A large number of women face sacroiliac joint pain during pregnancy. Well, this may be painful, and you would like to get a quick remedy from the discomfiture. Particularly, the pain affects the lower back region. The sacroiliac joint is the midpoint where the lowermost bone of the spinal cord meets the hipbone. Almost 80 percent women suffer from this back pain during pregnancy. The pain occurs due to the dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint.
There are several signs of sacroiliac joint dysfunction. A sharp pain in the pelvic region, numbness felt in the legs and such. The intensity of the pain varies from sharp to dull. The pain originates at the joint and spreads to the thighs, groin, buttocks and upper part of the back. At times, you will experience the pain when you stand up. In other cases, you may feel it on the lower part of the back. The problem generally intensifies during the day and you may feel better at night.
What is a sacroiliac joint pain?
The sacroiliac joints are located between the lowermost portion of the spine and uppermost portion of the hipbone. They are stationed at the two dimples of our lower back. The dysfunction of these joints causes dull or sharp pain in the region. It can occur on one or both sides of the spine. Sometimes the pain can also spread to the buttocks and thigh.
Sacroiliac joint pain can occur at any time during your pregnancy. However mostly it occurs after the 18th week and gradually intensifies. Usually, this back pain fades away on its own after 3 months of delivery at the most. But there can be exceptions to this and the pain can become acute in some cases.
Symptoms and Treatment for Sacroiliac Joint Pain
Causes of sacroiliac joint pain
Hormonal changes are the main reason behind sacroiliac joint pain during pregnancy. The hormones make the ligaments holding the joints more flexible to ease childbirth. This relaxation of the ligaments enables the joint to inflame. Inflammation results in pain felt in the sacroiliac joint.
Baby bump can also cause pain in your sacroiliac joints. The growing weight in your belly shifts your centre of gravity. This additional weight puts more strain your spinal cord. This can cause sacroiliac joint pain during pregnancy.
When the SI joint gets inflated, the pain starts affecting the body. This can be caused due to a number of reasons. Besides, it may hurt when you take part in physical activities or fall down. Activities like jogging, which causes stress in this area, may also cause the pain. People taking uneven strides while walking may experience this pain. In certain cases, one of the legs might be longer than the other. This may cause pain in the SI joint.
Abdominal muscles are stretched during pregnancy to accommodate the baby in your womb. This stretching of the muscles affects the sacroiliac joint which causes pain and stiffness.
Signs and symptoms
- A deep intense pain felt in the lower back can be a sign of sacroiliac joint dysfunction. It can be felt on either one or both sides of the spinal cord.
- Sometimes the pain is almost a dull throbbing in the lower back. It is not necessary that the pain will always be intense. It can be dull also. This is also a sign. Do not ignore this sign.
- Often the pain radiates down to the thighs and buttocks also. It can also spread to the groin and abdomen. This is an important symptom of sacroiliac joint pain.
- There may be stiffness or burning sensation as well in the pelvic region. This is a sign of inflammation of the joint.
- If you feel pain while walking, or sitting up and even standing, it is a definite sign of sacroiliac joint pain. The pain worsens with any sort of physical activity. There is less pain while lying down.
- Difficulty in doing simple tasks like rolling over in bed, putting on shoes and even getting up from a chair. When these tasks cause pain in your lower back it can be a sign of sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
- Feeling pain in the lower back immediately after you wake up in the morning is an indication. It can be a sign of sacroiliac joint pain.
Pain relief medications are generally used by doctors to ease sacroiliac joint pain during pregnancy. It is important to always consult a doctor before taking any kind of painkillers over the counter.
Steroids are also administered orally or injected in case painkillers are not helpful. Steroids offer relief for a longer period than other painkillers. However, steroids have harmful side effects as well.
Physiotherapy is another standard mode of treatment for sacroiliac joint pain. It eases the stress on the joints and reduces apparent inflammation. Physical therapy is also safer than medications. It is best to appoint a professional physiotherapist for this.
Treatments like radiofrequency ablation and electric stimulation are also effective. These types of treatment use radiofrequency and electrical stimulation to reduce the inflammation of the joints.
Doing light stretching exercises at home can also cure sacroiliac joint pain. There are many exercises that can help ease the back pain and keep your spine healthy. Exercising will also ensure an overall good health for both you and the baby.
Wearing sacroiliac belts is another option to treat this pain. These belts keep the joints tight and reduce the inflammation and mobility.
Resting is a crucial treatment for sacroiliac pain. More activity will cause more pain. Therefore it is crucial to get enough rest and sleep during pregnancy to treat this problem. It will relieve the pain to a great extent.
Surgery is the last option for treating sacroiliac joint dysfunction. It is rarely suggested by doctors unless and until the case is critical.
Home remedies for Sacroiliac Pain
There are some simple natural remedies for treating sacroiliac joint pain during pregnancy. These are:
Applying alternate heat and ice can help in reducing the pain. Doing this several times a day will give positive results.
Foods with omega-3 fatty acid are an excellent remedy for this problem. Include fatty fishes in your pregnancy diet if you are suffering from sacroiliac joint pain. Also soya beans, nuts, spinach and olive oil are rich in omega 3.
Turmeric and ginger are also known to relieve the pain.
Sacroiliac joint pain is extremely common during pregnancy. The physical and hormonal changes in the body can cause this pain. It can be extremely annoying and uncomfortable. Sacroiliac joint pain is usually easily curable by medicines, exercise and some natural remedies. The pain fades away after delivery. But sometimes the condition gets worse as the pregnancy progresses. If the pain is unbearable despite standard treatment, it may need a surgery. Consult your doctor at the earliest to prevent complications.