Last updated on May 16, 2019
Sacroiliitis is a term used to describe an inflammation of either or both of the sacroiliac joints found in the lower back. These joints connect your lower spine to your pelvis.
Sacroiliitis can be hard to identify. The symptoms are similar to other problems that cause back pain, such as sciatica, a herniated disk, or a pulled or strained muscle. A disease called spondyloarthropathies also has similar symptoms. Spondyloarthropathies cause inflammatory arthritis in the spine.
Someone with sacroiliac joint pain is likely to experience buttock pain, back stiffness, and possibly pain in the thighs. Some people get psoriasis, which is an inflammatory skin condition. Inflammation in one or both eyes is a possibility. Sacroiliitis may even cause a fever.
Pain gets worse when you walk because you put a strain on your sacroiliac joints. You’ll probably find yourself limping.
There are many things that can cause sacroiliac joint pain. A traumatic injury to the lower back or buttock area is a frequent reason. Pregnancy and certain kinds of infections are also causes of sacroiliitis. A condition known as ankylosing spondylitis is another cause. So is degenerative arthritis.
Ways to Treat Sacroiliitis
If you have sacroiliitis, your doctor will discuss several possible treatment options with you. The best option usually depends on the severity of your case.
Rest is appropriate in all cases. Your body needs time to heal itself. It also reduces the possibility of aggravation.
Exercises may help reduce pain while improving your range of motion.
Medications Used for Sacroiliitis Sacroiliitis Treatment
Several kinds of medications are generally prescribed for treating sacroiliitis. Typically, these medications include corticosteroids, NSAIDs, DMARDs, and TNF inhibitors.
Corticosteroids can be extremely effective in arresting joint damage and reducing pain and inflammation. But you have to be careful because they can cause side effects if you use them for a long time.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS are effective pain relievers because they reduce inflammation and swelling.
NSAIDs are safe, but they occasionally cause side effects, so they should be used with caution. Side effects include stomach bleeding, indigestion, high blood pressure, and kidney or liver damage.
Some people are more prone to have a stroke or heart attack when they take NSAIDs, so never use them without consulting your doctor first.
Typical NSAIDs your doctor may prescribe include naproxen and indomethacin.
DMARDs are another medication used for treating sacroiliitis. DMARD stands for disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs. They work to limit joint damage. These should be used in the early stages of sacroiliitis to help slow down the disease and prevent permanent damage.
Finally, there’s a class of drugs known as TNF inhibitors. These block a cell protein that can cause inflammation, which can help reduce some of the stiffness, swelling, and pain.
Unfortunately, some of the medications used to fight sacroiliitis are very expensive. Doctors and patients often choose to use them only as a last resort.
However, sometimes buttock pain and back pain caused by sacroiliitis can be so severe that patients feel the expense is warranted.
Many people who endure aches and pains as they pass into their senior years simply assume such pains are a natural part of getting older. This can be a dangerous assumption. Anyone experiencing any type of back pain or buttock pain should see their doctor for a diagnosis.
As is the case with so many other conditions, sacroiliac joint pain is easier to treat in the early stages before permanent joint damage occurs.