Sacroiliac (SI) joint pain can occur in the low back and buttocks and is often described as "low back and/or hip pain." The pain is caused by damage or injury to the joint between the spine and hip. Sacroiliac pain can mimic other conditions, such as a herniated disc or hip problem. Accurate diagnosis is important to determine the source of pain. Physical therapy, stretching exercises, pain medication, and joint injections are used first to manage the symptoms. Surgery to fuse the joint and stop painful motion may be recommended.
The SI joints are located between the iliac bones and the sacrum, connecting the spine to the hips. The two joints provide support and stability, and play a major role in absorbing impact when walking and lifting. From the back, the SI joints are located below the waist where two dimples are visible. Strong ligaments and muscles support the SI joints. There is a very small amount of motion in the joint for normal body flexibility. As we age our bones become arthritic and ligaments stiffen. When the cartilage wears down, the bones may rub together causing pain. The SI joint is a synovial joint filled with fluid. This type of joint has free nerve endings that can cause chronic pain if the joint degenerates or does not move properly.
Scoliosis/spinal deformity is a sideways curve of the spine. The spine of someone with scoliosis will show up as an "S" or "C" shape rather than a straight line down the back. Scoliosis can cause the spine to rotate sideways, causing the hips or shoulders to be uneven. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, approximately 2 percent of people have scoliosis.
Failed back surgery syndrome, or failed spinal surgery, is diagnosed when a patient continues to suffer chronic back pain from a previous spinal surgery. These surgeries may include surgery to stabilize or decompress the spine or surgery to relieve back pain.
Degenerative disc disease is a common source of chronic pain in the lower back. The spine is made up of a column of stacked bones called vertebrae. Flat, gel-like discs that provide cushioning between the bones separate the vertebrae. The discs are made of a tough outer layer, called the annulus fibrosis, and a jelly-type center, called the nucleus pulposus. As we age, the discs begin to deteriorate, most commonly by drying out and shrinking. This reduces the disc's flexibility and height. As a result, the weakened disc cannot hold the vertebrae together as well as it could previously. Unlike muscles or other body tissues, discs do not have the ability to heal themselves. The disc degeneration can lead to instability in the spine, where the spine can no longer bear the patient's weight or perform normal activities without severe pain. In addition, as a result of the collapsed disc the foramen may become secondarily narrowed, giving rise to radiculopathy. For some, the condition may not cause any pain or symptoms.
Sciatica refers to back pain caused by a problem with the sciatic nerve. This is a large nerve that runs from the lower back down the back of each leg. When something injures or puts pressure on the sciaticnerve, it can cause pain in the lower back that spreads to the hip, buttocks, and leg.
Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra slipsforward over the vertebra below it. The term is pronounced spondy-low-lis-thesis and is derived from the Greek language: spondylo means vertebra and listhesis means to slip. ... Spondylolisthesis usually develops in the spine's low back; your lumbar spine.
Spinal infections can be caused by either a bacterial or a fungal infection in another part of the body that has been carried into the spine through the bloodstream. The most common source of spinal infections is a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus, followed by Escherichia coli.
As we age, our spines change. These normal wear-and-tear effects of aging can lead to narrowing of the spinal canal. This condition is called spinal stenosis. Degenerative changes of the spine are seen in up to 95% of people by the age of 50. Spinal stenosis most often occurs in adults over 60 years old. Pressure on the nerve roots is equally common in men and women. A small number of people are born with back problems that develop into lumbar spinal stenosis. This is known as congenital spinal stenosis. It occurs most often in men. People usually first notice symptoms between the ages of 30 and 50.
A spinal fracture is a serious injury in which one or more vertebra in the spinal column collapse, causing the vertebra, which normally has a rectangular shape, to become compressed. It is typically caused by high-impact trauma, such as a car accident or long-distance fall, but can also be caused by osteoporosis in older individuals with weakened bones. The most common spinal fracture occurs in the thoracic (mid-back) and lumbar (lower back) spine or where the thoracic and lumbar connect (thoracolumbar junction). Thoracic or lumbar spine fractures affect men four times more often than women. The severity of the trauma that causes spinal fractures usually indicates the patient has additional injuries.
A spinal tumor is a growth developing within or near the spinal cord. It can be either cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (nonmalignant). A spinal tumor often impacts nerves along the spine which, if left untreated, can lead to pain, neurological problems and sometimes paralysis. No matter whether they are malignant or nonmalignant, spinal tumors can be life-threatening and cause permanent disability. Malignant tumors spread more quickly than nonmalignant ones. Regardless, it is important to seek treatment from a board-certified spine surgeon who is experienced in removing spine tumors