Have you ever experience lower back pain that seems to radiate to your groin area, legs, or upper back? Chronic pain experienced this way is mostly caused by damage or inflammation on the SI joint (Sacroiliac joint). These joints are located on your lower back, on each side of your vertebrae. The SI joint pain can be caused by a variety of reasons including different types of arthritis. The pain also varies from one person to another. Others may have more pain upon waking up in the morning while others may experience more discomfort after engaging into activities.
Here are the various causes of Sacroiliac Joint Pain:
Osteoarthritis – This is the most commonly occurring form of arthritis. It affects the cartilages in the body causing irreversible degradation. Cartilages are protective cushions of the joints and they allow smooth and flexible movements. When cartilages are damaged, the joints also experience significant damage that can cause pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Osteoarthritis commonly affects the joints on the knees, spine, hand, hip area. When the hip area is involved, the main damage is on the sacroiliac joint thereby causing back pain that radiates to lower leg or groin area. Joint pain treatments for osteoarthritis may include physical therapy, taking nutritional supplements, regular exercise, and dietary modification.
Psoriatic arthritis – This is a type of arthritis that affects people who have Psoriasis. Inflammation of the joints is similar with the disease process since they are both chronic, have flare-ups, and relapse period. It can cause various joint pain types like foot pain, inflamed fingers and toes, and back pain. The sacroiliac joint is commonly affected when back pain is present. The SI joint can become inflamed and swollen thereby causing stiffness, pain, and severe discomfort. Like Osteoarthritis, there is no permanent treatment for Psoriatic arthritis, the management is focused on relieving joint pain. It may include physical therapy, nutritional supplements, hot and cold therapy, and analgesics.
Gouty Arthritis – Although it commonly affects the joints of the distal appendages, some studies shows that it can also affect the joints of the spine and hip, particularly the SI joint. Gout has a more rapid onset compared to other types of arthritis. It is caused by the accumulation of uric acid in the synovial lining of the joints. Unlike other types of arthritis, gout is treatable. Joint pain treatments include dietary modification, physical therapy, NSAIDs, ice therapy, and resting the affected joints.
Ankylosing spondylitis – It is a form of arthritis affecting the vertebrae. It can result to the fusion of the vertebrae resulting to a rigid spine that can cause pain, limitation in movement, and even disability if not treated properly. This type of arthritis is systemic thus it can also involve other parts of the body. Treatment may include, exercise, physical therapy, rest, NSAIDs, and sometimes surgery is necessary.
Rheumatoid arthritis - It is a systemic autoimmune disease that mainly affects the joints but can also affect the heart, lungs, and other organs of the body. As the disease progress, it can cause various types of joint pain including sacroiliac joint pain. Joint pain treatments may include NSAIDs, relaxation techniques, physical therapy, application of warm or cold compress, and regular exercise.
Pregnancy – This can also cause sacroiliac joint pain due to the weight of the growing fetus inside the uterus. The hormones released during pregnancy also further contribute to various joint pains.
Hypomobility or Hypermobility – Either too much decrease or increase in physical mobility can also cause sacroiliac joint pain and other types of joint pain. Be sure to have an active lifestyle but have enough time for rest and relaxation
Joint pain treatments involving the sacroiliac joints basically involve the following:
Regular exercise – It helps stimulate blood flow and increase oxygenation on the affected joints. It also enhances mobility and flexibility of the joints.
Dietary Modification – Eliminating oily, processed products and foods high in purine (for patients with gout) can reduce the incidence of joint pain and inflammation. Instead consume foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce the inflammatory process in the body. Also include antioxidants in your diet like fruits, vegetables, and nuts to help reduce the damage on the joints caused by free radicals.
Physical Therapy – This can greatly help reduce joint pain and other symptoms associated with joint damage. It enhances flexibility, mobility, and corrects habits that were formed due to sacroiliac joint pain.
Relaxation Techniques – It helps rejuvenate the cells in the joints and cartilages. Having enough rest periods allows more time for the natural repair process of the body.
Nutritional supplements – These products are readily available in the market and contain various ingredients that help minimize various types of joint pain. They also protect the joints and cartilages from further damage.
Analgesics – The most commonly used analgesics for sacroiliac pain and other types of joint pain are NSAIDs. It offers effective pain relief and at the same time reduces inflammation on the affected joints.
Prevention – Seek medical attention if you constantly experience joint pain specifically in the sacroiliac area because it might be a symptom of something more serious.