The sacroiliac joint, located in your pelvic region, can be a common source of lower back and buttock pain. Sacroiliitis is the term used to describe the pain emanating from this joint typically caused by inflammation, and is often also referred to as sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Most patients have difficulty sitting, experience extreme lower back pain, and cannot cross their legs. Both of these conditions are caused from abnormal motion in the sacroiliac joint, either from too much motion or too little motion.
A wide range of factors can cause sacroiliitis or sacroiliac joint dysfunction to develop, including types of spinal arthritis such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and degenerative arthritis, disc degeneration, trauma such as a car accident or fall, and complications from pregnancy and childbirth.
One of the leading causes of sacroiliitis is spinal arthritis. Spinal arthritis causes internal damage to the spine. The surface of the spine is usually covered with smooth cartilage that allows for flexibility and elasticity. Arthritis destroys the cartilage gradually overtime, causing sacroiliitis through the following process:
The spinal joints in the lower back are very susceptible to spinal arthritis. This is because they are quite small when compared to the overall weight of your body. The resulting strain and stress makes them prone to wear-and-tear, and this is especially common for people who are overweight or obese. The accrual of injuries over time causes the joints to degenerate or break down, leading to sacroiliitis.
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The most common symptoms of sacroiliitis include some combination of lower back pain, leg pain (front or back), hip pain, and/or buttock pain, general stiffness felt in the hips and lower back, and pain that worsens when sitting for long periods of time or when rolling over in bed.
Most of the symptoms associated with sacroiliitis are closely similar to those of other spinal conditions. This makes it hard to differentiate one condition from the other. As such, it is important to visit a spine specialist to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Once your condition is determined, our doctors will come up with the most effective treatment plan to help restore your quality of life.
Do you or someone you love identify with the symptoms listed above? Do you worry it may be a result of sacroiliitis or sacroiliac joint dysfunction? Try our Treatment Finder below and take the first step toward finding sacroiliac joint pain relief.
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Our doctors are experts in finding the solutions to your sacroiliitis. First, in order to correctly diagnose you with sacroiliitis, a diagnostic test called a sacroiliac joint block is needed. Our doctors will inject medication into the joint to temporarily relieve pain. If the pain is relieved, diagnosis is typically certain.
After being diagnosed, our doctors initially recommend conservative treatment, such as cortisone injections, physical therapy, or radiofrequency ablation to eliminate your sacroiliac joint pain. If conservative methods fail to relieve the pain, outpatient sacroiliac joint fusion surgery is the next step.
The best surgery method for sacroiliitis is typically a sacroiliac joint fusion. At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, this technique can be performed in an outpatient setting, which allows for a quicker recovery process and less associated pain, compared to traditional orthopedic surgery.
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If you are experiencing pain in your lower back and/or buttocks and worry you may have sacroiliitis, try our Candidacy Verification tool below to discover if minimally invasive surgery is the appropriate solution for you.
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