A steroid injection is an effective treatment option for numerous types of pain. This includes joint pain. One of the most common examples of joint pain is sacroiliac joint disease. This can lead to severe pain in the lower back.
The sacroiliac joint sits between the spine and the pelvis. This joint is responsible for carrying weight from the upper body, ensuring it transmits properly down the spine. If there is a problem with the sacroiliac joint, this can lead to pain in the hips, pelvis, lower back, and legs.
Pain in the sacroiliac joint comes from the spinal roots and nerve endings in the nearby area. If there is inflammation impacting the sacroiliac joint, this leads to nerve irritation. As a result, patients feel excruciating pain in the lower back. Often, patients with sacroiliac joint disease complain that their pain gets worse when they sit for too long. The good news is that steroid injections can be helpful for sacroiliac joint pain.
A Steroid Injection Reduces Inflammation
The goal of steroid injections is to reduce inflammation. In a sacroiliac joint injection involving steroids, doctors target the joint space. Steroid injections are placed specifically near irritated nerve roots. Typically, doctors combine a steroid injection with a local anesthetic. Common examples include lidocaine and bupivacaine. Together, this injection both reduces pain and quells inflammation. In general, this procedure takes less than 15 minutes.
What Are the Benefits of Joint Injections?
If patients are interested in a steroid injection for joint pain, there are a few benefits to note.
First, this procedure is very short. Lasting only a few minutes, patients never have to go to the operating room. This injection is delivered in an office setting.
Next, because this procedure does not require any surgical incisions, the risks of complications and side effects are low. This is one of the safest ways to manage chronic pain.
Finally, steroid injections for sacroiliac joint pain can lead to immediate pain relief. This means that patients can resume many of the activities that they might not have been able to perform previously. Steroid injections can provide more powerful pain relief with fewer side effects that prescription oral pain medications.
Are There Any Risks of a Steroid Injection?
As with any other procedure, there are a few risks that patients should note. Some of the risks that patients must know include:
Bleeding: Because a steroid injection involves a needle, there is a possible risk of bleeding. Because doctors are careful to avoid any nearby blood vessels, this risk is minimal.
Infection: Whenever a needle breaks the surface of the skin, there is a risk that an infection might develop. Doctors are careful to practice sterile technique to minimize this risk.
Soreness: Sometimes, patients are a little sore following the procedure. Ice packs and ibuprofen can manage this soreness effectively.
Finally, nerve damage following this procedure is extremely rare. Doctors are very careful during a steroid injection to use anatomic landmarks, avoiding major nerves.
During a steroid injection, doctors deliver a medication called a corticosteroid. There are a few side effects that could arise following this injection. These include:
- A rise in blood sugar
- Possible stomach ulcers
- A temporarily weakened immune system
- Weight gain
While these risks are theoretically possible, they are more common with long-term use. Because this is a single injection, these risks are minimal.
How Is This Procedure Performed?
On the day of the injection, patients will come to the office. The doctor will position the patient on the table and reveal the injection site. Then, the doctor will use a swab to sterilize the area. The doctor will palpate the nearby area to look for landmarks, ensuring the needle is in the right location. Then, the doctor delivers the steroid injection. The doctor will clean the area once again and provide a band-aid. The patient should feel pain relief in a matter of minutes. In its entirety, the procedure doesn’t take any more than 15 minutes.
Contact Mid South Pain Today!
At Mid South Pain, we take great pride in the numerous treatment options we provide for joint pain. Asteroid injection is only one of many options we can provide. Contact us today to learn more about how we can use this and other procedures to help you with your joint pain needs!