Sacroiliac Joint Pain - What It Is And How It Can Be Treated? (2022)

Introduction

Many people with sacroiliac joint pain might believe it is caused by disk problems. It is when they start having pelvic pain that the doctor might diagnose them with sacroiliac joint dysfunction and recommend sacroiliac joint pain treatment.

The two sacroiliac joints are on either side of the bottom of your spine. They are connected to some major muscles and ligaments in your body to help you move. Your sacroiliac joint bears a lot of the weight of your upper body.

If one or both of the joints get inflamed or injured, you will know about it because the pain can radiate to all other joints in the area. Experts say that 15% to 25% of people who complain of persistent lower back pain have sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Many things like arthritis, infections, psoriasis, poor posture, and others can bring it on. Fortunately, there are conventional and natural solutions for sacroiliac joint pain relief.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain Causes

Sacroiliac Joint Pain - What It Is And How It Can Be Treated? (1)

  • Giving birth or being pregnant – It causes sacroiliac joint pain. This can be due to hormonal changes and weight gain. These conditions can cause the ligaments in the SI joint to become relaxed. There are also pelvic changes that come with childbirth. In some women, the ligaments could even stay loose after childbirth, which can cause sacroiliac joint pain. Fortunately, sacroiliac joint pain treatment is available.
  • The way you walk – This could be a result of a leg length discrepancy or scoliosis – these conditions will place uneven pressure on one side of your pelvis. Sacroiliac joint pain causes can be brought about by the wear-and-tear on the SI joint. This will no doubt increase your pain levels as well.
  • Prior lower back surgery – This can add pressure to the sacroiliac joint. A study found that sacroiliac joint pain is more common after fusion surgery than a discectomy. It was also found from the same study that multilevel surgery could also probably cause sacroiliac joint pain over a single-level procedure.
  • Hip osteoarthritis or bone graft harvesting – These conditions can lead to sacroiliac pain.
  • Sacroiliitis – It is a condition wherein the sacroiliac joint/joints are infected and inflamed.
  • Extra stress on the joint – Sacroiliac joint pain causes could result from contact sports, having a labor-intensive job, or heavy lifting. If your pelvic or lower back muscles are unconditioned as well, then stress from too much sitting or standing may also contribute to SI joint pain. Sometimes, the sacroiliac joint can experience a nasty jolt like a fall, which can also cause sacroiliac joint pain.

10 Ways to Get Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief

The main idea of sacroiliac joint pain treatment is to get rid of the pain that goes with it and then restoring normal motion to the joint. Most treatments for SI joint pain are non-surgical.

Here are the best ways to find sacroiliac joint pain relief.

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1. Brief Rest Period

Just resting for about 2 days might be the best treatment. A 2-day period is sufficient because if you go longer than that, stiffness could occur as well as increased pain. While resting, you could also apply hot and cold ice packs. When you apply these packs to the lower back and pelvic area, you help to reduce inflammation and lessen the pain and discomfort. Heat applied to these areas helps to relieve muscle spasms and tension.

(Video) Sacroiliac Joint Pain, Diagnosis, and Treatment - Dr. McNally

2. A Natural Treatment for Sacroiliac Joint Pain Causes Collagen Repair

Collagen is the most plentiful natural protein found within our bodies – it helps our blood to clot. It is an important building block of all tissues, including joints and ligaments. Collagen can be found inside the joints. This substance is one of the first things lost due to aging, overuse of joints, and inflammation.

3. Omega-3 Rich Foods

The best sources of omega 3 are wild-caught fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Other omega-3 foods include grass-fed beef, chia, and flaxseeds. All of these do an excellent job of fighting inflammation, as well as fighting age-related problems. Consume plenty of foods that contain antioxidants. Eat anti-inflammatory foods that support tissue repair. Eat plenty of organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs like turmeric, ginger, garlic, etc.

4. Supplements to Reduce Inflammation

Good ones are ginger, turmeric, bromelain, protein powder, resveratrol, green tea, berry extracts, etc.

