#BACKPAINBLOGUK, #health, #hip pain, #lowbackpain, #nhs


As I have written before I am having big problems with pain in my SIJ due to arthritis with referred pain into my hip causing bursitis.

Last November I had steroid into both hips for the bursitis and a further CT guided steroid injection into my SIJ. I found they both helped with the pain but four months later the pain all started coming back again. My left sacroiliac joint has been terrible for some time now. It wakes me up when I turn over in bed. It’s painful to lie on my side and sit in a certain position and I cannot stand for long in one spot so I was keen to get another injection as soon as possible.

My insurance company had told me last time that they would not cover me for any more injections and with lockdown pain management appointments are a long way off so I decided to go back and pay for one myself. After a quick examination my consultant offered me another steroid injection into my bursa which was again inflamed and offered me another SIJ injection for my sacroiliac joints were causing significant pain when he checked me out.

He said he would arrange for me to have another CT guided steroid injection into my left SIJ but pointed out that it is not something I can keep having done. The two other options he talked about were bilateral sacroiliac joint radiofrequency ablation which I will cover in this post or if this did not work then I could have fusion surgery to my sacroiliac joints, but I have said time and time again that surgery was not something I wanted to go through again.

I looked into the radiofrequency ablation and on an NHS website it explained what this type of treatment is for and what happens during the treatment.

Each of the sacroiliac joints has its own nerve supply, the lateral branch nerve, which normally carries information about the state of the joint to your brain e.g. pain caused by inflammation, joint position etc. These nerves can be numbed / blocked by your doctor using a local anaesthetic to assess if they are transmitting pain signals (Diagnostic). Radiofrequency denervation, which is the burning of these nerves, is then performed at a later stage in order to interrupt the nerve supply and pain messages for a significantly log time. This prevents the passage of pain signals to the rest of the nervous system. The aim of this treatment is to interrupt the nerve supply to the affected sacroiliac joints.

The treatment involves –

  • A small needle is placed in the back of your hand for sedation or emergency drugs.
  • SIJ RFD is performed lying face down.
  • Your back is cleaned. The skin is numbed with some local anaesthetic is injected which stings a little.
  • A special X-ray and a radiofrequency generator machine will be used by the doctor to identify the location of the nerve.
  • Electrical tests will enable the tip of the specially designed needle get close to the nerve. The final electrical test is done to make sure that the needle tip is well away from the main spinal nerve to your leg, thereby improving the safety of the procedure.
  • When the doctor is happy with the needle position, local anaesthetic is injected before a high frequency (radiofrequency) electrical signal is passed down the needle for 90 seconds.
  • You may feel discomfort at this stage.
  • After each lesion, the area is injected with a mixture of local anaesthetic and steroid, to help reduce discomfort afterwards.
  • Depending on the technicality of the procedure and your medical condition, you may be offered a pain killer or sedative as agreed with your doctor.

There are of course a few complications that could arise but that applies to any type of treatment even with the steroid injections.

In an article on the Spine-Health website it says that the success rate has conflicting results. Success usually depends on the accuracy of diagnosis, variations in the anatomy of the nerve, and the type of technique used. Some patients have reported up to 100% reduction in pain from RFA. Research suggests:

  • RFA performed for the facet joint may provide pain relief in 45% to 60% of patients.
  • RFA performed for the sacroiliac joint may provide pain relief in 75% to 86% of patients.

Typically, if effective, RFA may provide pain relief lasting 6 months up to 2 years. However, some studies have shown patients experiencing pain relief up to 3 years. During or after this period of time, however, the nerve usually regenerates, and the pain may or may not return. The pain relief from this treatment is usually more significant when performed on the facet joints as compared to the sacroiliac joints. Some patients may not experience any relief from pain after this procedure.

I have now been passed onto the NHS pain team who have been in touch and need to refer me to a special triage service who will chat with me then refer me onto the appropriate person to chat about whether this is something I should or should not think about having done. In the meantime the steroid in my hip has helped and my SIJ injection is due at the end of the month.

I understand I cannot keep having steroid injections as there is concern and some evidence that frequent shots can cause damage to the tissue and cartilage within the joints. I guess I have to leave it to the experts to advice me.

