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Sacroiliac joint

What is the sacroiliac joint (ISG)?

The sacroiliac joint, also called the iliac joint or sacroiliac joint, is the joint between the sacrum and the ilium and connects the lower spine (Os sacrum) to the pelvis (Os ilium). In fact, you have two sacroiliac joints, a left and a right. The joint is not very mobile and therefore also susceptible to fractures, dislocations or chronic inflammations.

What is sacroiliac joint syndrome (ISG syndrome)?

Now it may be that the joint surfaces of the sacroiliac joint become misaligned. This happens due to incorrect loads, unforeseen movements or even during pregnancy. This pain is called ISG syndrome. The pain comes from the sacroiliac joint itself. This ISG pain can occur in fits and starts when bending or twisting the torso. Sometimes the pain also occurs after prolonged physical exertion or sitting in one position for a long time.

When the joint surfaces become misaligned during movement, they block. This ISG blockage causes the typical ISG pain in the affected joint - i.e. left or right. However, the pain can also radiate from the lower back, over the buttocks, into the thigh and into the knee. This pain is very similar to a herniated disc, which is why it may be advisable to see a doctor.

What are the causes of ISG syndrome?

If frequent tensile or compressive loads are now exerted on the ligaments of the sacroiliac joint, this can result in inflammation. These stresses are caused by incorrect posture, heavy lifting and also by being overweight. In the treatment of an ISG syndrome, it is therefore not useful to just relieve the pain, but to tackle the causes right away so that the complaints do not become chronic.

However well one can treat and prevent it in many cases, there are cases that are different, such as pregnancy. ISG syndrome can also occur in this case, which is due to the hormonal changes and the associated loosening of the ligaments. Diseases can also be responsible for ISG syndrome, such as Bekhterev's disease, a chronic inflammatory disease of the spine and pelvis.

What to do if you have sacroiliac joint syndrome?

If there is pain in the lower back that radiates to the knee and it does not improve despite warmth and relaxation, it is advisable to see a doctor so that they can investigate whether it is ISG syndrome or something else, such as a herniated disc. This radiating pain does not have to indicate ISG syndrome, it may also be a symptom of a Osteoarthritis in the hip joint, ankylosing spondylitis or other infections. Only a specialist can assign the symptoms and, if necessary, confirm or exclude an ISG syndrome.

The treatment of ISG syndrome

If ISG syndrome is diagnosed, the doctor can inject anaesthetic medication directly into the ligamentous apparatus of the sacroiliac joint or also into the joint space. Alternatively, cortisone is used. The doctor usually also prescribes Movement and physiotherapy, because movement is part of the treatment of ISG syndrome.

Anyone diagnosed with ISG syndrome is well advised to take sufficient exercise and to train the abdominal and back muscles regularly. Office chairs that allow healthy, because natural, movements can also be used in a supportive way. These include, for example, the active chairs Swopper and 3Dee from Aeris, because they allow twice as much movement as conventional office chairs thanks to their three-dimensional flexibility.