Pain from sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction makes it tough to move around, get comfortable, or do the things you do every day. When rest, ice, and heat aren’t enough to help, the right treatment can ease your pain and get your joint back in motion again.
Your doctor will want to try simple treatments first. If those don’t work, you can talk about other options that might help.
There are two reasons to use medication for sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The first is to bring down the swelling and irritation, called inflammation, in your joint. The second is to control pain.
Take your medication the way your doctor tells you to, even if you start to feel better. If you stop taking it too soon, the inflammation might stick around and keep your joint from healing. That means the pain may come back.
To start, your doctor might suggest that you try over-the-counter drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen or naproxen.
If these don’t work, you might move on to prescription drugs, like stronger NSAIDs or other meds, including:
- Celecoxib (Celebrex)
- Ketorolac (Toradol)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn)
If you take NSAIDs for a long time, they can upset your stomach, raise your blood pressure, and be hard on your kidneys. If you can’t take them, your doctor might tell you to try acetaminophen.
Prescription muscle relaxers can ease pain by loosening up your muscles. These include carisoprodol (Soma), cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), and metaxalone (Skelaxin). They can make you feel sleepy or sick to your stomach, though.
As medication eases pain and calms an inflamed SI joint, physical therapy can help the area become more flexible. A therapist can teach you exercises that will build strength and make your SI joint more mobile. You’ll also learn ways to move that will hurt less. You’ll probably have sessions two to three times a week, but you can continue the moves on your own at home.
Your doctor or physical therapist may suggest using a special belt temporarily to stabilize your back and SI joint during your daily activities. If your SI joint problems are because one of your legs is longer than the other, you might also get special inserts or lifts for your shoes.