Tests and treatments

Injections for pain in lower back and buttocks

What is it?

The sacroiliac joint (SIJ) is the joint between the sacrum and the ilium bones. Due to wear and tear (arthrosis), inflammation, surgery or an accident, the SI joint area may undergo change. This may result in pain in the lower back and buttocks. The pain may also manifest on one side only.

An SIJ infiltration involves injecting a local painkiller and an anti-inflammatory agent (cortisone) in the area near the painful joint. Cortisone reduces the inflammatory response and this will eventually cause the pain to decrease.

If you experience a clear reduction in pain but only for a brief period, denervation (radiofrequency treatment) of the sacroilial joint may be considered. This treatment involves ‘facet joint denervation‘.

Treatment procedure


On the day of the treatment, you will come to the hospital. Please follow these rules regarding fasting:

Type of food:Example:Allowed until at the latest:
Normal mealmidnight before the surgery or examination
Light meale.g. a sandwich or toast with jam. Deep-fried/fatty foods or meat are not includedsix hours prior to the procedure or examination
Dairy productsMilk, bottle-feeding for a child, yoghurt...six hours prior to the procedure or examination
Breastfeedingfour hours prior to the procedure or examination
DrinksAs wished: water, sugar water, sports drinks, clear fruit juices without pulp (apple juice, grape juice)

a cup: clear tea and coffee without milk
Recommended: continue to drink up to two hours before the procedure or examination
(Exceptions: gastrointestinal surgery. You should follow the instructions of your attending physician).

No milk products

By law, you may not drive any vehicles or operate machinery the morning after the treatment. Therefore, make sure that somebody can take you to and from the hospital. The physician or nurses can provide you with certificates, if required. If you wish, the nurses of the Pain Centre can order a taxi for you.

Always inform the physician if:

  • you have diabetes or a heart condition
  • you are (or could be) pregnant
  • you are allergic to certain medications, contrast agents or iodine (disinfectant), latex, etcetera
  • you take blood thinners

If you have reduced kidney function, have recently experienced thrombosis or a heart attack or have had a stent implanted, you must contact your attending physician first.

You will find an overview of the medications that you must stop taking before the treatment (and when) in the leaflet at the bottom of this page.


See the leaflet below for more information about:

  • course of the admission and the treatment
  • the possible side effects and complications

Centres and specialist areas

Pain Centre

Latest publication date: 11/08/2021