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Sacroiliac Joint or Low Back Pain? Special Tests to Help Decide

Anyone with sacroiliac joint (SIJ) pain would appreciate a way to get pain relief. An injection into the joint could be the answer. But if the SIJ isn't the cause of the problem the injection may not be needed. Researchers from the Netherlands found that when three out of five special tests are positive, then the SIJ is the source of the pain and an injection may help.

Tests used to confirm the SIJ as the source of pain are called pain provocation tests. In this study five pain provocation tests were used on 60 patients with low back pain (LBP). Each person was tested before getting two injections into the SIJ with a numbing agent. Pain levels were measured before and after the injections.

The authors conclude from the results of this study that LBP patients can be spared an unnecessary injection. If three or more provocation tests are positive, then the pain is likely from the SIJ. The patients in this study with positive provocation tests reported at least a 50 percent decrease in pain after the injections. If less than three tests are positive the examiner should look for some other source for the pain. Anyone with positive test findings may want to consider an injection.


Peter van der Wurff, PT, PhD, et al. A Multitest Regimen of Pain Provocation Tests as an Aid to Reduce Unnecessary Minimally Invasive Sacroiliac Joint Procedures. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. January 2006. Vol. 87. No. 1. Pp. 10-14.

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*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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