5. Conventional Treatments

These include postural correction, injection, prolotherapy, and surgical fusion.

  • Posture correction sacroiliac joint pain relief exercises and physical therapy – This requires using the right form of exercise, making the joints more flexible as well as decreasing inflammation in the SI joint. Therapists might also incorporate the use of ultrasound, heat or cold treatments, massage, and stretching exercise.
  • Injection – Shots of cortisone can be used to reduce inflammation in the joint. Some physicians will use a numbing solution like lidocaine or bupivacaine to relieve some of the pain.
  • Prolotherapy (PRP) Treatments – This is regenerative medication for chronic and acute injuries, bringing sacroiliac joint pain relief.
  • Surgical fusion of the SI joint – This is quite an invasive procedure and is only recommended when non-surgical treatments are not viable. Nerve treatment and surgical interventions, however, are considered as the last resort.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain - What It Is And How It Can Be Treated? (3)

6. Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief Exercises and Stretches

Once your joints have improved a bit with pain medication, you can work on strengthening the muscles near the SI joint. You can do low-impact bodyweight exercises. There are other gentler exercises like tai chi, brisk walking, or water aerobics. These help to bring blood to the damaged area, controlling inflammation and improving balance and flexibility. Look at these fabulous stretches and exercises to try.

7. Medications for Sacroiliac Joint Pain Causes

If you experience a lot of pain, your doctor might recommend pain relievers. Sometimes, over-the-counter pain medications don’t offer enough relief, and then your doctor may prescribe something stronger – medicines such as muscle relaxants or narcotic painkillers. Naturally, these types of medications must be used with caution. Some of them are highly addictive and can cause severe side effects.

8. Braces

When the SI joint becomes too loose, then a pelvic brace might be the perfect sacroiliac joint pain treatment. A pelvic brace gets wrapped around the waist, then pulled snugly or tightly enough to stabilize the area. It’s like wearing a wide belt and is particularly helpful to wear when your joint area is inflamed and painful.

9. Massage

Massage therapy can help to reduce the pain that is associated with the SI joint. There are energetic modalities, such as cranial sacral therapy and polarity therapy – these realign the body and help reduce stress on the SI joint. Swedish massage techniques are fantastic because they help relax the muscles and even improve circulation to the area. Have you heard of the positional release technique before? It’s a gentle treatment performed to help to relieve discomfort and pain with SI joint dysfunction. It corrects the imbalances of the musculoskeletal system.

10. Food and Diet

It is also imperative to follow a diet that does not promote inflammation in the body. Inflammation causes pain and joint damage. When it exists, trying to get rid of the pain that accompanies it becomes the goal. It is wise to follow a diet for joint pain – one that is filled with nutrients to build strong bones and connective tissues.

(Video) Sacroiliac Joint Pain: Diagnosis and Treatments

Frequently Asked Questions

There are over-the-counter pain relievers, and if these don’t help, your doctor will prescribe a prescription medication as well as sacroiliac joint pain relief exercises.

You might feel sharp, stabbing pain that radiates from your hips and pelvis. It will most likely go into your lower back area and your thighs. It can feel tingly or numb.

This type of pain can be either mild or severe, depending on what the injury is. If it is acute, it can last for a few days to a few weeks. If it is chronic, it can last for more than 3 months. Lower back pain/ SI joint pain lasts around 6-10 weeks. Sacroiliac joint pain treatment can certainly help to shorten pain days.

Conclusion

The spine meets the pelvis at the sacroiliac joint. This joint takes compressive, heavy loads of force. Because we have the sacroiliac joint, we can run, jump, walk, bend, etc.

But like many other parts of the body, the sacroiliac joint can also become inflamed and painful. Your doctor might tell you that you have sacroiliitis. He might recommend sacroiliac joint pain relief exercises and stretches.

