The sacroiliac joint is found in your hip bone. The inflammation of this joint is known as sacroiliitis. It is a very painful condition when your one or both sacroiliac joints get swollen. These sacroiliac joints are found at the meeting point of the vertebral column with the pelvis. Sacroiliitis is usually misdiagnosed as lower backache. This condition may cause pain in the lower back, buttocks and one or both legs.
Causes of Sacroiliitis
There may be many causes of inflammation in the sacroiliac joint some of which are discussed below:
1) Ankylosing spondylitis
It is a type of inflammatory disorder that progressively affects the hips and vertebral column. According to a study conducted in 2005, sacroiliitis is one of the early signs of this disease.
This is an inflammatory condition of the joint which is usually age-related. It is also among the underlying causes of sacroiliitis.
The sacroiliac joint may be damaged by a sudden traumatic injury. This results in inflammation leading to sacroiliitis.
During pregnancy, ligaments and joints become lax due to the effect of pregnancy hormones. Sacroiliac joints also get stretched to provide room for the growing fetus. In some women, this can lead to sacroiliitis.
Infection of the sacroiliac joint is also a cause of inflammation of the joint. It can also be part of infective arthritis.
6) Mechanical Stress
The vertebral column of some persons become stiff due to some conditions like surgical spinal fusion or long term arthritis. If some additional stress is exerted to these already compromised joints, this results in joint inflammation.
7) Degenerative Arthritis
This disorder causes wear and tear changes in the cartilage resulting in cartilage breakdown leading to inflammation of the joint. This process is aggravated by obesity, traumatic injury, aging, joint misalignment, joint malformation and repeated stress on the joint.
Apart from the conditions which are discussed above, the following conditions may make a person more prone to sacroiliitis.
- Infective endocarditis
- Urinary tract infection
- Intravenous drug addiction
Symptoms of Sacroiliitis
The major symptoms of inflammation of 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.
The pain of sacroiliitis is enhanced by the following activities:
- Standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time
- Standing in such posture that weight is on one leg.
- By climbing the stairs
- Taking long strides while walking
- Turning over in bed.
Sacroiliitis is difficult to diagnose because it is often considered as lower back pain caused by some other conditions like sciatica. Your doctor needs a good history and thorough physical examination to correctly diagnose this condition. The doctor may press your lower back, buttocks, and hips or move the legs of the patient to make the examination of the sacroiliac joint. The doctor may need certain investigations to confirm the diagnosis. Commonly performed radiological investigations are
- CT Scan
Home Remedies for Sacroiliitis
Here we’ll describe some home remedies to lessen the pain due to sacroiliac joint inflammation.
Sacroiliac joint pain is aggravated by movements. Avoiding the movements help 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.
Backrack™ Spinal Care Device for Sacroiliitis
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Medical professionals are now using Backrack™ to treat spinal disorders like:
- Sacroiliac Joint Pain
- Herniated Disc
- Spinal Stenosis
- Nerve Impingement
- Prolapsed Discs
- Aging Spine
- Postural Disorders
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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 flex your knees at the angle of 90-degrees in such a way that heels are 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.
Doctor Usually prescribe the following medicines for the treatment of sacroiliitis:
1) Pain Relievers
Over the counter used pain medications are very effective in pain reduction which is caused by joint inflammation including sacroiliitis. Commonly used painkillers belong to NSAID family which include aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen.
2) Muscle Relaxants
Inflammation of sacroiliac joint causes spasm of the back muscles which is a very painful condition. Muscle relaxant medicines are used to break the spasm in this condition.
3) TNF Inhibitors
If sacroiliitis is associated with ankylosing spondylitis, TNF inhibitors are used to reduce pain and swelling. It is proven from studies that these drugs significantly improve joint function and activity.
Some other procedures are also used for the inflammation of the sacroiliac joint which are:
1) Electrical Stimulation
An electrical stimulator is implanted into the sacral bone. This is used to relieve pain.
2) Joint Injections
Certain drugs like corticosteroids are injected within the joint which helps in the reduction of pain and swelling. They recommended dosage is 2 to 4 injections per year as the overuse also causes problems.
Note: We highly recommend you to consult your health provider before using any medicine.