#backpainblog, #BACKPAINBLOGUK, #fibromyalgia, #health, #lowbackpain


Here are this months 28 reasons to check out Back Pain UK’s posts for April which included my regular Sleep Sunday slots, a list of Awareness Days and a Q&A with runner Matt Wood.

I included three of my Sleep Sunday’s which included…

Ten Sleep & Lifestyle Facts

The Right Pillow to Sleep On

Coronasomnia” – the inability to fall and stay asleep

Some other interesting topics I covered included…

Twelve Interesting Facts About Chocolate and Coffee being Good for your Health

Ten Lockdown Activities to Inspire Creativity

Twenty Ways to Enjoy Cooking Without Pain

New Health & Medication App – “Know Your Meds” – hailed as the “One To Keep”

Physical & Mental Health Benefits of Running Highlighted as Top UK Running Events Company Run Through Returns after lockdown

An Interesting Q&A with runner Matt Wood from Run Through

Some Tips on Dealing with Migraines

Some regular posts about Fibromyalgia and its Awareness month included…

Progressive Relaxation for Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia

How to get the best treatment for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Awareness Month May 1st – 30th & World Fibromyalgia Awareness Day May 12th

Acupuncture Back in the News As Successful Treatment for Fibromyalgia

My Back Pain Blog Alert posts included…

Is Your Knee Pain Actually coming from a problem with your back and not your knee?

A Follow up from “Twenty Ways to Enjoy Cooking without Pain”

Could there possibly be one good thing about Fibromyalgia?

Specific posts I wrote about Back Pain included…

Sciatica and sitting – can sitting for long cause this problem?

Are You Healing or Being Healed?

Back Pain Relief Through Cannabis Medicines Webinar 25th May

I wrote a Review on a CBD product…

DragonFly Body Moisturiser with CBD Benefits

I Re-Blogged a few posts which really caught my eye and included…

Back Pain Taught Me 5 Important Lessons

Fibromyalgia & Insomnia

Earth Day 2021 – Everyone joining together to make a better place to live in

Finally, I wrote quite a bit on Awareness Days which included –

Over 13 Health Related Awareness Days, Weeks and for the Month of May

Homeopathy Awareness Week April 10-15th

MS Awareness Week April 19-25th #LetsTalkMS

Nature Theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 10th-16th May

Well, that was my packed month of posts for April. I hope you enjoyed reading them and as always I am happy to accept guests posts or pitches. Thank you for stopping by.

#backpainblog, #BACKPAINBLOGUK, #mental health


This years Mental Health Awareness Week’s theme is NATURE.

Mr. Mark Rowland Chief Executive of The Mental Health Foundation wrote how during lockdown he encountered a family member who was quite reliant on her daily hit of nature to get her through the day.

During the long months of the pandemic, millions of us turned to nature, including me. I became quite neurotic about how I could attract birds to my garden. I tried every type of food and tactics but soon realised nature needed a few more trees and hedges to hide in. I am glad to say we are getting some regular visitors now.

Mark Rowland wrote that their research on the mental health impacts of the pandemic showed going for walks outside was one of our top coping strategies and 45% of us reported being in green spaces had been vital for our mental health. Websites which showed footage from webcams saw hits increase by over 2000%. Wider studies also found that during lockdowns, people not only spent more time in nature but were noticing it more.

Nature is our great untapped resource for a mentally healthy future, it is central to our psychological and emotional health. In the US a study found that patients who were treated in hospitals with a view of nature recovered faster. So during Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 they hope to raise awareness and inspire more people to connect with nature in new ways and to convince decision makers at all levels that access to and quality of nature is a mental health and social justice issue as well as an environmental one.

Mind are asking you to join in with them and the Mind community to speak out and share why fighting for mental health is important to you. Whether you’re fighting for your younger self who struggled with depression, for your friend on CAMHS waiting list or simply for properly funded mental health services. Whether you use social media or speak with friends, family or colleagues – help create a movement.

If you’re sharing on social media, remember to tag Mind and use the hashtags #mhaw #fightforMH to make sure you’re joining in the conversation. The coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on our mental health. Help their Infoline be there for everyone so they all have someone to talk to when it becomes too much. Help them reach more people feeling trapped and isolated with our peer support networks and advice on staying well. And help them to continue campaigning to protect your rights and support your needs. Donate here.

Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding and they won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect.