About the Sacrum
The sacrum is a region of the spine. It is located at the bottom, and it is close to the coccyx. Further, a portion of the sacral region articulates with the ilium. The ilium is another name for the pelvis. Fortunately, the sacral region rarely fractures. Serious injuries, such as a fall or severe trauma, can cause a fracture. Additionally, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis weakens the sacrum and increases the chance of stress and fatigue fractures. If the sacrum does fracture, the patient might experience back or leg pain. Sciatica is another name for sacrum pain. It often occurs due to stress or twisting from sports or sitting for extended periods of time. Furthermore, women are more likely to develop sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The dysfunction causes pain on one side of the lower back that radiates down the leg. These are just some examples.1
Causes of Sacrum Pain
Sacrum joint damage causes sacroiliac pain. Aging often causes sacroiliac joint pain. Over time, the cartilage between bones wears down, bones become arthritic, and ligaments stiffen. The sacroiliac joint has free nerve endings, and degeneration of the joint can cause chronic pain. Acute pain usually heals within weeks. Pain that lasts longer than three months is chronic pain. Further, SI joint pain can occur when the ligaments become too tight or too loose. Ligament damage can happen during pregnancy and childbirth, because of a fall, car accident, surgery, or other injuries. Additionally, uneven leg lengths contribute to abnormal gait and weakness. Improper, unsupportive footwear, especially when worn after surgery, can also lead to issues. There are also autoimmune diseases, such as ankylosing spondyloarthropathy, that can cause degenerative sacroiliitis.2
What Is Sacroiliitis?
An inflammation of the sacroiliac joints is called sacroiliitis. The condition may affect the area around the sacrum, lumbosacral joint, ilium, legs, and feet. It can be caused by injury, arthritis, pregnancy, or, in rarer cases, infection. The pain may be localized, or it can spread down the legs. Unfortunately, the pain can worsen when the patient sits for a prolonged amount of time or climbs stairs. Often, sacroiliitis might be mistaken for other conditions that cause lower back and leg pain. The condition is difficult to diagnose, and it can contribute to inflammatory spinal arthritis. The primary symptom of sacroiliitis is pain, and it is aggravated by several regular activities such as sitting or walking. Additionally, insomnia and depression might be caused by the sacroiliitis pain. Fortunately, there are ways to relieve pain and treat conditions that affect the sacrum.3
Relieve Sacroiliac Joint Pain
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat SI joint issues. However, physical therapy is another option. Patients should only try new exercises and stretches after receiving approval from their doctor or physical therapist. First, patients should warm up. None of the stretches should be too painful, and patients should be aware of their own limits. There are many beneficial stretches for sacroiliac joint pain. One or both knees-to-chest stretch, one-sided hip adduction, and spinal twists are just a few examples. There are also more difficult variations to the stretches that patients can work towards.4 Additionally, there is the sacrum squat stretch, legs-on-a-chair, and sacrum release pose. The stretches are meant to strengthen the body and release some of the tension that has built up in the back and legs. Again, it is important that patients work with healthcare professionals for safety purposes.5
How to Manage Pinched Nerve in Hip
A pinched nerve in the hip is another condition that many people suffer from. The pain can be so severe that it can cause patients to walk with a limp, and there can also be numbness that spreads down the leg. The pain is primarily located in the groin region, and it can radiate down the inner thigh to the knee. Activities such as walking cause the pain to worsen. In many cases, medical treatment is not necessary. However, patients should check with their doctor before trying home remedies. Over-the-counter medications such as Advil and Aleve combat inflammation. Alternating ice and heat treatments is also beneficial. Stretches such as piriformis stretch, core strengthening exercises, and gentle activity can relieve pain and strengthen the body. Patients should also practice good posture, as poor posture puts pressure on certain areas of the body.6
Lumbar Facet Syndrome
Dysfunction in the posterior facet spinal joints is lumbar facet syndrome. The syndrome is a painful swelling and irritation in the lumbar spine. Repetitive stress, primarily from movements with the arms above the head, is the most common cause of the syndrome. It is a common injury for those who participate in sports. It is diagnosed through imaging technology, such as x-ray, and a description of the patient’s symptoms and medical history. Symptoms may be intermittent, and they include tenderness, discomfort associated with leaning forward and backward, lower back pain, and pain that radiates into the shoulders and upper back. One treatment method is medicine injections into the nerves of the facet joint. If the injections into the facet joint do not work, then the facet joint is not the source of the pain.7
Chiropractic care is a safe, natural way of treating many conditions and injuries. In the case of sacroiliac joint dysfunction, the chiropractor might use traditional spinal manipulation or spinal mobilization. Spinal manipulation is commonly used by chiropractors. The patient will feel a relieving, “cracking” sensation during the manipulation. Patients who have trouble with the feeling of spinal manipulation may prefer the gentler mobilization. Furthermore, adjunctive therapy such as massage therapy may be used along with chiropractic care. Additionally, chiropractors will also often recommend exercises and lifestyle changes for the patient to try at home for further relief. Chiropractors and physical therapists often work together for this reason. There are cases where surgery is necessary for treatment, but most sacrum conditions may be relieved with chiropractic care.8
Find out more about spinal anatomy.