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Low Back Pain May Be Sacroiliac Joint Inflammation, Special Treatment

Posted by @predictable, May 13, 2016

Low Back Pain May Be Sacroiliac Joint Inflammation, Needing Special Treatment The new Mayo health letter’s lead article is two years too late for me, but corroborates my advice to friends with low back pain. Based on my experience, I urge them to press their spinal surgeons to put down their scalpel and do the hard work needed to confirm or rule out inflammation of the sacroiliac joints, which join our spine to our pelvis. My doctor failed to check for the condition, and as a result, my physical therapy was exactly wrong and almost ruined me for life. A standard PT treatment is to stretch the spine by strapping your upper body to an unmovable table and your legs to a movable table, then turn on the power to a motor that pulls the legs slowly downward. In my case, that simply widened the already inflamed joints between my spine and my pelvis, intensifying and extending the duration of the sacroiliac pain. An internist later confirmed the inflammation by injecting a pain killer directly into one sacroiliac joint, relieving the pain on one side and thus proving the diagnosis of a condition that rarely is fixed surgically. My point is: Be sure your low back pain is thoroughly diagnosed before allowing yourself to be talked into spinal fusion surgery of any kind.

REPLY

Wow, @predictable thanks for sharing this info here with Connect members. @predictable – could you post the link to the article for others who are interested in reading it?

I’d like to know what @hartman966 @katemn @stumpy might have to add to this discussion.

@alysebrunella

Wow, @predictable thanks for sharing this info here with Connect members. @predictable – could you post the link to the article for others who are interested in reading it?

I’d like to know what @hartman966 @katemn @stumpy might have to add to this discussion.

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@alysebrunella, the link to the Mayo Health letter article on sacroiliac inflammation is healthletter.mayoclinic.com/content/article.cfm?n=426. The entire health letter is posted at lmweb.mayoclinic.com/t/15060415/3116475/61/0/. I wonder whether the article is available to people who are not subscribers to the health letter. I hope so. Too many millions of dollars are being spent on mechanical fixes for lower back pain when the cause is something immunological or metabolic or simply muscle strain (including its effects on tendons).

@alysebrunella

Wow, @predictable thanks for sharing this info here with Connect members. @predictable – could you post the link to the article for others who are interested in reading it?

I’d like to know what @hartman966 @katemn @stumpy might have to add to this discussion.

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My back pain is caused by Spinal Stenosis. Back surgery is the final
answer. Wait until the pain can’t be reached by any med, and then wait a
little longer. I am in the waiting period. Unfortunately, this is combined
with 4 right knee surgeries and a pin from my hip to knee (rt leg, of
course). Anyway, Spinal Stenosis is also a cause of back pain

Thank you so much for this information! I have always thought my pain was from my SI joint .. BUT was recently told it was the s4 and s5 joints in my back. I work out to strengthen the muscles in my back so the pain is very tolerable .. but I will definitely keep this in mind for the future!

@katemn

Thank you so much for this information! I have always thought my pain was from my SI joint .. BUT was recently told it was the s4 and s5 joints in my back. I work out to strengthen the muscles in my back so the pain is very tolerable .. but I will definitely keep this in mind for the future!

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When I saw the Back Surgeon I told him I was riding the NuStep for 30 minutes and he said that was fine, but it meant I was doing the easy way out: sitting down. He said the answer was walk, walk, walk, so I decided to try the Tread Mill. I am now up to 15 minutes 3 X’s a week on it. Obviously, I am not running top speed, I only set speed at 1.5 and the same for the incline, but I do feel better doing it. (I still do 15 min on the NuStep.) I am not up on the technical (i.e., which joints in my back are affected) but I know they are near the bottom, if not the bottom ones. There is a test for this: EMG, It is generally administered by someone in Neurology, It is great fun. They stick needles in spots and then apply a small jolt of electricity and see what wiggles – or probably what lights up on a computer screen. (I wasn’t watching – they were working from my toes to my hip.) Whatever, the results were very clear as were the results of the MRI. On the MRI, you can see the area where the spinal cord goes through the column gets VERY small. There are some injections they tried. One – no way. The other one – it seems to be keeping some of the pain away.Maybe this will add more tools to your tool kit.

thank you for the feed back, I am going for treatments similar to what did for you. Now I am having quite a bit of pain in the groin area.
thanks Terry

Wow, I have spinalstenosis or thesis or something and therapy hasn’t helped, they suggest injection or surgery but I am so scared of both, any suggestions.

@sndi

Wow, I have spinalstenosis or thesis or something and therapy hasn’t helped, they suggest injection or surgery but I am so scared of both, any suggestions.

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@sndi, I greatly sympathize with you — first, for bearing the pain; second, for unrewarding physical therapy; and also for your doubts about how to fix things. Resolving your doubts is paramount — get a second opinion from a good doctor and a lot of input from as many friends and associates (who understand your problem) as you can. My advice is to resist surgery until you develop a high level of confidence that the surgeon is right and profoundly committed to meeting your needs with the least radical treatments. Same for the injections, although you may come to see them as a short-term interim treatment on the way to a cure.

If we knew more about your condition and treatment, we might be more helpful. For example, how many physical therapy sessions have you had and over what time period? But sharing those personal details understandably is difficult and possibly risky. It’s more important for you to be skeptical about surgery, medications, and PT — make them convince you of the best course, then check their recommendations out — before undergoing treatment — with others who are trusted and expert.

@sndi

Wow, I have spinalstenosis or thesis or something and therapy hasn’t helped, they suggest injection or surgery but I am so scared of both, any suggestions.

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The injections were painful – yes. But if they work, as one of mine did, it was worth it, Pain doesn’t last but a few seconds.
Find out how often the Doc does this type of work, so you know who is working on you. There are different types of
injections. I thought the single one was worse the the 4 or 6 they did in succession at one time. Dorothy

@sndi

Wow, I have spinalstenosis or thesis or something and therapy hasn’t helped, they suggest injection or surgery but I am so scared of both, any suggestions.

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Thank you for the response, my therapy was 6 weeks 2 times a week. I think I will have to be in much more pain before surgery or if. I have had people say avoid it at all cost.

 

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