Sacroiliitis Ch 2
Causes and Treatments

Autoimmune Disorders and Degenerative Joint Disease May Cause Sacroiliitis

There are several autoimmune diseases that can cause sacroiliitis. They may affect several different parts of your body causing an inflammatory arthritis. These autoimmune disorders include rheumatoid arthritis affecting other joints of your body, ankylosing spondylitis affecting your spine, and sacroiliitis affecting your sacroiliac joints.






When these autoimmune diseases are left untreated they can cause severe joint damage. They are diagnosed by blood tests and in some cases a biopsy may be needed. Other diseases that are sometimes associated with rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and sacroiliitis are uvietis, psoriatic arthritis, and erythema nodosum.

"these joints become rough and irregular"

As we age degenerative joint disease and osteoarthritis can affect these joints. When you are 16 years old the surfaces of these joints are covered with cartilage that is smooth and shiny allowing smooth motion.  

With a lifetime of hard work, and as we age, these joints can become rough and irregular. Bone spurs may grow, and the ligaments can get short and tight causing pain with any motion.


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"Treatments for this disease will vary..."

Treatments for this disease will vary depending on what is causing the pain. Some of the possible options include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, anti-rheumatic drugs, antibiotics if an infection is suspected, and physical therapy.

In the acute phase anti-inflammatory drugs can be used to reduce swelling and inflammation and relieve pain. These are widely available and include such things as naproxen and ibuprofen.

The corticosteroids include drugs like prednisone, medrol, and cortisone. These are stronger anti-inflammatory drugs that your doctor can prescribe. These are usually given in a tapering dose, over 1 to 2 weeks.

"reduce inflammation and ease the pain"

Anti-rheumatic drugs, such as azulfidine or methotrexate, are also anti-inflammatory drugs that reduce inflammation and ease pain. These drugs also modify the disease process and work to limit joint damage.

If an infection such as osteomyelitis is suspected or diagnosed from a blood sample, or from fluid taken from the joint, you may be treated with antibiotics. Initially, you may be started on a wide spectrum antibiotic. Then you may be switched to a more specific antibiotic when the lab results return.

After the painful acute phase has resolved you may be started on physical therapy with range of motion exercises and exercises to improve muscle strength. The stretches and exercises they ask you to do will depend on exactly what is causing your pain.

"When your symptoms do not improve..."

When you have pain in the region of your sacroiliac joints it is important to have it evaluated and treated. Your symptoms may improve with rest and over the counter pain medicine. When your symptoms do not improve your doctor can order blood tests and x-rays, for a more complete evaluation.

When an accurate diagnosis can be determined and a correct in treatment plant implemented you will be on the way to relieving your symptoms.



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