The sacroiliac joints are located at the bottom of the spine where it joins to the pelvic bones. These joints play an important role in the movement of the lower limb. Just like most joints in our body, the sacroiliac joints can be injured....
The sacroiliac joints are located at the bottom of the spine where it joins to the pelvic bones. These joints play an important role in the movement of the lower limb. Just like most joints in our body, the sacroiliac joints can be injured. When injury occurs to these joints, a condition called sacroiliitis may develop. Sacroiliitis simply means inflammation of the sacroiliac joints.
The symptoms of sacroiliitis vary from person to person, however most patients complain of lower back or buttock pain which may extend down one or both legs and groins. These symptoms may be aggravated by prolonged sitting and standing. This is especially important for professional truck drivers, as they spend many hours sitting behind the wheel. The prolonged sitting as well as the constant bouncing from the truck seem to increase or even cause sacroiliitis.
Other factors such as stair climbing, running or standing on one leg may also increase the intensity of the symptoms. There are many possible causes of sacroiliitis. The most common cause of this condition is a traumatic injury such as a car accident or a slip or fall.
In this case, the joint and surrounding soft tissues may be injured. Arthritis or wear and tear can also occur in the sacroiliac joints, which may lead to inflammation. Other conditions such as pregnancy or infection may also lead to sacroiliac joint irritation and subsequently inflammation. The diagnosis of sacroiliitis is usually arrived at after conducting a detailed medical history and physical examination.
During the examination, the doctor will perform several orthopedic tests, which are designed to put stress on different structures in your lower back and pelvis. In addition, your doctor will palpate the soft tissues and bones in the surrounding area in order to pinpoint the location of the pain. If necessary, your doctor may request an X-ray or MRI to better visualize the injury site.
The treatment of sacroiliitis really depends on the severity of the symptoms as well as the underlying cause of the condition.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medications are usually the first-line treatment.
If this is unsuccessful, physical therapy, chiropractic care and massage therapy may be recommended. A corticosteroid injection directly into the joint to reduce the inflammation may also be suggested by your doctor.
Finally, if all other forms of treatment do not relieve the pain and inflammation, your doctor may recommend a joint fusion in which the two bones of the sacroiliac joint are surgically fused together.
What I recommend to my patients who are suffering with sacroiliitis is to first of all rest the joints in order to give them a chance to heal.
Next, a combination of ice application and over-the-counter pain relievers may be used as needed. It is important to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medications in order to avoid unwanted drug interactions. The good news is that in most cases, sacroiliitis will resolve with in three to six weeks.
I also recommend that professional truck drivers try to get out of their trucks and walk around as much as possible. This practice significantly reduces the changes of developing sacroiliitis. Until next time, drive safely.