Back pain is the top reason for visits to a doctor’s office. Medical experts estimate that 80 percent of the U.S. population experience back pain at some time in their lives. Such pain can lower your quality of life and even put your livelihood at risk because you can’t work. Early diagnosis by Dr Branko Skovrlj at NU-Spine in Edison, NJ makes the difference for a painful spinal condition such as sacroiliac joint disease. Your neurosurgeon uses the latest spinal procedures for the most effective treatment. Don’t live in pain. Call today to schedule an appointment and transform your life.
What Is Sacroiliac Joint Disease?
One major reason for lower back pain is the dysfunction of your sacroiliac joint, called the SI joint. When you experience chronic pain that inhibits your movement, it’s often due to sacroiliac joint disease.
The sacroiliac joints connect your sacrum, the bottom part of your spine, to your hip bones. A critical part of your spine, the SI joint absorbs the shocks between the upper body and the pelvis. It also enables forward and backward bending. The sacroiliac joint problems that lead to SI joint disease include:
- Hypermobility or instability. Too much flexibility in your pelvis results in lower back pain.
- Hypomobility or fixation. Too little flexibility due to degenerative joint disease causes tension and back pain, and it inhibits mobility in the SI joint.
Early diagnosis is crucial for successful sacroiliac joint disease treatment. If you experience persistent lower back pain, visit the best in class spine specialist, neurosurgeon Dr. Branko Skovrlj at NU-Spine: The Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Institute in Edison, NJ. A neurosurgeon who has dedicated his career to spine surgery, he has the expertise to treat a wide range of spinal dysfunctions using minimally invasive techniques.
What Does the Sacroiliac Joints Do?
Your sacrum is a large wedge-shaped vertebra between your lumbar spine and the tailbone or coccyx. The sacrum forms a solid base for your spinal column at the point where the spine connects with your hip bones, supporting the weight of your upper body. On either side of the sacrum, the SI joints join the sacrum to your hip bones.
Due to the critical location and functions of the sacroiliac joints, any dysfunction affects your daily life. These issues can show up in different ways, depending on the severity and other factors. If you have SI disease, you can expect problems that include:
- Not being able to work productively
- Difficulties walking or standing for long periods
- Insomnia or poor sleep patterns
- Psychological distress, leading to irritability and anxiety
- Not being able to concentration due to the chronic pain
What Are Symptoms of Sacroiliac Joint Disease?
Lower back pain is debilitating. It can drastically alter the way your whole body functions, as you deal with the pain. SI joint dysfunction manifests as pain in your buttocks, thighs, groin and upper back. It can radiate down one or both legs and into the surrounding muscles. Some of the symptoms that point to sacroiliac joint disease include:
- Mild to severe aching pain in your lower back
- Hot, sharp and stabbing pain in your buttocks or backs of your thighs
- An instability in your pelvis and lower back
- A reduced range of motion in your lower back
- Lower back stiffness and unexplained inflexibility
- Increased pain when climbing stairs, running, jogging or just laying down
Chronic pain affects many aspects of your daily life, leading to stress. If you’re not able to do your job because of the disease, you risk a loss of income. Don’t let it get that far; remember that early diagnosis produces the best treatment outcomes.
What Causes Sacroiliac Joint Disease?
Ligaments bind the SI joints to solidify your pelvis and to reduce the range of allowable motion. The joints have a cartilage layer over the bones, which allows frictionless movement. When this cartilage layer is damaged or wears out with age, the bones rub against each other, which can lead to SI joint disease. Some causes of such damage include:
- Degenerative diseases such as arthritis or spondylosis
- The hormonal changes of pregnancy, which allow the ligaments of the SI joint to relax
- A discrepancy in leg length
- A traumatic injury to your lumbar spine
- Sacroiliac joint infection
When you visit NU-Spine in Edison, NJ, your spine surgeon uses the latest medical equipment to determine the underlying cause of the SI joint disease. Once Dr. Skovrlj knows the underlying cause of your SI joint pain, he can recommend the most effective SI joint disease treatment option. By using evidence-based spinal treatments, he achieves successful long-term outcomes.
What Is the Best Sacroiliac Joint Disease Treatment?
Advances in spine treatment have produced more effective sacroiliac joint disease treatment options. At first, your doctor may recommend conservative treatment options, such as physical therapy, steroid injections or oral pain medications. But these non-surgical procedures usually don’t work long-term.
Dr. Skovrlj at NU-Spine in Edison, New Jersey offers more advanced solutions with minimally invasive surgical procedures. After acknowledging that the traditional treatments have not yielded satisfactory results, your spine specialist may recommend sacroiliac joint fusion. This procedure, sometimes using a stabilizing implant, relieves your pain and restores a full range of motion to your lower back. Contact NU-Spine today for an evaluation.Page Updated on Jul 9, 2021 by Dr. Branko Skovrlj (Neurosurgeon / Spine surgeon) of NU-Spine: The Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Institute in New Jersey