Sacroiliitis Symptoms and The Best Sacroiliitis Treatment





Sacroiliitis is a spinal condition that can be hard to accurately diagnose. That is because sacroiliitis symptoms are often mistaken for other types of back pain. The reliability of special tests for sacroiliac joint dysfunction have been reported differently over the years, with some studies suggesting very poor reliability, while studies have others conclude reasonable to good reliability and validity. Some recent studies have concluded that combining the findings from three or more sacroiliac joint tests results in reasonable accuracy in clinical diagnosis. However, if you have been diagnosed with sacroiliitis there are some very effective sacroiliitis treatments that you can do right at home!


What Is Sacroiliitis?

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction resulting in a clinical pain syndrome is a somewhat controversial topic. Schools of thought vary from those who consider involvement of the the sacroiliac joint as a rare cause of low back pain to those who consider it common. Those who uphold the latter view are often those involved in manual therapies.

Simply, sacroiliitis is inflammation of the sacroiliac joint (in fact any ailment that ends in -itis is inflammation eg. dermatitis is inflammation of the skin.)

The sacroiliac joints, or SI joints, are the two joints in the pelvis that connect the Sacrum to the Ilium which are are joined by strong ligaments on either side.



The SI joints are major weight bearing joints. They are very strong and do not have a lot of movement. Their main job is shock absorption, although they do allow a small amount of movement when we walk or run for example.

Sacroiliitis occurs when these joints become inflamed. This usually the result of the joint not working correctly (medically known as Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction) as a result of bad movement patterns (read more here). This can either be too much motion, or not enough motion of the SI joint. This can be the result of an injury such as a car accident, or may have accumulated over time through poor posture and excessive sitting.

The abnormal movement of the joint creates strain of the joint, which leads to inflammation.

Sacroiliitis can also be the result of arthritic conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, or infection among others. Some of these arthritic conditions have an affinity for the sacroiliac joint and should be considered when pain arising from these joints is suspected and particularly when the pattern is bilateral. 


Sacroiliitis Symptoms.

Sacroiliitis commonly causes lower back, buttock, groin, and hip pain. Occasionally the pain will travel down the leg and can be mistaken for Sciatica.

The pain is usually one sided, but can be across the entire low back, especially if both SI joints are affected. It is usually a mild to moderate dull ache.

Sacroiliitis pain can be worse after prolonged sitting, or standing in one spot. Running can also aggravate the pain.

Often there is a feeling of stiffness around the lower back and hips as well, particularly after getting out of bed in the morning or after sitting still for a prolonged period.



Sacroiliitis Treatment Options.

Sacroiliac Belt: A sacroiliac belt is designed to compress and support the sacroiliac joints, thereby relieving stress and instability. 

Available here:


Rest: A short period of rest may help the inflammation to settle and avoid re-aggravation.

Ice/Heat: Ice (in 10 minute applications) will help to reduce inflammation at the onset. Chronic cases may benefit from heat for 15 minutes at a time to increase blood flow to the area, bringing in healing nutrients.

Medications: Anti-inflammatories or injections will reduce pain and swelling, but don't actually fix the underlying cause.

Exercises: Pulling your knee to your chest on the affected side will help to stretch out tight hip muscles, and create some movement in the SI joint if it is not moving enough.


Squats are also good for strengthening the hip muscles that add some support to the SI joints, and may help in stabilising SI joints that are moving too much.

Chiropractic/Physical Therapy: Particularly helpful if the SI joint is not moving enough. Gentle treatments of the affected joint can help to restore better motion, reducing strain on the joint.

Surgery: Only extreme cases of sacroiliitis will require surgical fusion, and it quite rare for this to be an option.


Sacroiliitis symptoms can be quite debilitating, but usually it is more of an annoying dull ache and not severe pain. Unfortunately it often becomes an ongoing chronic problem unless the underlying cause is corrected (check out the  Total Back Pain Solution spinal rehabilitation course).


Luckily, sacroiliitis treatment is very successful most of the time, and the results are usually achieved quite quickly. It is always recommended to seek professional advice to be sure the treatment option you choose is the best one for you.


If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.




  1. Hi there
    I have to say that I had never heard of sacroiliitis and never seen a word with that many “i” in it! lol You explained it very well though and made it easy to understand. I remember a time in my life when I had the type of pain you are describing here. I would feel it mostly when I would get up from bed in the morning. At the time I thought it was from my mattress as it was a pain I had never felt before. But it is exactly what you describe here. It went away on its own as I started moving but I remember putting heat on it at night.

    • Hi Emily,

      Haha, yes there are lots of ‘i’s in the word! You can break it down to ‘sacro-ili-itis’ to make it easier.

      One of the problems with properly diagnosing back pain is the fact that many causes of back pain share the same symptoms. Standard orthopaedic testing that has been taught for years is known to be very unreliable as well.

      Regardless of which anatomical structure (or body ‘part’) the pain is coming from, there is always some underlying weakness or instability that is creating abnormal stress and strain on the spine in the first place. THAT is what we need to address in EVERY case of back pain in order to obtain long term results.

      You can find out all about that in the ‘Articles’ section here, and also under the “What Causes Back Pain?’ tab above.

      Have an amazing day!

      Dr Brad

  2. Hi, I enjoyed the information you provided us in this post, I found it very helpful. I was wondering if you know whether or not taking glucosamine would help. I know there are lots of debates about whether or not it actually works, but people who take it have found it helpful, generally speaking.

    • Hi Hindy,

      Taking Glucosamine does seem to be a bit hit and miss. For some people it makes a marked improvement, for others it does not seem to help. However, it is thought that it can take up to 3 months for glucosamine to take it’s full effect, so this might be a factor for those that have tried it without success. It does require some persistence to get the possible benefits.

      I have also read that the effects of glucosamine are greatly amplified if you take a high quality omega (fish) oil supplement as well.
      Omega oils are an essential nutrient and are generally a good idea if you are trying to be as healthy as possible, but check with your doctor first if you are taking any medications, particularly heart meds.

      All the best,
      Dr Brad

  3. Dear Dr. Brad:

    I enjoyed the information provided in this post from I found it very helpful since I was diagnosed with sacroliliitis several years ago. I feel excruciating pain whenever I stand on a long period of time doing housework, ironing, or waiting in long lines. The doctor told me that my having had 5 children in 6 1/2 years might well be the cause of the sacroiliitis and poor posture as I never managed to do much abdominal exercise after the deliveries.

    I very much look forward to hearing from you with your recommendation as to the kind of lumbar brace that would be most helpful for sacroiliitis, poor posture, and abdominal support and the place you would suggest the brace be purchased. While looking on the internet, I came across this website for which I feel profound gratitude as I am not computer savvy and was lost in the morass of information.


    Mary Ann Higgs

    • Hi Mary Ann,

      I am so pleased that we were able to help you, and thank you for your lovely praise. It is our mission to provide easy to understand information and practical advice regarding spinal health.

      We have updated the article to include our recommendation for the best brace for sacroiliac disorders.
      You can also see it via this link:

      All the best,
      Dr Brad

  4. i got told i had sacro-ili-itis in 1993 i was 32 it made me bed ridden for 3 months and the bone joints have been a right pain ever since i was very thin very active and rarely was sat down for any period of time id not fell on it or had any car accident and to day fast forward im riddles with OA in whole spine and yes them dreaded S.I. joints still play me up alot..

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