X ray: an X ray reveals signs of impairment to the sacroiliac joint.
CT scan: generates cross-sectional images of the internal structures and gives you a clearer picture.
MRI: radio waves and a strong magnetic field helps generate detailed cross-sectional images of both the bone as well as the soft tissue.
Laboratory investigations: in case of infections, your doctor will ask you to get a sample of fluid from the joint tested.
Anesthesia for investigations: since lower back pain causes a host of different problems, your health care professional may propose anesthesia to help identify the condition precisely. However, the test is not very reliable.
Treatment for Sacroiliitis
The type of treatment regimen recommended by your doctor depends up on the signs and symptoms you are having and the underlying cause of the condition:
Pain relievers: your physician may prescribe a non narcotic pain reliever. Usually, a short course of pain killers is prescribed.
Muscle relaxants: muscle relaxants help decrease muscle spasms that are frequently related to sacroiliitis.
Corticosteroids: your health care professional may advocate corticosteroid injections. These are injected in to the sacroiliac joint to lessen swelling and inflammation, along with pain. Then again, your doctor will give you only a few injections in a year, since; steroids tend to weaken the bones and tendons.
Disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs: in cases where the sacroiliitis is caused due to ankylosing spondylitis, DMARDs play a pivotal role and help allay the symptoms to some extent.
Tumor necrosis factor inhibitors: TNF inhibitors help alleviate that type of sacroiliitis that is associated with ankylosing spondylitis too.
Physiotherapy: physical therapy is an important aspect of the treatment plan. Your physiotherapist helps you to improve the range of motion and assuages inflammatory processes; stretching exercises help maintain the joints flexibility, and strengthening exercises give better stability to your muscles.
Radio-frequency denervation: this therapy helps by damaging or destroying the nerve tissue that causes the pain.
Electrical stimulation: an electrical stimulator when introduced in to the sacroiliac joint helps decrease pain considerably.
Joint fusion: surgery is hardly ever used to manage sacroiliitis; but, surgical intervention comprising of fusing the two bones together with metal hardware occasionally relieves sacroiliitis pain.
Rest: adequate rest is of vital importance. Avoid those activities that worsen your pain; and this, accordingly helps reduce the inflammation in the sacroiliac joints.
Ice and heat: Alternate ice and heat therapy helps ease sacroiliac pain appreciably.
Prognosis of Sacroiliitis
The prognosis of the case depends up on the intensity of the pain. Based on the severity, various activities become difficult to perform, such as, sitting, walking, bending, lying down and standing.
If sacroiliitis is a part of ankylosing spondylitis, then the outcome is relatively poor. Complications of this are somewhat serious, including: difficulty in breathing, spinal deformities, infections of the lung and cardiac problems.