Treatments for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

There are many different non-surgical treatment options for SI joint dysfunction, such as sacroiliac bracing and medications.

Written by Jason M. Highsmith, MD

Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction can cause low back pain, but fortunately, there are many ways to treat this condition. But before you try any treatment, first you should stop or avoid any activity that’s causing you pain. The next step to treat SI joint dysfunction involves a combination of rest, medications, and physical therapy.

Drugs and Medications for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

There are many medications you can take to treat SI joint dysfunction. Initially your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter medications to help reduce your pain or inflammation. These medications include:

As always, check with your doctor first before trying any over-the-counter medications. If over-the-counter medications don’t work for you, your doctor may prescribe a medication such as corticosteroids.

Corticosteroid drugs can be taken orally or as an injection into the SI joint. They work powerfully to reduce your inflammation and they can provide months of relief. Because there are certain side effects and risks associated with corticosteroids, such as osteoporosis and weight gain, talk to your doctor about whether they’re right for you.

Physical Therapy to Treat Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Your SI joints help support your upper body when you’re standing or sitting, but over time, these activities can cause stress on your SI joints. Physical therapy can help ease the stresses on your SI joints. Specific movements, such as range-of-motion and stretching exercises, can help to strengthen your SI joints, as well as your abdominal and back muscles. Physical therapy can also help you maintain joint flexibility, which is especially important as you get older.

Other Treatments for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Fortunately, most people respond well to a combination of these non-surgical treatments. However, if these treatments don’t work for you, talk to your doctor about whether surgery is an option for you.

Surgery for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Although surgery is rarely used to treat sacroiliac joint dysfunction, there are a few surgical options that can help reduce your SI joint pain.

One example of SI joint dysfunction surgery is SI joint stabilization or joint fusion. It’s uncommon, but you may need this type of surgery to fuse your SI joints if you don’t respond well to other treatments.

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Exercise and Physical Therapy for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction