The sacroiliac joints comprise of the right and left iliac bones and the sacrum. Several terminologies are used for sacroiliac joint problems – SI joint syndrome, dysfunction of SI joint and SI joint inflammation. There are a host of factors that could trigger SI joint pain; and prompt treatment is crucial.
The sacroiliac joints have a cartilage covering the bone; which permits movement and acts as a shock absorber. When this cartilage gets worn away / eroded, the bones start rubbing against each other; and this sets off pain and swelling.
The sacroiliac joint is a strong, weight bearing joint. Several etiological factors could cause SI joint pain. A common cause is degenerative arthritis. Another significant cause is pregnancy. During pregnancy, the hormones released cause the ligaments to relax. Relaxation of these ligaments facilitates increased movement in joints and this leads to abnormal wear and tear. The additional weight places greater strain on joints. Medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, gout and ankylosing spondylosis are known to be the causes of SI joint deterioration.
Symptoms Of Sacroiliac Joint Pain
The commonest symptom is extreme discomfort and pain. Pain occurs in the lower portion of the back. It may also occur in the thighs and buttocks, and descend downwards. Characteristically, the pain gets aggravated whilst standing and walking and improve when lying down. There may be associated stiffness and tingling numbness.
Treatment For Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Based on the investigations and examination; the doctor will decide the most appropriate line of treatment.
- Doctor may prescribe non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs for pain relief.
- Some prescribe oral steroids for short periods of time to manage agonizing pain and distress. In extreme cases, steroidal injections may need to be given as well.
- Ginger is known for its effectiveness for joint pains. Gingerols present in the root fight swelling and inflammation and ease pain successfully. Grate 1 inch of ginger and boil in a cup of water. Add honey and consume twice daily.
- Confer with your doctor and start vitamin and mineral supplementation. Calcium supplements, vitamin B complex supplements and glucosamine supplements will provide immense help and benefit. Gradually taper of the dose.
- Step up your intake of milk, yogurt, soy, bananas, black sesame and garlic. These are ‘joint foods’; which help keep the joints working optimally.
Exercises For Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief
- Physiotherapy exercises are an essential part of the treatment regimen for SI joint pain. Various stretching, strengthening and stabilizing exercises help reduce the pain, improve the range of movement at the joint and eliminate stiffness.
- Alongside, Yoga Asanas and Pranayama will yield excellent benefits as well. Tai Chi and Pilates are popular alternative too. Have a fixed exercise routine, under the guidance of a trained teacher and work out at least thrice a week.
- A SI belt is an apparatus that wraps around the hips to steady and stabilize the SI joints, and effectively manage the pain.
- Massage is another effective alternative therapy for SI joint syndrome. Book yourself for a daily massage for a period of 1 month. Results are outstanding and long term. Thereafter have weekly massages. However, ensure that you get a licensed masseur. Integrating aromatherapy is another effective option. Essential oils alleviate pain and stiffness and improve movement.