Sacroiliitis

What is the cause of sacroiliitis?

Sacroiliitis is a painful condition where either one or both sacroiliac joints become inflamed. Sacroiliitis is related to diseases that cause inflammatory arthritis in the spine. The sacroiliac joints are found where the spine meets the pelvis. Sacroiliitis may cause pain in the buttocks, lower back, and down one or both legs.

There are several factors that can cause sacroiliitis such as:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Trauma
  • Pregnancy
  • Infection

What are the symptoms?

  • Pain in the buttocks, lower back, and back of legs
  • Stiffness in hips and lower back
  • Worsening of symptoms when sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time

What is the treatment for sacroiliitis?

There are a variety of treatments available for sacroiliitis. These include medications, exercises, and procedures.

Medication

Over-the-counter pain relievers may help to treat mild symptoms of sacroiliitis.

The following medications can help to treat sacroiliitis:

  • Pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain medications may provide some relief. The doctor may prescribe stronger medicines if over-the-counter options are not helping.
  • Muscle relaxants: Sacroiliitis can cause muscle spasms that may be painful. Muscle relaxants can help relieve these.

 

Home remedies and exercise

  • Rest: Avoiding the movements that aggravate sacroiliitis pain can help to reduce inflammation.
  • Ice and heat: Alternating placing ice and heat packs on the affected area may help relieve sacroiliitis pain. A person should always cover ice and heat packs with a towel to prevent burns and damage to the skin.
  • Hip flexion exercises: This exercise involves laying on the back with the legs supported by a box or pillows. Cross one leg over the other, squeeze the legs together and then release. Repeat this on both sides. Try a variation of this exercise by laying on the back, lifting the legs, and then squeezing them together with a pillow in between.

 

Procedures

  • Joint injections: Injected corticosteroids into the sacroiliac joint can help to reduce inflammation and pain. Having too many injections may cause other problems, so they are usually limited to 2 to 4 per year.
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