It Could Be the Cause of Your Lower Back Pain
Your sacroiliacs are two small but mighty joints that support your weight, keeping it evenly distributed across your pelvis. When something is out of whack with one or both of these joints, you can experience excruciating pain that shoots up toward your lower back and down toward your thighs.
It’s called sacroiliac joint dysfunction and it can be very difficult to diagnose. However, Kayal Pain & Spine Center’s exceptional spine doctors in Westwood and nearby have the training and experience to accurately pinpoint your problem and determine the best course of treatment to ease your pain.
Located near the bottom of your spine just above your hips, your sacroiliac (SI) joints function as shock absorbers to relieve pressure on your spine. They are located where your sacrum, the triangle-shaped bone near the bottom of your spine, and your ilium, one of three bones that make up your hips, meet. These bones are jagged and the spaces between them contain fluid for lubrication and nerve endings that send pain messages to your brain. When the bones are misaligned, you can experience severe pain. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is responsible for 15 to 30 percent of cases of chronic lower back pain.
The pain is caused by inflammation in the joints. Most people will experience pain in one joint but both joints are sometimes affected.
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is a general term that covers several conditions, including:
- Osteoarthritis: This type of arthritis typically occurs as we age and our cartilage wears down. It can affect the spine and joints throughout our bodies, including the sacroiliac.
- Gout: This condition is caused by high levels of uric acid in your body and can result in severe pain. It often occurs first in your big toe, but it can affect other joints, including the sacroiliac.
- Ankylosing spondylitis: This is a chronic condition, an inflammatory type of arthritis that targets the joints and vertebrae of the spine. It is most common in young males. It is painful and, in severe cases, spurs new bone growth that fuses the joints in your spine.
- Trauma: You can do damage to your sacroiliac joints as the result of a fall, vehicle accident, sports injury or other trauma.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, your body releases a hormone to make your sacroiliac joints more elastic in preparation for the delivery. This hormone, relaxin, also makes your joints less stable and increases your risk of sacroiliac joint pain as your body tries to balance your weight.
- Abnormal gait: Some people have unusual walking patterns because one leg is shorter than the other or because they are using one leg more than the other to relieve pain. This can cause sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
Symptoms of sacroiliac joint pain include: lower back pain; groin pain; buttocks, hip and pelvic pain; increased pain when you move from a sitting to a standing position; weakness; numbness or tingling; and pain that radiates to your leg or thigh.
Diagnosing sacroiliac joint dysfunction can be challenging because the symptoms are similar to other problems such as bulging discs, arthritis of the hip and sciatica. In addition, your sacroiliac joints are located deep in your body, making it harder for your doctor to assess them during a physical exam. The specialists at Kayal Pain & Spine Center are experts at overcoming these challenges. We will use our extensive training, superior skills and state-of-the-art equipment to provide you with the answers—and relief—you deserve.