Usually, what causes sacroiliac joint pain is pregnancy, trauma, lumbar pathology, or lumbar fusion surgery. Most of the treatments are aimed at helping you to manage your symptoms without surgery. Sometimes, heavy impact activities like running, jumping, labor-intensive jobs or contact sports can aggravate the SI joint – even standing or sitting for longer can aggravate the SI joint and cause pain.

Every person will experience different symptoms. These will be aggravated by certain activities. You need to pay attention to what activities aggravate your pain to avoid them in the future. Fortunately, patients can see relief with non-operative treatments and therapeutic sacroiliac joint pain relief exercises as mentioned in our article.

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FAQs

What triggers sacroiliac pain? ›

Potential causes of sacroiliac pain include arthritis, traumatic injury, pregnancy and post-partum, systemic inflammatory conditions, and infection. Other potential contributors include spinal scoliosis, leg length discrepancy, and previous lumbar spine fusion. Sometimes, there is no clear cause for sacroiliac pain.

What does sacroiliac pain feel like? ›

You may experience sacroiliac (SI) joint pain as a sharp, stabbing pain that radiates from your hips and pelvis up to the lower back and down to the thighs. Sometimes it may feel numb or tingly, or as if your legs are about to buckle.

Can sacroiliac be cured? ›

Treatments for sacroiliac joint dysfunction (SI joint pain) typically focus on alleviating pain and restoring normal motion in the joint. Most cases of SI joint pain are effectively managed using non-surgical treatments. Stretching the structures surrounding the SI joints can help with SI joint dysfunction symptoms.

Does sacroiliac pain ever go away? ›

Sacroiliac joint pain ranges from mild to severe depending on the extent and cause of injury. Acute SI joint pain occurs suddenly and usually heals within several days to weeks. Chronic SI joint pain persists for more than three months; it may be felt all the time or worsen with certain activities.

Is walking good for sacroiliac joint pain? ›

When the SI joint is painful, activities such as walking, sitting and standing can stress it, causing worsening pain.

How long does it take for sacroiliac joint to heal? ›

Expect full recovery to take up to six months. When you visit Healing Hands Physical Therapy after SI joint surgery, our Physical Therapist may use treatments such as heat or ice, electrical stimulation, massage, and ultrasound to help calm your pain and muscle spasm.

Is sacroiliitis a form of arthritis? ›

Sacroiliitis associated with ankylosing spondylitis can progress over time. Over time, this type of arthritis causes the vertebrae (bones) in your spine to fuse together and stiffen.

What kind of doctor treats SI joint pain? ›

A clinician such as a physical therapist, pelvic health specialist, or pain management specialist can perform these tests to help you diagnose SI joint disease or SI joint dysfunction.

How do you relieve SI joint pain fast? ›

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen can ease SI pain. These meds reduce swelling, too, so your doctor may ask you to keep taking them even after you start to feel better to make sure you heal completely.

How long does it take for sacroiliac joint to heal? ›

Expect full recovery to take up to six months. When you visit Healing Hands Physical Therapy after SI joint surgery, our Physical Therapist may use treatments such as heat or ice, electrical stimulation, massage, and ultrasound to help calm your pain and muscle spasm.

What aggravates sacroiliitis? ›

Sacroiliitis can cause pain in your buttocks or lower back, and can extend down one or both legs. Prolonged standing or stair climbing can worsen the pain.

Is sacroiliitis a form of arthritis? ›

Sacroiliitis associated with ankylosing spondylitis can progress over time. Over time, this type of arthritis causes the vertebrae (bones) in your spine to fuse together and stiffen.

Videos

1. Treating Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction - Dr. Ahuja
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2. Understanding Sacroiliac Joint Pain
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3. Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Animation - Everything You Need To Know - Dr. Nabil Ebraheim, M.D.
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4. SI Joint Pain: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment - Dr. Badlani
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5. Treatment of Excessive SI Joint Force Closure | Sacroiliac & Pelvic Girdle Pain
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6. Diagnosis and Treatment of the Sacroiliac Joint - Charles Harvey, MD
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