sacroiliac joint problem

i have been having on and off problems with my sacroiliac joint now for over 2 years but this latest attack is the worst yet i have been in constant pain now standing,sitting and sleeping are just about a no go or only for short times. i am under the MSK specialist who says my MRI is not too bad yes i have OA in my sacroiliac joint at the right hand facet joint but nothing that he feels needs surgery or injection, i have had physio and now on with a osteopath who as tried bowen now doing dry needles which at time does help but soon as i get doing normal work its back again.

had pregabalian which didnt agree and i can take anti inflams the osteopath says its very inflamed which makes it hard for him to work on me. Really getting me down now i have had to keep having time off work as my job is very physical trying some natural anti inflam remedies now . pain releif i have had morphine when it was unbearable and had a couple of nights in hospital rest of time tramadol, paracetamol and on less painfu; days which are few co codamal

15 Replies

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  • Given a tens unit a try ?

  • Cheap enough now to try, but it's done precious little for mine.

  • sat with one on now lol

  • Some physios can loosen the psoas/iliacus muscle which hooks under your pelvic crest bone. It causes a lot of problems that muscle, if it tightens up. Docs don't know much about it though. Physio will, or osteopath.

  • Had problems for many years, but got a fair degree of relief from a Chiropractor, but for last nearly two years or so, it does nothing at all to help now, and his and my best guess is mine is inflamed and potentially in the process of fusing, I have also seen an Osteopath in the hope the different approach would help, but again no success - and I forever hope it will be a bit better when it finally does fuse, if it ever does, but I use Strong opiates & NSAIDs (which I need anyway) in the meantime, my priority is getting a moderate reasonable amount of sleep, (without it I get very unwell physically and mentally very quickly) as taking enough to significantly reduce pain to give me more mobility when walking etc. is an unreasonable hope and that is when I can generally tolerate the pain more too.

    BuTrans patches and Temgesic to top up (it's the same drug) has given me the best pain relief, at significantly lower equivalent levels, with least side effect than other opiates, however like everything else, it's a variable experience for different people, but Tramadol, which is weaker (and which I took for over 15 years) gave me more far side effects, and was also wicked to get off!

    Before that a few years on CoCodamol (and that was when I was younger and fitter!) caused me liver problems, from the shed-loads of paracetamol which took some years to resolve - it might be OK to take it for the odd headache, but regular liver function tests are good idea when you are taking it regularly. I found I was getting the same pain relief from just the Codeine Phosphate without the paracetamol anyway!

    It is odd how it is a different pain and sensation compared to other back pain (I also have osteoarthritis of the spine as well as a dislocated arthritic hip which makes my leg much shorter than the other - that is the real cause of the problems long-term)

  • Gaah, Picton - sounds awful!

  • Sounds like your getting tired of all this but I would highly reccommend not going anyware near surgery or inter-spinal injections. Try reflextherapy as its a non-invasive treatment where the right therapist can touch and heal slowly the areas that need help.

    Shiatsu is also good don't go down any route that includes clicking or cracking your spinal bones etc as it will most definatly make things so much worse. I realatey The Spine will heal it self, given enough time some form of healing will take place. The problem we all have is that we are not patience people, which is why, we are all all so happy to try more invasive and danagerous things.

    All I can say with allot of experience is don't go there you most likely will never be well again !!!! good luck

  • I have had the same thing for years, I have had surgery on my spine also lots of treatments.

    I have discovered a wonderful massage therapist who is my rock. She un knocks it all and although its never going to get better she keeps me going and there has be a good deal of improvement for the majority of my days. She has taught me gentle stretches and core exercises too. I am on a cocktail of pills for all my conditions but I take less of my diazepam now. Hope you can get some relief from the condition as its more painful that healthy people think.

  • Hi prim50

    I too have this and have varying aches and pains. I found several thibgs helped a little and when convined eased the pain quite a bit.

    First off pilates will help to strengthen your core tummy nuscles which will hekp to support the spine and take some stress away from the pelvis. Take it slow, regular exercise is more important than progressing through the levels.

    Second, if I know I'm going to be on my feet for a long time I wear fat reducing pants. They provide enough suport to give the pelvis a rest. Not a good idea to wear every day though as they will weaken the muscles over time.

    Third I see a sports physio. They work on reducing the compensation pain and are very goid at finding the source if the pain. They will also find and treat aby relatibg trigger pain. They will give you exercises to do too.

