Treatment of Sacroiliac Arthropathy

Sacroiliac arthropathy can decrease your quality of life. Learn more about your options for the treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy here.


Table of Contents

What is Sacroiliac Arthropathy?

The sacroiliac joints are in the lower back, connecting the sacrum to the iliac bones. These joints balance the weight of the body between the torso and the lower limbs. As a result, they are often under high amounts of stress.1


This can ultimately contribute to sacroiliac arthropathy. Learn more about the treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy in this comprehensive article.

Common Causes

Many things can cause sacroiliac arthropathy. Some common causes include:
  •     Inflammatory conditions
  •     Trauma
  •     Degenerative conditions

Symptoms of Sacroiliac Arthropathy

The symptoms of sacroiliac arthropathy can vary from person to person. Here are some common symptoms associated with this condition:

  •     Lower back pain
  •     Hip or groin pain
  •     Pain during movement
  •     Stiffness
  •     Pain when changing positions
  •     Pain relief with rest
  •     Altered gait

While many symptoms can signal sacroiliac arthritis, these are the most common. It’s important to speak with a doctor to get an accurate diagnosis.2

Sacroiliac Arthropathy Can Look Like Other Conditions

It’s important to note that these symptoms can also be indicative of other conditions. A medical evaluation by a healthcare professional is necessary for an accurate diagnosis. Symptoms may also dictate the treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy.

What are the Main Treatment Options for Sacroiliac Arthropathy?

Options for the treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy aim to improve daily life. This includes reducing pain and inflammation. It also includes improving the function of the sacroiliac joints.3


Consulting with a healthcare professional helps determine the right approach to your treatment. This can include a rheumatologist, orthopedic surgeon, or your primary provider. 

The Most Common Options for the Treatment of Sacroiliac Arthropathy

Common options for the treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy  include medications, therapy, and surgery.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs reduce pain and inflammation associated with sacroiliac arthropathy. Examples of these medications include those such as ibuprofen or naproxen.


In some cases, providers may prescribe stronger pain medications or muscle relaxers. If the inflammation is severe, other measures may be necessary. This includes corticosteroid injections administered in the sacroiliac joint.

Application of Traditional Care Strategies

A physical therapist can design a customized exercise program. This helps to strengthen the muscles surrounding the sacroiliac joints. It also helps to improve joint stability and enhance flexibility.   These exercises may include:
  •     Stretching
  •     Low-impact aerobic exercises
  •     Specific core and pelvic floor strengthening exercises 
  Manual therapy techniques, such as joint mobilization or manipulation, are also used. These work to improve joint mobility and reduce pain.

Sacroiliac Joint Stabilization

In some cases, bracing or taping techniques help stabilize the sacroiliac joints. This provides support. These external supports can help reduce pain and improve functional abilities.

Radiofrequency Ablation

Individuals who experience pain relief from sacroiliac joint injections may consider radiofrequency ablation. This treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy uses heat. 


The heat used comes from radiofrequency waves. It then works to disrupt the nerve signals that send pain from the sacroiliac joint.


Prolotherapy is also known as regenerative injection therapy. It involves injecting a solution into the sacroiliac joint or surrounding ligaments. 


These injections work to stimulate the body’s natural healing response. This treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy can help strengthen and stabilize the joint.

Alternative Therapies

Some individuals find relief from symptoms through alternative treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy. This includes chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage therapy, and more. 


These approaches do not address the cause of your condition. But they can help reduce pain and improve well-being.

How do Physical Therapy and Exercise Contribute to the Treatment of Sacroiliac Arthropathy?

Physical therapy and exercise are crucial in the treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy. They are non-surgical approaches that focus on improving function. This improves the function of the sacroiliac joints and the surrounding structures.


Physical therapy caters to the individual’s specific needs. Treatment plans consider individuals’ symptoms, functional limitations, and goals. Working with a physical therapist specializing in musculoskeletal conditions is important. They ensure you receive the right guidance and supervision.


Here’s how physical therapy and exercise can benefit individuals with sacroiliac arthropathy:

Strengthening the Muscles

Physical therapy aims to strengthen the muscles surrounding the sacroiliac joints. This includes the core muscles, gluteal muscles, and hip muscles.


