Sacroiliac joint pain is when your sacroiliac joints —where your lower spine and pelvis meet—are inflamed, resulting in a sharp stabbing pain on your lower back or buttocks. The inflammation can be on either or both joints. It is often mistaken for lower back pain and thus can be difficult to diagnose.Read further to find out more about sacroiliac joint pain and What is the treatment for sacroiliac joint pain.

The pain worsens if prolonged standing periods or activities like jumping, climbing stairs, etc. In most cases, individuals enquire about the Treatment options available for sacroiliac joint pain. There are a lot of medical and therapeutic treatment options available for SI joint pain.  

What is the sacroiliac joint? 

The sacroiliac joint’s primary function is to support your body weight by distributing it all over your pelvis. It also absorbs shocks or sudden impacts to your spine to protect it from damage. The treatment for sacroiliac joint pain varies depending on the intensity and longevity of the pain. Following is a list of treatment options for sacroiliac joint pain.

Potential Symptoms of sacroiliac joint pain – 

  • Intense pain when standing for a prolonged period. 
  • Pain on left or right buttocks resulting in shifting body weight to one side while standing.
  • Difficulty in running, climbing stairs, and taking long strides. 

Causes for sacroiliac joint pain –

  • Injury: sudden impact on the back due to a motor vehicle accident or falling from a height can result in injury in the sacroiliac joint. It can show up following the accident or, sometimes, sometimes, after the accident. 
  • Arthritis: Arthritis is when one or more joints get inflamed or tender. Arthritis can occur in sacroiliac joints as well. The type of arthritis that affects sacroiliac joints is known as ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Pregnancy: During childbirth, sacroiliac joints loosen to accommodate the fetus. There is also additional weight on the body, which causes stress to the sacroiliac joints. 
  • Walking patterns: issues such as leg length disparity and problems in knees, hips, or ankles, which lead to an individual favoring and supporting the body weight on one leg, lead to abnormal walking patterns. These abnormal walking patterns affect the sacroiliac joints and can result in inflammation. If the cause of an abnormal walking pattern is pregnancy, the pain might dissolve on its own as the walking pattern is resumed to its normal style. 
  • Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a kind of arthritis wherein the joints weaken due to wear and tear, usually in old age. Osteoarthritis can affect joints in the body, resulting in inflammation, including in the sacroiliac joint. 

After we’ve covered all of the potential reasons for SI joint pain, let’s look at some treatment options for sacroiliac joint discomfort.

What is the treatment for sacroiliac joint pain?

If your sacroiliac joint pain is relatively new, you are recommended the following:

In case of a recent sacroiliac joint pain, rest for 2 to 3 days is advised. Resting must be limited to 3 days as a long period of immobility might lead to stiffness or increased pain. 

  • Applying an ice pack or a heated massage

An ice pack or a heated massage can help relieve the pain as it relaxes the muscles and provides relief to the joints.

Over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen are beneficial for pain relief. NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen are also beneficial in relieving joint pain.

As the pain can affect your entire lower abdomen; muscle relaxants help to ease the stiff muscles and provide comfort. It also helps in regaining mobility. 

Manual therapy for the sacroiliac joint provided by a chiropractor, osteopathic doctor, or similar certified medical professional can help relieve the pain. It works by manipulating the joint to relax and reduce muscle tension that causes pain. It can help in restoring the normal range of motion. 

Yoga, massage, low impact exercise strengthen sacroiliac joints and ease the pain. Stretching exercises reduce tension in the muscles, lower back, and hips. Strengthening exercises such as triangle pose and bird dog pose can help strengthen the abdominal and lower back muscles. Aerobic exercises help to increase blood flow to the damaged tissue and fasten the healing process. Low-impact aerobics, such as stationary cycling and water aerobics, are best suited for sacroiliac joint pain. 

  • Sacroiliac belt or a pelvic brace

Wearing a sacroiliac belt to support the sacroiliac joint can help, especially in people of old age. It helps take off pressure from the joint and distribute it along your back. A pelvic brace wraps around the waist and helps with high-intensity pain.

  • Corticosteroid injections into the joint

An anti-inflammatory medication and an anesthetic are injected into the joint for pain relief. When returning to normal activities or starting a physical therapy program, corticosteroid injections can be very helpful. 

  • Radiofrequency ablation – 

This is a process that uses energy to deactivate the pain-causing nerves.

Surgery is considered the last resort and is the only solution in rare cases. Sacroiliac joint fusion surgery involves using small plates and screws to hold the bones of the sacroiliac joint together so that the bones can fuse or grow together.

A combination of these treatments can relieve sacroiliac joint pain; usually, a hit-and-trial method is used to determine the best treatment. Initially, resting and over-the-counter medicines can help with the pain. Once the reason for the pain is recognized, you can figure out how best to get rid of the pain.

Precautions to prevent sacroiliac joint pain – 

As there are several reasons for sacroiliac joint pain, it can be prevented in some cases. Following tips can slow down and prevent sacroiliac joint pain :

  • Staying active 
  • Consuming a healthy diet 
  • Maintaining your body weight so that the sacroiliac joints do not suffer pressure

Final takeaway – 

Sacroiliac joint pain can be caused by aging, pregnancy, sudden weight gain, or abnormal walking patterns. The treatment is simple, involving pain relief medication and ensuring proper amounts of rest accompanied by a light exercise that does not impact your pelvis. If you suffer from consistent back pain, it might be sacroiliac joint pain, and you should consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and follow-up treatment. 

Post source: Credihealth

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