    Lastly, meditation will give your brain a rest from the pain, it changes the brain waves and you kearn to channel out the pain. It can be a very powerful pain killer when mastered properly.

    Years ago I found hydrotherapy helpful both the wam water and being suspended. Again be careful as although these exercises seem simple a half hour in the pool is the same as an hour and half in the gym.

    I would stay away from surgery for as long as possible. Its a complex area and the nerves are exposed over the sacrum increasing the chances of them getting nipped.

    I hope you find one or two things to help. Also, you can ask your work to give you different duties for a while. Speak to the occy health dept or CAB if they don't have one.

  • SI joint is usually very stable but the facet capsule is snugly buried right in there next to it and can be a potent source of pain. A big bag of nerves and a generous blood supply it can bloat and inflame and drive you nuts! Could be the problem? Or if the SI looks likes its fusing then have you been checked for ankylosing spondylitis ? Either way I think you need a solid physio who can get into that joint and get you going again. It sounds like you need to look around and find a better therapist. Try meloxicam as well and take regularly. Best wishes

  • where do i get meloxicam from

    i too am very uncertain about injections too as i know it not cure it really but i need the inflamation bring down so physio and exercise is more managable too.

    its the facet joint on my SI they say

  • Hi Prim50 You can get Meloxicam from your GP It is an Non Steroidal anti inflamatory tab. The trade name is Mobic. Hope this helps Regards Moggiemay

  • I had an SI joint bilateral fusion and for me it was the best thing I did! I had horrendous pain due to split SI joints, that pain was worse than my lower back pain, felt like my pelvis was going to break. Because the operation is done via keyhole its a very quick recovery and the pain relief was instant (apart from the operation bruising) I used crutches for a few weeks after and had one done 8 weeks after the other. Obviously it is a last resort.

  • You have my sincere sympathies as I, too, suffer with SI pain & have done so for many years. I (& my osteopath) blamed it on postural problems relating to my work, but recently I had a knee replacement which showed that my kneecap was way out of position - the real cause of my back pain as it had affected my gait so much over many years. My kneecap has been repositioned correctly but of course my back now has to realign & adapt to the new posture. Throwing off those old compensations & holding patterns is quite a challenge & causing a lot of pain. What I have learnt through this process though is that a lot of the pain is caused by soft tissue injury, where muscles, ligaments, tendons & bone membrane all get stretched & strained & inflamed etc. there are lots of nerves in the SI region. The body has an amazing capacity to heal & I have found two types of treatment really helpful - deep tissue massage and Cranio-sacral therapy, the latter particularly effective if you're acute. It's very gentle, you will feel no pain at the time, but like most treatments you will get a bit of a temporary flare-up afterwards. Those of us who have to live with long term pain develop a highly sensitised pain response & Cranio is ideal for this. Also when we're in pain, the soft tissues stiffen up all around it, & that increases the pain. Cranio helps the body to release these tensions. In all cases it's so important to get a really good practitioner, cos you can get good & bad ones. I also massage comfrey & arnica gel into the area 3 times daily. I'd recommend an infrared heat wrap for your back which supplies a very deep healing heat. The best one is Thermedic - you can buy on amazon.co.uk I wear it in bed & switch on last thing at night for half an hour. It's bliss. Also I wake every morning with bad pain as I stiffen up overnight. So I just flick the switch on & that lovely deep heat radiating into my back feels great. Incidentally my surgeon said: have an operation anywhere on your body, but never have an operation on your back. So I'm going to keep plugging away at this & hopefully encourage my body's own healing resources to improve over time. I really hope you find a way of managing your pain levels. Look after yourself. All the best to you

  • Hi ,I really feel for you I have the same problem just be diagnosed with sacrolilitis ,I have facet joint injections and sacroiliac joint injections these seem to work for me when I get an appointment ,the last 3 have been cancelled so it's been about a year since I last went ,my pain becomes unbearable ,I've tried all the pain killers you said ,my stomach lining is now damaged due to taking so many ,I'm now on butrans patches and pregabalin,theses seem to work for me up to now it's the best I've felt for about a year ,I'm going to try Pilates it's the only thing I haven't tried I've heard so many good stories about this helping people with back problems ,my job is very demanding and I have a lot of bending etc to do ,it's very worrying which makes everything worse fear of loosing my job like you ,you are not alone,I wish you well ,try tens machine it works for some ,remember your not on your own xxxx

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