SI joint pain, also known as the Sacroiliac joint pain can be felt in the lower back and the buttocks. To know about how long does the SI joint pain takes to heal and about the best medications for it, read the following array of the article.
What Is SI Joint & How Does SI Joint Pain Feel Like?
It could be the SI joint pain if you are feeling the pain at your lower back once you stand up from a seated position. SI joint or the Sacroiliac joints happen to be two of them which are located in the lower back and they are on each side of the spine. These joints carry the weight of the upper body while we stand or while we walk and shift that load to our legs.
If you feel a SI joint pain in your lower backs or your buttocks then this pain may be due to a damage or an injury occurring in the SI joint or the joint between the hip and the spine. Usually there may be dull or even a sharp pain and the pain at first begins at the SI join, and it gradually may move to the buttocks, thighs, upper back or even your groin. A lot of times, one might feel the pain only on one side of the lower back. This pain may usually bother you more as you wake up from the bed in the morning and get gradually better during the day.
It must be noted that the SI joint pain can resemble to several other conditions, such as hip problems or a herniated disc. So, it is essential for you to have the appropriate diagnosis of the condition for proper treatment.
Usually medications, physical therapy, stretching exercises, joint injections are used to manage the symptoms of SI joint pain. However, in some cases even surgery may be required to stop the pain.
About 15 to 30% of the individuals who experience such a pain in their lower back, have a problem with their Sacroiliac joint or SI joint.
How Long Does SI Joint Pain Take To Heal?
SI joint pain may either be mild or may also be severe and this severity of the pain depends on the extent and the cause of the injury to the SI joint. Generally acute SI joint pain occurs all of a sudden and it generally heals within several days or may take several weeks. However, the chronic SI joint pain usually persists longer, i.e. more than 3 months; and it may get worse with certain physical activities.
Generally to heal from the SI joint pain, we may require medications and physical therapy or exercises and this may take around a week or few weeks. However, those pains that do not get well in few week with medications or physical therapy, may require injections inside your SI joint with a drug that would numb the pain and a steroid that would get down the inflammation. This treatment of getting the shot would take around 15 to 30 minutes and you might feel some numbness or some weakness in your feet and legs after the shot. This weakness or numbness will go away within 6 hours and you will have to take rest for next 24 hours. It must be noted that steroid injections in the Sacroiliac joints generally begin to work in about 3-7 days. Many patients start feeling a lot better and are able to move around in an easier manner after getting an injection. However; some patients might experience some kinds of side effects due to the shot, which might include anxiety, changes in menstrual period (in case of women), high blood sugar (If diabetic), difficulty sleeping, bloating, red and warm skin or flushing. These side effects would go away in just few days. It might be beneficial for many, but some may also get the pain come back in few days. You will have to wait at least 2-4 months before you take another shot for the SI joint pain.
If you experience the pain coming too often again and again, then you might require a surgery to fix the problem. The surgery would take an hour and you might go home the same day itself or might be the next day. However, it would take several weeks after the surgery for you to heal completely from the pain and the effects of the surgery. You might not be able to bear full weight on the side that has been operated and you must be advised to use support like the crutches or walker.
What Are The Best Medications For SI Joint Pain?
Medications are used for treating SI joint pain with two intensions. One is to bring the swelling and irritation down or bring down the inflammation in the SI joint, and the second one is to control the pain.
You must take your medicines as per your doctor’s prescription. You must take the medications for the prescribed time period and in the prescribed way; even if you start feeling better.
Some of the medications that your doctor might prescribe include the following.
Usually your doctor might prescribe you with NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen for relieving you from the pain. However, if they do not work you might have to take the prescription drugs such as the stronger NSAIDs and several other medications.
It must be mentioned that some of the patients might experience an upset stomach, an increased blood pressure, and also may find it hard on the kidneys if they take NSAIDs for a longer period of time. In such a case, you can try acetaminophen (Tylenol) which helps in relieving the pain, but it won’t help in reducing the inflammation of the SI joint.
Prescription Muscle Relaxers:
Prescription muscle relaxers are the medications that can ease the SI joint pain by loosening up your muscles. Carisoprodol(Soma), Metaxalone(Skelaxin), and Cyclobenzaprine(Flexeril), are some of the muscle relaxers. These medications can make you feel really sleepy or can make your stomach feel sick.
Corticosteroid drugs can also be used for treating SI joint pain and they are to be taken either orally or as an injection into the SI joint. They work in reducing inflammation of the SI joint and can provide several months of relief. However, there are a lot of side effects of using corticosteroid, such as weight gain and osteoporosis; you must talk to the doctor if they are just right for you.
It is always essential for you to note that in any kind of problem a positive attitude, regular exercise, and a strict after-care treatment is required to have full on recovery or heal from any condition. You need to take the best possible treatment and follow the prescribed after-care treatments to heal out from the SI joint pain. However, by following some preventive measures such as proper lifting techniques, regular exercise, good posture, proper nutrition and healthy body weight, along with appropriate stress management and relaxation techniques; you can prevent it from reoccurring.
- Spine-health. (2022). Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SI Joint Pain) https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/sacroiliac-joint-dysfunction/sacroiliac-joint-dysfunction-si-joint-pain
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