A sacroiliac injury is an injury to the sacroiliac joint in the lower back. The sacroiliac joint works in conjunction with the sacrum, spine, and pelvis. There are different types of sacroiliac injuries all of which can be very painful. Doctors can easily diagnose and treat this condition after finding out what caused the initial injury.
The most common type of sacroiliac injury is from trauma to the buttocks and lower back such as from a fall or direct blow. Athletes often get sacroiliac injuries from impacts or repetitive movements while playing contact sports such as football and wrestling. Trauma and stress fractures from vicious jarring in a motor vehicle accident would also cause an injury to the lower sacroiliac area.
Pregnant women can also develop sacroiliac injuries during childbirth. This happens because during pregnancy, the body’s hormones go into overtime and relax the soft tissue and joints. When the tissue weakens, the joints in the lower back move around more than normal resulting in back pain. Over time, the friction from the loose back and pelvic joints can cause injury to the sacroiliac joint.
Sacroiliac injury can also occur if a person has an abnormality in the sacroiliac joint and sacrum. Sometimes the bones and joints that hold the sacrum do not fit together properly and create extra pressure on the sacroiliac joint. Other defects such as having degenerative spinal arthritis or having one leg longer or shorter than the other can also cause sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The person may also have pelvic pain when the leg bones are not the same length.
When a person has a sacroiliac injury, there are certain symptoms he or she may experience. Common signs include sciatica or back pain in the lower part of the back and buttocks, usually on one side. Some people may also have groin pain radiating into the upper thighs. Other symptoms include numbness and tingling in the feet or calves as well as burning in the lower back. In order to determine how extensive the injury is, a person would need to see an orthopedist spine specialist.
The orthopedist would most likely conduct a physical examination and x-rays to determine the extent of the sacroiliac injury. If repetitive movement from sports or work activities caused the injury, the patient may need physical restrictions until the injury has healed. Most physicians treat sacroiliac spinal injuries conservatively with physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, and warm/hot compresses. Another method of treatment is steroid injections and as a last resort, doctors may recommend surgery.