What is sacroiliitis?

Sacroiliitis is an inflammation of one or both of the sacroiliac joints, which connect your lower spine and pelvis. With sacroiliitis, even the slightest movements of your spine can be extremely uncomfortable or even painful for you.

Sacroiliitis can be difficult to diagnose, and it may be mistaken for other causes of low back pain, including sciatica, herniated disks and strained muscles. Sacroiliitis may be associated with a group of diseases called spondyloarthropathies, which cause inflammatory arthritis of the spine.

Treatment for sacroiliitis may involve a combination of you resting, receiving physical therapy and taking medications.

Sacroiliitis symptoms may include:

  • Pain and stiffness in your lower back, thighs or buttocks
  • Pain that worsens with walking because the motion of your hips strains your sacroiliac joints
  • Inflammation in one or both of your eyes (uveitis or iritis)
  • Psoriasis, an inflammatory skin condition
  • Pain radiating down your leg
  • Limping
  • Decreased range of motion
  • A fever that appears quickly
  • Typically pain in the hips, low back, thighs and buttocks are presenting symptoms. Pain is typically worse with sitting.

Pain relievers are often prescribed to treat sacroiliitis. However, many patients do not get satisfactory relief with medications. When medication alone is not working a diagnostic sacroiliac joint injection may be performed to confirm the diagnosis. The diagnosis is confirmed if the pain goes away for a few hours. Patients who respond well to the diagnostic block may be candidates for a radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy of their sacroiliac joint(s).

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