Strengthening these muscles helps provide better support and stability to the sacroiliac joints. This aids in reducing stress and strain on the joint surfaces.

Improving Joint Stability

Weakness in the muscles around the sacroiliac joints contributes to instability and pain. Physical therapy helps address these muscle imbalances and improves joint stability. 


Specific exercises can target the deep stabilizing muscles of the pelvis and spine. This promotes proper alignment and reduces excessive movement in the sacroiliac joints.

Enhancing Flexibility

Tightness in the muscles around the sacroiliac joints contributes to pain. Physical therapy includes stretching exercises that help improve flexibility and range of motion. 


This relieves tension in the hip, pelvis, and lower back. Increased flexibility can reduce stress on the sacroiliac joints and improve movement.

Correcting Posture and Body Mechanics

Physical therapists educate individuals about proper posture and body mechanics. This includes techniques to reduce stress on the sacroiliac joints. This promotes optimal alignment.

Pain Management

Physical therapists may use pain management techniques. This includes heat or cold therapy, electrical stimulation, and manual therapy techniques. 


These techniques help reduce pain and muscle tension around the sacroiliac joints.

Education and Self-Management

Physical therapists play a crucial role in educating individuals about their condition. They also help patients understand the contributing factors to their conditions.


Part of the treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy involves providing strategies for self-management. This includes advice on topics with the goal of continuing therapeutic progress.


Common topics include:

  •     Activity modification
  •     Ergonomics
  •     Home exercises. 

What is Sacroiliac Joint Fusion Surgery?

Sacroiliac joint fusion surgery is a procedure that stabilizes the sacroiliac joint. The goal is to end or reduce pain and improve function in individuals with sacroiliac joint dysfunction. 


Surgery is best suited for pain that has not responded to conservative treatments of sacroiliac arthropathy.

What are the Steps Followed in Sacroiliac Joint Fusion Surgery?

Surgeons follow specific steps in sacroiliac joint fusion surgery. These steps include:
  1. Anesthesia: During the surgery, patients are under general anesthesia. This means the patient is asleep during the surgery. In some cases, providers may use anesthesia with sedation.
  2. Incision: The surgeon makes a small incision near the sacroiliac joint on the side where there is pain.
  3. Preparation of the Joint Surfaces: Providers remove the damaged cartilage and tissue within the sacroiliac joint. This creates a suitable environment for fusion. It may involve scraping or cleaning the joint surfaces.
  4. Bone Grafting: The bone graft material is placed in the joint space to promote fusion between the sacrum and iliac bone. The bone graft can be obtained from the patient’s own body (autograft) or from a donor (allograft). Bone graft substitutes or synthetic materials may be used to enhance fusion.
  5. Fixation: To provide stability and help fusion, various implants such as screws, rods, plates, or cages are placed across the sacroiliac joint. These hold the bones in the desired position during the healing process.
  6. Closure: The incision is closed with sutures or staples. A sterile dressing is applied.


Following the surgery, the patient undergoes a period of recovery and rehabilitation. This may involve physical therapy and a gradual return to activities. The bone graft takes time to heal and fuse the joint, taking several months for a solid fusion to occur.

Importance Consideration for Surgery

Sacroiliac joint fusion surgery is a last-resort treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy. It is used when conservative treatments have failed to provide adequate relief. It is important to discuss the risks, benefits, and potential outcomes of the surgery with a qualified surgeon. 

How Effective is Surgery in Treating Sacroiliac Arthropathy?

Sacroiliac joint fusion surgery has shown promising results as a treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy. This is especially true for those that have persistent pain and functional limitations that have not responded to conservative treatments.


The effectiveness of sacroiliac joint fusion surgery can vary depending on several factors. This includes the cause, the patient’s health, and the surgical technique used.

Benefits of Sacroiliac Joint Fusion Surgery

Some of the benefits of this surgery as a treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy include:
  •     Pain reduction
  •     Improved function and quality of life
  •     Patient satisfaction

Are There Risks?

It’s important to consider that sacroiliac joint fusion surgery is a major procedure. Like any surgery, it carries potential risks and complications.

