Sacroiliitis (Sacroiliac Joint Pain)

Sacroiliitis is pain and inflammation associated with the Sacroiliac joint, which is the major joint connecting the spine to the pelvis. It is a relatively common cause of low back and buttock pain that may be aggravated by walking, running and sitting for long periods. Sacroiliitis may be caused by inflammation, arthritis or previous injury and pain may persist for long periods of time in some cases.

The Sacroiliac joints are important for shock absorption at the base of the spine and for stability during walking and running. Sacroiliitis may go undiagnosed and untreated for long periods of time but may respond well to targeted injections. Relieving the pain by injecting the Sacroiliac joint with local anaesthetic can confirm the diagnosis of Sacroiliitis, thus enabling more definitive treatment if required and also avoiding further unnecessary investigations and surgery.

Pain can radiate from the lower back into the buttocks or hips and may often be sharp or aching in nature. Good posture and biomechanics are important for everybody to help to prevent Sacroiliac joint pain and dysfunction.  Often, Sacroiliac joint pain will pass within a short time and there are some simple methods to help to ease the pain. Applying heat or cold packs to the area is a quick and easy solution for short term relief and this can be as inexpensive as a hot water bottle or a pack of frozen peas wrapped in a cloth. It is important to keep active and to keep your back mobile as inactivity will usually make the pain worse. Simple stretches for the back can be done at home on a daily basis and low impact sports such as walking, swimming, yoga or Pilates are excellent activities for helping to strengthen the lower back and buttocks. If pain levels are worse, an over the counter remedy such as ibuprofen can be taken for short periods.

If Sacroiliitis is more acute and has not resolved with these simple methods then your consultant may recommend further treatment be undertaken. Often a referral to a physiotherapist will be recommended as they will be able to provide guidance on appropriate exercises that can be performed under supervision. More invasive treatment techniques can include x-ray guided injections directly into the sacroiliac joint itself. Invasive surgery to the sacroiliac joint is uncommon and to a certain extent experimental and therefore at present cannot be recommended routinely.

Here at the London Interventional Clinic our consultant, Dr Stephen Humble, regularly treats patients with Sacroiliitis successfully using a combination of anti-inflammatories, exercises and outpatient procedures. Get in touch with a member of our team who would be happy to discuss your requirements and the options for appointments available to you.

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