How to Recognize and Treat Sacral Back Pain
Some types of back pain lead to strong discomforts, and the sacral is one of them. This is an occurrence that mostly happens after accidents or trauma and results from injury to the joint between the spine and hip. It’s called sacroiliitis.
Sacral back pain reduces a patient’s movement options. When developed, this condition makes it difficult for a patient to move in certain ways, as it causes strong pain and discomfort in the low back area. Doctors say that sacral back pain must be recognized at an early stage to be treated appropriately.
The condition affects the body's ability to sustain its upper part. This affects patients at a slow but progressive rate, getting more painful in a matter of weeks. Back pain occasioned by sacroiliitis is likely to affect a patient’s lifestyle negatively. Some activities may cause considerable discomfort.
Specialists must seek this condition well because it is often confused with other sources of pain, like arthritis. Keep reading to learn more about sacroiliitis.
Where Does Sacral Back Pain Come from?
The hips are located between your knees. They connect the spine with the legs and provide stability and the capacity to move around. The hips are also a major tension point in your body, so an accident that affects the area could provoke problems to keep the body stable. It could also provoke pain.
Trauma in your back area could impact the joints between the spine and your hips, causing malfunction. One of its regular symptoms is pain, which can get intense in some cases. If you start feeling this kind of pain, don’t hesitate to consult with a doctor.
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The condition makes the joints in your low back tense and inflamed. It affects your whole range of motion, especially in your upper body. If a pain and back specialist doesn’t treat sacroiliitis, the symptoms may become worse over time. This happens because the joints get worn as the condition worsens.
A medical history and physical exam are essential for your doctor to do the diagnosis. You can provide information about your injury, the location of the pain, and any problems you've been experiencing since the injury. This information can help the physician decide if X-rays or a medical diagnosis is better for you.
Your doctor will want to know about any previous problems with the joint such as arthritis, DLCO, or other injuries. This may help them decide whether or not to proceed with the diagnosis.
The sacroiliitis problem is not only caused by incorrect movement in the pelvis generated by an accident but by an already existing condition in the joint as well. This is why it is so critical to let your doctor know about it and conduct relevant examinations.
There is not one single cause of all joint pain, a combination of factors can contribute. You may have a mild joint pain injury when you lift heavy things, or also when your joint has Inverse Impingement Syndrome (IIS), where one of your legs is shorter than the other.
Sacral Pain Symptoms
Sacroilitis can make you experience pain in your acupoints (the points where the acing pain is felt), and it gets worse over time. This is the first symptom to look for, even when you have other back conditions.
If you experience pain in your acupoints, it may be a sign of a more serious injury. The pain can be mild or severe, depending on the extent of the injury. If it's mild, it's probably a by-product of the injury and needs to be treated. If the pain is severe, you may need to wait for a specialist to determine the cause.
Another symptom to look for is a milder pain in your legs and feet. Sometimes, this condition can make the pain radiate to the lower part of your body. It can happen, for example, when you stand up for too long.
Intense exercise, stair climbing, or running can also be risk factors for this type of pain. It won’t feel like a “crack” or a punch, but as a pain that will start and grow. You’d feel some stiffness in your hips area and your movement range would reduce.
Preventing this condition
If you have recurrent back issues or have experienced trauma or an accident, there are some things to keep in mind to avoid developing sacroiliitis. Some of them have to do with your work routines, other ones with your overall health.
- Use proper lifting techniques. If you lift things constantly, make sure you don’t affect your back while doing it. Also, an ergonomic work environment is advised.
- Eat well. Good nutrition and feeding habits can help you prevent back issues. Being overweight is a risk factor.
- Work on your posture while being seated, standing up, walking, and sleeping.
- Exercise and stretch constantly. A strong body can suppress some symptoms of sacral back pain.
How to Treat Sacral Back Pain
Accompanied by their doctor, some people choose to have surgery to fix the joint. Others go through medication, therapy, and injections to reduce the pain. As this is a condition that usually affects people’s routines a hard way, the first objective of treatment is to ease the pain.
There are several ways to treat a synovial joint. Like other types of pain in your body, this one relates to your nervous system and the way it is affected by an accident or trauma. Pain also works by letting us know the source of the issue and preventing us to damage our bodies even further.
The treatment conducted by your doctor must depend on the stage of your condition. A milder and recent sacroiliitis can respond well to physical therapy and stretching. More severe cases may need surgical intervention to your back.
The most important thing is to get a good diagnosis to have the proper treatment. At Premier Pain Doctors, we specialize in easing our patients’ pain and treating their conditions.
Low-impact exercise can help you strengthen your muscles and ligaments. This helps you because nerves and joints get naturally compressed, so you’ll prevent extra effort and movement in your affected joint.
The therapy is often done with stretching bands, yoga, and other low-intensity therapy that helps your body to feel less pain. Physical therapy is an all-around good option for all patients, especially those who tolerate the therapy.
Sometimes physical therapy is not enough to treat sacral back pain. As your sacral joint carries a lot of your body’s weight, sometimes the pressure and inflammation can be too hard to handle. At our pain treatment centers, we have different types of nerve treatment to ease the pain.
Depending on how your condition looks, our experts can treat you with back injections, nerve isolations, nerve blocks, and other minimally invasive procedures. Patients with sacral back pain can get benefits from all these treatments to diminish their pain.
In this treatment, a specialist injects steroids into your back. They can reduce the swelling and inflammation of the nerves, with the help of an analgesic-numbing agent that goes into the painful joint.
The results of this treatment for sacral back pain tend to be temporary. In case the injections are helpful, they can be repeated up to three times a year.
When the pain is controlled, your doctor can use other strategies to keep treating your sacroiliitis. Physical therapy, as mentioned, will help you return to your normal lifestyle as you’ll have normal strength and movement range in your low back instead of pain.
Chiropractic is a field of medical treatment that uses adjustments to improve function and comfort. Adjustments by a chiropractor can help relieve pain, as a specialist will use techniques that move your muscles and joints. This can improve function and comfort.
Chiropractic is not a new treatment, but the therapy has become more popular in recent years because of its effectiveness, and because it’s simple to use. Not all sacral back pain cases can be treated with chiropractic treatment, but it will be of use for some patients.
Your doctor will recommend surgery when the situation is no longer under control and the pain keeps getting worse. If your joint is not recovering through other treatments, the procedure will be the way to fix sacroiliitis and prevent it from getting any worse.
The surgery consists of an intervention on the affected joint. Your doctor will place some titanium implants to stabilize the joint and help the bone grow. This is a minimally invasive procedure and only takes about an hour.
After the procedure, you’ll be able to walk and go home normally.
FAQ about sacral back pain
If my low back hurts too much, what should I do?
You should go to your doctor. If you had trauma or an accident, the pain may be a consequence of it. However, your pain can also relate to more dangerous conditions developing in your body, so a doctor must determine the sources of the pain.
How do you relieve sacral pain?
There are multiple ways. The proper one for you depends on your specific condition and pain, but exercise and non-invasive nerve treatments can be of use. In other cases, minor surgery can be required to relieve the pain.
What causes sacral back pain?
Trauma or accidents can damage the joints that are between your spine and your hips. This causes pain and also diminishes the movement capacity of a patient.
How do I know if my back pain is sacroiliac?
The most notable symptom is pain. You’ll feel it in your low back, and sometimes a little to the sides as well. Also, after walking long distances or standing up for too long, the pain can radiate to your legs and feet.