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Treatment of Sacroiliac Inflammation

Sacroiliac Joint Inflammation

Sacroiliac joint inflammation, which is also known as sacroiliitis, can be due to several possible causes, the most common of which is the build up of osteoarthritis.  It may also be due to other forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, spondylitis, or gout; a sudden impact to the spine, hip, or pelvis due to accident or injury; muscle imbalance; chronic stress fractures, bad posture, and; hormonal changes or dislocations. Pregnancy causes sacroiliac joint pain because the woman’s hormonal changes loosen her connective tissues in preparation for childbirth.

The sad truth about it is that sacroiliac joint inflammation cannot be avoided especially when the person ages.  But its severity can be considerably reduced with a well-maintained body weight and proper conditioning.  A healthy body weight helps prevent the cartilage from getting injured and possible arthritis.

Because of the varied contributing factors to the ailment, treatment of sacroiliac inflammation also comes in varied ways.  The application of treatment is based largely on the symptoms and signs demonstrated by the patient, and on the essential cause of the inflammation.  Usually, it would include a combination of rest, physical therapy, and medications. Sufferers of sacroiliac inflammation are usually advised to take some rest to promote recovery. Doctors may also recommend physical therapy, as this can do so much in resolving sacroiliac inflammation. It promotes stabilization of the spine, and relaxation of the muscles and nerves around the joints.  During physical therapy sessions, the patient is taught proper range of motion and stretching exercises to promote joint flexibility, and strengthening exercises to enhance muscle stability.

Moreover, doctors may prescribe taking both steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease the inflammation.  In some cases, doctors may recommend only a short period of narcotics since these drugs can be habit-forming if taken for a longer period. Muscle relaxants, such as cyclobenzapine, can alleviate muscle spasms.

Likewise, corticosteroids, such as betamethansone or triamcinolone may be administered by injecting it into the affected joint to ease the swelling and pain; although this should only be used occasionally because steroids bring harmful side effects to the joints and also tendons.  Disease modification antirheumatic drugs (DMRDs), such examples include sulfasalazine and methotrexate, are also helpful in treating ankylosing spondylitis. In addition, there are also (TNF) tumor necrosis factor inhibitors that may relieve the ankylosing spondylitis-related inflammation.  Examples of which include etanercept, adalimumab, and infliximab.

It should be noted, however, that the above mentioned medications may not be applicable to pregnant women since many which are not suitable to their condition.  As much as possible, pregnant women with sacroiliac joint inflammation must limit their treatment routine to physical therapy and rest instead of resorting to medication; otherwise, they have to consult with their respective physicians for appropriate solution to their pain problem.

For many sufferers, sacroiliac joint inflammation is curable with medications, rest, and physical therapy.  But then, there are also exceptions to the rules because persons with complicated ailment may respond differently to such treatments. In extreme cases when the usual treatments fail to alleviate pain, surgery might be recommended; and this usually involves fusing the sacroiliac joints together with a metal hardware.

Causes of Sacroiliac Joint Pain


Sacroiliac Pain, which is also called Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction, is often characterized by lower back pain or weakness in the legs and buttocks. As people age, the characteristics of their sacroiliac joints also change. These joints may become stiff and locked up, due to a prolonged sitting position or injuries. Although specific causes of sacroiliac joint pain are still uncertain, research is ongoing to determine whether the pain comes from the joint surfaces or from the ligaments that hold these joints together. Nevertheless, experts have identified and divided the causes of sacroiliac joint pain into four categories, namely;

Traumatic injury.  This occurs when the sacroiliac joint is affected by a sudden impact or fall where ligaments that support the joint are damaged. A common source of traumatic injury on sacrum or pelvis is falling backward or sideways onto a hard surface.

Biomechanical.  Repetitive movements due to exercise, increased sports activity, driving, and chronic dynamic bending and twisting have greater tendency to result in SI joint pains. When 1 of the joints become restricted or locked up by bending or twisting movements, it often results in pain. This pain, which can be sudden, tends to be localized to one side of the sacrum. Some of the most common biomechanical problems are: muscle imbalance, twisted pelvis, overpronation, and leg length discrepancy. An uneven leg length or strength imbalances in opposing muscles causes misalignment of the sacroiliac joints.

Hormonal changes.  Women are more susceptible to sacroiliac joint pain than men because of child-bearing. As a pregnancy progresses, hormonal changes cause the ligaments of a woman’s pelvis to become lax in preparation for the passage of the baby. This laxity and weight gain can cause pressure on the sacroiliac joint.  The pain is usually localized to one side of the extreme lower back.  In addition, women may experience same hormonal change during menstruation, but to a lesser degree.

Inflammatory joint disease. There are a number of inflammatory arthritides that usually target the sacroiliac joints and create an unpleasant cycle, the most common of which is the Ankylosing Spondylitis. It is a form of chronic, degenerative arthritis that affects the sacroiliac joints, spine, and other joints of the body. Its cause still remains uncertain, although heredity is considered a factor. Degenerative arthritis are normally found to be more likely a result of the locking of joints, which deprives oxygen and nutrients from the cartilage of joint hyaline, which then causes waste products building up in and around the joint. Other arthritides that usually attack the sacroiliac joints are psoriatic arthritis, Reiter’s syndrome and enteropathic arthritis. Besides, acidic foods, alcohol, and caffeine can cause inflammation conditions within the joints.

Sacroiliac joint inflammation can be a difficult problem to diagnose for a few reasons like, other problems can cause similar symptoms, or, that examinations cannot isolate just the sacroiliac joint. But then there are simple ways to treat SI joint pain at home, namely:  it is advisable to rest from any activities which cause pain; take anti-inflammatory medications; apply a warm-pack around the muscles that have tightened up, and; try wearing a sacroiliac back belt.

However, it would be better to see a doctor, physical therapist, or chiropractor if you are experiencing sacroiliac joint pain because living with the pain without addressing its causes could seriously injure your SI joints.