Are There Any Minimally Invasive Surgical Options for Sacroiliac Arthropathy?

There are minimally invasive surgical options available for the treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy. These procedures address sacroiliac joint dysfunction while:

  • Minimizing tissue damage
  • Reducing postoperative pain
  • Promoting faster recovery compared to traditional open surgeries. 

 It’s important to note that the suitability of these minimally invasive procedures depends on many factors. This includes the individual’s specific condition, cause, and the expertise of the surgeon.

What Options Are There?

Some minimally invasive options include joint fusion, arthroscopy, and denervation. 

Minimally Invasive Sacroiliac Joint Fusion

This procedure involves the placement, like screws and rods, of implants across the sacroiliac joint to stabilize and promote fusion. It is performed through small incisions. It utilizes specialized surgical instruments and imaging guidance such as fluoroscopy or navigation systems. 


Minimally invasive sacroiliac joint fusion can be done as an outpatient procedure. Patients may experience less postoperative pain and a quicker recovery compared to open surgery.

Sacroiliac Joint Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy. It involves inserting a small camera into the joint. This is used to visualize and treat the underlying problem.


In the case of sacroiliac arthropathy, arthroscopy can be used to

  •     Remove inflamed tissue
  •     Release adhesions
  •     Perform minor joint debridement.


This treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy allows for direct visualization and treatment of the joint while minimizing tissue disruption.

Sacroiliac Joint Denervation

Sacroiliac joint denervation is also known as sacroiliac joint radiofrequency ablation (RFA). This treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy aims to disrupt the pain signals from the sacroiliac joint. 


It involves using radiofrequency waves to heat and deactivates the nerves that send pain signals from the joint.


The procedure is performed under fluoroscopic guidance. It can provide temporary pain relief by numbing the nerves. It does not, however, address the pathology or promote joint fusion.

How Long Does it Take for Patients to Recover from Treatment of Sacroiliac Arthropathy?

The recovery time for treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy can vary. This depends on several different factors. 


Some factors include:

  • The severity of the condition
  • The specific treatment approach used
  • Individual factors such as health and adherence to post-treatment guidelines

Potential Challenges or Limitations in the Treatment of Psychogenic Pain

Yes, there are alternative and complementary therapies for the treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy.4

These can be used alongside conventional treatments to help manage the symptoms of sacroiliac arthropathy.

What are the Benefits?

While these therapies may not directly address the cause of the condition, they can be beneficial. They provide pain relief, promote relaxation, reduce muscle tension, and improve well-being. 


It’s important to note that the effectiveness of these therapies can vary.

What Options are Available?

Here are some alternative and complementary therapies that may be considered:
  •     Chiropractic care
  •     Acupuncture
  •     Massage therapy
  •     Mind-body techniques
  •     Herbal remedies

Important Factors to Consider

It’s important to keep in mind that alternative and complementary therapies should not replace conventional medical treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy. 


They also should not be used as a standalone approach. They are intended to be used in conjunction with evidence-based treatments. 


Always communicate with your healthcare provider about any alternative therapies you are considering to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your specific condition.

Treatment of Sacroiliac Arthropathy

What Does J. Flowers Health Institute Offer as a Treatment of Sacroiliac Arthropathy?

Are you ready to find relief from sacroiliac arthropathy? Discover comprehensive treatment options at J. Flowers Health Institute.


With our extensive expertise and knowledge, we excel in accurately diagnosing sacroiliac joint disorders, ensuring that we provide targeted and effective treatment options. 


Our team is skilled in employing cutting-edge non-surgical interventions, tailored to meet the specific needs of each patient. 

Reclaim the Life You Deserve

We are adept at performing minimally invasive procedures with optimal results while minimizing pain and recovery time. 


By focusing on your individual needs and employing a comprehensive approach, we enable you to regain your previous quality of life and enjoy pain-free mobility once again. 

Reach Out and Begin Healing

Take the first step towards a pain-free future. Contact J. Flowers Health Institute today. Our team will help you to schedule a consultation. 


We will also help you explore options for the treatment of sacroiliac arthropathy. Take control of your health back today.