Sacroiliitis – Home Remedies vs. Therapies vs. Medical Treatment

The sacroiliac joint is found in your hip bone. The inflammation of this joint is known as sacroiliitis, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, or SI joint pain. It is a very painful condition when one or both of your sacroiliac joints (SIJ or SI joints) get swollen.

These SI joints are located at the meeting point of the vertebral column with the pelvis, joining the sacrum (one of the bottom segments of the spine, that sits on top of the tailbone) with the ilium bone (which is a wing-shaped bone of the pelvis).

Causes of Sacroiliitis

1) Ankylosing spondylitis, which is a type of inflammatory disorder that progressively affects the hips and vertebral column.

2) Osteoarthritis. This is an inflammatory condition of the joint which is usually age-related.

3) Physical trauma/injury

4) Pregnancy. During pregnancy, ligaments and joints become lax due to the effect of hormones. Sacroiliac joints also get stretched to provide room for the growing fetus. In some women, this can lead to sacroiliitis.

5) Infection of the joint

6) Mechanical stress due to some conditions like surgical spinal fusion or long-term arthritis.

7) Arthritis, including degenerative arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, inflammatory arthritis

Some other conditions that may make a person more prone to sacroiliitis include:

  • Infective endocarditis
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Intravenous drug addiction

Symptoms of Sacroiliitis

The major symptoms of inflammation of the sacroiliac joint include:

  • Pain in the lower back, buttocks or one or both legs.
  • Low-grade fever.
  • Stiffness in the lower back and sometimes in hips.
  • Sometimes the pain is felt in the feet but this is less common.

Some people may also experience reduced range of motion in the lower back, hips, or legs.

The pain of sacroiliitis is enhanced by the following activities:

  • Standing or sitting for a long time
  • Standing in such a posture that the weight is shifted on one leg
  • By climbing the stairs
  • Taking long strides while walking
  • Running
  • Turning over in bed


This condition can be difficult to diagnose because sacroiliitis micis often other lower back pain conditions, caused by some other factors like sciatica. In order to obtain an accurate diagnosis, your doctor will ask you to provide a thorough medical history and then he/she will conduct a physical. Additional imaging tests such as X-Rays or CT scans may be needed to aid the diagnosis.

Home Remedies for Sacroiliitis

Here we’ll describe some home remedies to lessen the pain due to sacroiliac joint inflammation.

1) Rest

Sacroiliac joint pain is aggravated by movement. Avoiding movement helps in the reduction of joint inflammation and pain.

2) Ice and Heat Application

Alternating applying heat and ice packs on the affected site significantly reduces the pain and inflammation. Make sure that when you are applying heat or cold packs, always wrap them in a towel before putting on the skin to avoid burns or damage to the skin. Cold packs reduce the swelling while heat packs increase the blood flow to the joint which causes pain reduction.

Additionally, healthy living may also improve sacroiliitis pain, as well as your overall wellbeing.

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Exercises for Sacroiliitis

Some of the exercises which you can do to reduce sacroiliac joint inflammation are:

1) Quadricep Stretch

Stand in such a way that your head, neck, hips, and feet are in a line and bend your knees to a 90-degree angle in such a way that heels are oriented towards the lower back. Grab your ankle with your hand and pull it gently. You will feel a stretch in your quadriceps (muscles of the front of the thigh). Maintain this position for a few seconds and then release gradually.

2) Prone Leg Lifts

This exercise is used to stretch the muscles of the hips. Start by laying on your abdomen. Raise one of your legs using the muscles of the back of your thigh. Hold it as far as possible and then release. Repeat this exercise five times.

3) Hip Stretch

Lay on a hard surface on your back and move your foot as you can up the other leg. Your legs are thus in a “figure four” position. Maintain this posture for a few seconds and them release. Repeat this exercise five to six times a day.

4) Knee Rotation

Lay on a hard surface on your back keeping knees in a bent position and put both feet flat on the hard surface you are lying upon. Allow both of your knees to sway to the left gently, hold for a few seconds and then move them towards the center. Perform this exercise eight to ten times.

5) Hip Flexion Exercises

In this exercise, it recommended laving on the lower back keeping legs together and then release. Repeat this exercise on both sides. You can practice the variation of this exercise by laying on the back, lifting your both legs and then squeezing the legs keeping a pillow in between.

Medical Treatment

These are some of the most common medical treatments for sacroiliitis:

1) Pain eelievers. Anti-inflammatory over-the-counter pain medication, such as NSAIDS can provide short term pain relief.

2) Muscle relaxants. Inflammation of sacroiliac joint causes spasms to the back muscles, which can be reduced with muscle relaxant medication.

3) TNF onhibitors. If sacroiliitis is associated with ankylosing spondylitis, TNF inhibitors are used to reduce pain and swelling.

Other treatment options include: physical therapy (working with a physical therapist), joint injections and electrical stimulation.

Note: This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice and we highly recommend you to consult your health provider before using any medicine.

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