Pain In The Butt-Literally!
The sacroiliac joint is in the low back where the spine meets the pelvis. Sacroiliac joint pain is typically in this area. This pain is a symptom that may come from a number of conditions or diseases.
Pain can come directly from the joint or the surrounding ligaments which connect one bone to another bone. It is often difficult to tell if the pain is coming from the sacroiliac joint or the facet joints, which are the small joints in the low back.
Pain can occur from multiple causes:
- Lifting, twisting, bending
- Trauma - such as auto accidents or falls
- Pregnancy - loosening of the ligaments
- Inflammation of the joint, such as with ankylosing spondylitis
- Less common: Infection of the joint or stress fractures in athletes
- Low back or buttock pain
- Pain that seems deep in the pelvis
- Pain in the hip or groin or back of the thigh which may radiate partway down the leg
- Stiffness of the lower spine
Finding the source of sacroiliac joint pain is often difficult. Tests depend on your medical history and the suspected cause.
Tests may include:
- X-rays or perhaps MRI.
- Sacroiliac joint injections can be helpful for diagnosis as well as treatment.
Treatment depends on the cause of the pain. Any underlying condition would receive treatment specific for that disease. Most often it is a combination of:
- Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
- Physical therapy - postural strengthening is the most important aspect of rehabilitation and prevention
- Steroid injections into the joint
- Radiofrequency treatment of nerves around the joint-for severe pain that does not respond to other treatments
Practicing good back care may help you avoid sacroiliac joint pain. This includes:
- Exercise regularly to keep muscles strong.
- Maintain good posture.
- Use proper techniques for bending or lifting.