The sacroiliac joint is the joint connecting the sacrum of the spine to either the right or left iliac bone. These iliac bones are the large ones that form your pelvis. These sacroiliac joints are important not to mention impressive when you consider what they can handle; they support the weight of your entire upper body when you are upright and help you balance as you walk, as well as absorbing shock to the spine. These joints are relatively immobile, typically allowing for just a few degrees of rotation.
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Sacroiliitis is an inflammation of the sacroiliac joint. It can include both joints or just one. These joints are found at the lower part of your spine where it connects to your pelvic area, near the hips. The pain of sacroiliitis can affect the:. Sacroiliitis is a main component in ankylosing spondylitis. Ankylosing spondylitis is a rheumatic disease that causes joint inflammation and stiffness in the spine and hips.
It is a type of arthritis that is progressive. Anyone can get sacroiliitis. However, ankylosing spondylitis, which has sacroiliitis as a major component, is less common and is seen more often in Caucasians. Treatment depends on the type of sacroiliitis.
Taking over-the-counter pain medications and resting the joint can often help alleviate many symptoms. However, if you are pregnant you should check with your doctor before taking any medication.
Treatment options for sacroiliitis include:. If the pain is severe, your doctor may prescribe a pain medication or a muscle relaxer to help, since muscle spasms are common. You may also be given a prescription for a medication called a TNF inhibitor if your sacroiliitis is related to ankylosing spondylitis. Receiving physical therapy and learning strengthening and flexibility exercises can be helpful for those with sacroiliitis.
During physical therapy you will learn range of motion exercises and strengthening exercises. Treatment will also focus on stretching and keeping or increasing your joint flexibility. The symptoms of sacroiliitis can look similar to other lower back issues. However, it is specifically an inflammation in the joint. The more common symptom is pain in the lower back, hip, buttocks, and down the legs. This is sometimes accompanied by a low-grade fever.
The pain will usually be worse after standing for a long time, going up or down stairs, or running or walking with long strides. Sacroiliitis is not uncommon in women who are pregnant. That is because during pregnancy your hip and sacroiliac joints will begin to naturally loosen. This is your body preparing to give birth. Add to that a change in the way some women walk as a result of pregnancy and that can cause your sacroiliac joints to become inflamed.
This becomes sacroiliitis. Diagnosis comes through several options which are usually done in combination for a more accurate diagnosis. Your doctor will start with a physical exam which may include pressing in the area of your hip or your buttocks and moving your legs. In order to identify that the pain in in your sacroiliac joint and not somewhere else in your lower back, your doctor may decide inject a numbing medication directly into the joint.
However, this is not always an accurate test since the medication can spread to other areas. You doctor might also send you for an X-ray to confirm. An MRI might be used if your doctor thinks you might have ankylosing spondylitis. The outlook for sacroiliitis may vary based on the cause. Some injuries will be improved by medications, therapy or an exercise program.
However, if it is caused by joint damage that cannot be corrected by surgery or medication, or in relation to ankylosing spondylitis, then treatment will be based on managing symptoms long term. It is important that you see your doctor for any pain in your joints. This is especially true if it interferes with your normal life functions. The earlier you receive treatment the better the outcome will be. Ever heard a snap, crackle, or pop when bending your knee?
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Wells — Updated on July 25, Treating sacroiliitis. Sacroiliitis exercises. What are the symptoms? What are the causes? Sacroiliitis in pregnant women. How is it diagnosed? Outlook and prognosis. Read this next. Knee Noise: Crepitus and Popping Explained. Medically reviewed by Brenda B. Spriggs, M. Medically reviewed by Nancy Carteron, M. What Is Medial Compartmental Osteoarthritis?
Video: 5 Best Sacroiliac Joint Pain Exercises
Your doctor or physical therapist may recommend specific stretches and exercises as part of your sacroiliitis or sacroiliac joint pain treatment plan. Sacroiliitis is inflammation of one or both of your sacroiliac joints that may be caused by pregnancy, injury, infection, different types of arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis. Sacroiliac SI joint pain is also a symptom related to SI joint dysfunction. Full body stretching movements may be prescribed by your doctor or physical therapist. Photo Source: RF. The symptoms of sacroiliitis and SI joint pain may be felt in the low back, buttocks, hips, and legs.
Stretches and Exercises for Sacroiliac Joint Pain
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6 Best Sacroiliac Joint Pain Exercises, and 5 to Avoid