The sacroiliac joint is located where the spine meets the pelvis. Irritation to or inflammation of this joint is one of the major causes of low back pain. If the joint is inflamed, the surrounded nerves can become irritated and cause pain. Common sources of pain in this joint include bursitis and arthritis. While bursitis normally causes pain in the side of the leg, arthritis often causes pain concentrated in the low back and buttocks. A physician will collect a medical history and perform a physical exam to rule out other causes for pain in this area.
Treatment options include physical therapy, TENS unit use and chiropractic therapy. Procedures such as sacroiliac joint injections or sacral radiofrequencies may ease pain and help the doctor refine a diagnosis. For some patients, a spinal cord stimulator may be the patient’s best option for pain relief. If conservative options do not improve the patient’s condition, a doctor may recommend surgery.