some of the best treatment options that are available to you.

1. Over-the-Counter Medication

Osteoarthritis sufferers often rely on over-the-counter meds such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen. These can be effective when dealing with mild-to-moderate pain.

To combat intense pain, however, doctors might prescribe COX-2 inhibitors.

2. Physical Therapy/Bracing

When you have knee osteoarthritis, you end up using your knees less and less. As a result, the muscles around the knee get weaker, which stiffens your joints even more.

Physical therapy combats this by helping you strengthen the surrounding muscle. It also works to increase the range of motion in your knee. Your therapy plan may consist of both active treatments, such as exercise, and passive treatments, like heat therapy.

Knee braces may also come into play, as they provide additional support and enable you to engage in more physical activities.

3. Injections

There are four injection procedures used to relieve knee osteoarthritis symptoms. Here’s a quick rundown on all of them.

3a. Steroids

To treat knee osteoarthritis sufferers, doctors typically inject steroids directly into the knee. Corticosteroid injections reduce pain fast and have less side effects compared to oral steroids.

This treatment is often used in conjunction with other treatments, including OTC meds, braces, and therapy.

3b. Viscosupplementation

As a knee osteoarthritis sufferer, your joint contains less fluid than normal. As a result, your knees are more susceptible to wear-and-tear due to friction.

This treatment involves the injection of fluid into your knee, which provides more cushion for your joints. It not only decreases pain and improves knee mobility but may also slow down the progression of your condition.

3c. Regenerative Medicine

Platelet-rich plasma therapy is one of the most promising non-surgical treatments for osteoarthritis. It involves taking blood from your body and carefully injecting it into the problem area. This procedure alleviates knee pain by accelerating the healing process.

Stem cell therapy offers another alternative. When performing this procedure, doctors take stem cells from fat tissue and inject it right into the damaged joint. These injections promote healing and reduce inflammation.

3d. Genicular Nerve Blocks/RFA

Genicular nerves are the nerves surrounding your knees.

Radio-frequency ablation (RFA) involves applying heat to your genicular nerves with a needle. This creates a thermal lesion, which blocks the nerve’s ability to submit pain signals to your brain.

4. Knee Osteoarthritis Surgery

When over-the-counter and prescription meds don’t provide relief, your doctor may recommend surgery.

Arthroscopic knee surgery involves the use of a camera in order to get rid of loose cartilage and bone. Recovery time is brief, and pain relief is almost immediate. But the downside is that joint damage may continue to progress following surgery.

Another surgical option is knee replacement surgery. A surgeon will replace any damaged parts of your knee with artificial components. While recovery will take several months, this type of surgery provides long-lasting pain relief.

5. Spinal Cord Stimulation

This type of therapy involves putting a spinal cord stimulator (SCS) in your body. The SCS device sends a current to your spine, which disguises the pain signal as it enters your brain.

Getting Treatment for Knee Osteoarthritis Pain

Unfortunately, many sufferers fail to see a doctor until their pain becomes unbearable. But it’s important to keep in mind that you have plenty of treatment options.

Be sure to avoid self-diagnosis. A physician needs to look at your health history and conduct a physical exam to make a determination. If necessary, they may also order X-rays, MRI scans, and blood tests to confirm a diagnosis and eliminate other potential causes.

If you want to take steps to relieve your knee osteoarthritis pain without undergoing surgery, set up a consultation at one of our locations. We offer several treatment options, including stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma therapy.


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May 14, 2018 Knee0

Knee pain is a severely disabling condition that can affect daily living. One of the most common causes of knee pain is osteoarthritis (OA). This is a condition that affects over 27 million people in the U.S. OA is a “wear and tear” of the natural cushioning between the knee joint. Normally this cushioning provides support and acts as a shock absorber. However, as it is worn down, the result is bone rubbing on bone, which causes pain, swelling, and stiffness.