Sacroiliitis is an inflammation of either just one or both of the joints that connect your lower spine to your pelvis. It is characterized by extreme pain and a severely restricted range of motion, and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, skin conditions, and diarrhea. Most patients seek treatment for this condition as soon as symptoms begin to manifest, because the condition is very painful. A diagnosis can be difficult, and it is sometimes confused with general lower back pain and other conditions which can cause back pain. Diagnostic tests to rule out other conditions can sometimes be costly, but are well worth the expense.
The condition occurs when the sacroiliac joint between the sacrum, or base or your spine, and ilium, or pelvic bone, becomes inflamed or infected. It can be caused by a number of factors, including trauma to the region, pregnancy, skin infections, osteomyelitis, arthritis, urinary tract infections, intravenous drug abuse, and endocarditis. Infectious conditions of the skin and blood, when left untreated, can sometimes spread to the sacroiliac joint, which is normally protected from the elements by a thick layer of ligaments and fibrous tissue. Individuals who are experiencing infections such as endocarditis should make sure to take their medications as directed, to prevent the infection from spreading.
The sacroiliac joint is a crucial piece of human anatomy. Movement of the joint tends to be limited when the body is in normal condition, because it is the focus of stability which allows humans to walk upright. Sacroiliitis can make it impossible to walk or move, which can further complicate an accurate diagnosis, since the patient sometimes cannot tolerate routine examination. If a patient experiences the symptoms associated with sacroiliitis and is experiencing one of the risk factors, he or she should inform a doctor of this during the examination.
If the sacroiliitis is being caused by an infection, a blood culture can reveal this. A doctor can also use x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging as diagnostic tools. Sacroiliitis is typically treated with rest, corticosteroids, general anti-inflammatories, and physical therapy. If left untreated, the condition can lead to serious problems with the sacroiliac joint, especially if it is caused by an infection. In some cases, the infection may spread to other parts of the body as well, causing serious medical complications. Back pain should always be addressed immediately, as it can be a symptom of a major medical issue.