The human back has a pair of sacroiliac joints that play a major role in your spinal flexibility, and mobility. Of course, this also means that they play a major role in your general comfort and overall quality of life.
If you start to notice lower back pain as you stand up from your chair or seated position it could be an issue with one or both of your sacroiliac joints. While it might be tempting to shake this pain off as being nothing, or perhaps a momentary pinched nerve, sacroiliac joint pain is not the sort of thing to ignore.
If you’ve been experiencing a sharp pain in your lower back or buttock region when you stand up from a seated position, the following article will help you better understand sacroiliac joint pain, and what can be done about it.
What Is The Sacroiliac Joint?
Sometimes referred to as “SI Joints” every human being has two of them in their lower back. These seemingly simple joints reside on each side of your spine. The sacroiliac joints main purpose is to carry the weight of your upper body when you stand or walk and shift that load to your legs.
What Does Sacroiliac Joint Pain Feel Like?
Sacroiliac joint pain can vary in intensity from dull to sharp pain. It typically starts at one or both of the sacroiliac joints. Though it can sometimes radiate out to your buttocks, thighs, groin, or even your upper back.
Most people will notice sacroiliac joint pain being most prominent when standing up. A lot of times you might only really notice it on one side of your lower back. Many people who experience frequent bouts with sacroiliac joint discomfort will notice that it bothers you more in the morning and gets better during the day.
Is Sacroiliac Joint Pain Rare?
You might be surprised to hear that roughly 15 to 30% of people will experience sacroiliac joint discomfort. Though there are several factors that can increase your risk for it, as well as larger complications associated with a condition known as Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction.
What Causes Sacroiliac Joint Pain?
Most cases of sacroiliac joint discomfort are related to inflammation. Though there are several reasons it could occur, and certain lifestyle habits that can put you at increased risk of experiencing short-term or recurring sacroiliac joint pain.
Sports Accidents & Injuries
A hard fall on your back during contact sports, or even a seemingly simple slip and fall can cause trauma and inflammation to a wide range of structures in the back. This includes the sacroiliac joints in the lower back. Though many of the cases linked to athletic injuries and accidental falls, are typically short lived. Assuming that the acute trauma to the back is minor.
Repetitive Lower Back Stress
Repetitive stress activities, such as jogging, or a physical labor job where your feet are frequently pounding on hard surfaces can also increase your risk of developing sacroiliac joint discomfort. In many of these cases the pain is chronic or recurring, and is directly linked to
You might be surprised to hear that your walking gait can also have a profound impact on the sacroiliac joints in your lower back. This is especially true if you have a bad habit of taking uneven strides when you walk, which could be related to one of your legs being modestly longer than the other.
Unfortunately, osteoarthritis can also affect the structures in your back leading to increased sacroiliac joint discomfort. Though in these cases, the condition is called ankylosing spondylitis, and it has the potential to damage the sacroiliac joints if it occurs in your lower back. In many of these cases the individual will feel increasing pain as the cartilage over the sacroiliac joints slowly wears away as you age.
Pregnancy & Obesity
Your body weight can affect your back in many ways including the condition of your sacroiliac joints. Individuals who have chronic struggles with obesity and pregnancy might also start to notice SI joint discomfort. It’s also worth noting that pregnancy can trigger the body to release hormones that causes the connective tissue in several joints to loosen up. This can cause changes in the way the joints move.
How To Get Relief From Sacroiliac Joint Pain
There are several different ways to get relief from sacroiliac joint pain. Though the very first thing you need to do is to stop or adjust the underlying cause. Your physician will likely tell you to lay off any sports that cause joint inflammation. If your job is related to the underlying cause of your sacroiliac joint pain, you may need to move to light duty restriction or take a different position that reduces the pounding force on your lower back.
Treatment For Sacroiliac Joint Pain
If basic cessation, activity change or lifestyle alteration doesn’t give you the relief you need from sacroiliac joint pain, your physician might recommend one or more of the following treatment options.
Physical Therapy For Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Physical therapy exercises and stretches can help improve your lower back flexibility and strength. This might include additional focus on occupational therapy to help you effectively correct any habits that might be contributing to your sacroiliac joint pain.
Ultrasound & Massage Therapy For Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Your physician or physical therapist might also recommend an ultrasound, heat and cold treatments, in conjunction with massage, and stretching. The goal here is to reduce the inflammation and overall flexibility in the lower back.
Cortisone Injections For Sacroiliac Joint Pain
If your Sacroiliac Joint Pain is related to chronic inflammation in the lower back, your physician might recommend a shot of cortisone to cut down the inflammation in your joints.
Chiropractic Treatment For Sacroiliac Joint Pain
In some cases of Sacroiliac Joint Pain a chiropractor can help relieve pain by performing one or more targeted adjustments. They’ll use techniques that move your muscles and joints.
Nerve Treatment For Sacroiliac Joint Pain
In a severe case of Sacroiliac Joint Pain your physician might use a special needle to permanently damage the nerve that sends pain signals from your sacroiliac joints to your brain. Though this technique is relatively rare and reserved only for severe, recurring cases of Sacroiliac Joint Pain.