Lower Back pain


Sacral Pain

Sacral Pain

The sacrum is triangular bone, located at the base of the spinal column, and forms the upper portion of the hip bone, where it connects both sides that form the pelvic cavity. The upper portion of the sacrum is connected to the fifth part of the lumbar spine (L5) and the bottom to the coccyx or tail bone. Sacral pain is generally characterized by a sharp or aching pain in the lower back, which can also affect the buttocks. Generally older people and those with high levels of physical activity are prone to this kind of pain, and more women than men will complain of discomfort since the sacral bone is wider and shorter in women than it is in men. The pain that characterizes this condition is similar to that which is experienced in the case of sciatica or a slipped disk. The following is an overview of the causes of  sacral joint pain, and possible treatment options 

CausesThere are a number of muscles that are attached to the sacroiliac joint, including pelvic muscles, leg muscles, the gluteal muscles, lower back muscles and hamstrings. Sometimes injury to any of these muscles can also give rise to several symptoms. Many people who perform sedentary jobs, and are seated for a greater portion of the day, particularly those who are guilty of bad posture and form, are likely to develop pain in the sacral area. Sitting or standing for long durations can also give rise to this condition. There is a cartilaginous portion in the sacroiliac joint which serves as a shock absorber, and injury or strain to this cartilage can lead to back pain. Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, is also a possible cause. Long periods in single positions can cause taut muscles which may lead to pinched nerves resulting in a great deal of pain. Other possible causes are sciatica, gout, herniated discs and spondylitis among others. Sacral pain in pregnancy can also be experienced because of ligaments that are relaxed as a result of some hormonal changes. The added weight of the fetus which is concentrated in the lower portion of the abdomen can also cause stress on the sacral region which can result in concentrated pain in the sacral joint

Resting the lower back is the foremost recommendation, which will prevent further stress or injury. Ice packs may also be applied for pain relief, in case of inflammation, ice will also ensure any existing swelling subsides. Medication may be prescribed to help in pain management including NSAIDS (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen. Massage therapy by a trained professional can also help alleviate the pain. There are specific sacroiliac joint dysfunction exercises which are recommended to strengthen the muscles in the sacral region, prime among these being the anal lock. Performing these exercises as a routine ensures blood circulation in the region, which in turn can aid in the building of a strong set of muscles which will ward off possible pain 

Many of us tend to ignore symptoms such as sacral pain or lower back pain, in the hope that the situation will die down. Self medication and diagnosis is not only harmful, it can be dangerous as well. Take the time to visit a health-care professional who will give you an informed opinion and the right course of action to follow. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with adequate rest and exercise, particularly if you lead an otherwise sedentary life, will ensure that you keep all joint aches and pains at bay

By Tilottama Chatterjee

Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/Sacral-Pain.html