Sacroiliitis and Buttock Pain

Sacroiliitis is a term used to describe an inflammation of either one or both of the sacroiliac joints found in the lower back. These connect your lower spine and pelvis.

Sacroiliitis is one of a number of conditions that can cause buttock pain. It can be hard to diagnose because it resembles other conditions like herniated disks, strained muscles and sciatica. Sacroiliitis can also be mistaken for a disease that causes inflammatory arthritis in the spine called spondyloarthropathies.

A person suffering from sacroiliitis will find it very uncomfortable or painful when they move even a little. The pain and stiffness will be centered in the lower back, buttocks and thighs.

Other symptoms can include inflammation in one or both eyes, an inflammatory skin condition called psoriasis, a fever and a decrease in the person’s range of motion.

The pain can get worse when walking because of the strain this puts on the sacroiliac joints. You can also feel pain radiating down your leg and many times the person will walk with a limp.


There are many causes of sacroiliitis. An accident resulting in a traumatic injury to the spine, pelvis, buttocks or lower back can cause this condition.

Being pregnant will stretch the pelvis which can result in sacroiliitis along with certain types of infections.

Arthritis associated with spondyloarthropathies such as ankylosing spondylitis and degenerative arthritis can also cause this condition.

Treatments Options

There are several options available when it comes to treating sacroiliitis, depending on the severity of the condition.

Treatment normally consists of resting, taking medications and physical therapy. Rest is needed to allow the body to heal because the more you do the more you can make the condition worse. Physical therapy can help to increase the range of motion and reduce some of the pain.

Medications Used for Buttock Pain from Sacroiliitis

The medication used to treat this condition includes Corticosteroids, NSAIDs, DMARDs and TNF inhibitors.

Corticosteroids are used to reduce the pain and inflammation. They also slow joint damage caused by sacroiliitis. Some of these medications include methylprednisolone and prednisone. Corticosteroids can make you feel better but they can’t be used for extended amounts of time or they can cause serious side effects.

NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also options: they’re used to relieve the swelling and inflammation. Naproxen and indomethacin are two of these drugs. NSAIDs can cause some side effects such as stomach bleeding, indigestion, high blood pressure and kidney and liver damage. Therefore, they need to be taken under the direct supervision of your doctor.

In some people, stroke and heart attack may also be a side effect.

DMARDs are disease modifying antirheumatic drugs that can help to limit joint damage. These should be used in the early stages of sacroiliitis to help slow down the disease and help prevent permanent damage. These medications include methotrexate and sulfasalazine.

TNF inhibitors are therapies that block a cell protein that can cause inflammation and this can help to reduce stiffness, swelling and pain. These medications can be expensive so they’re usually used as a last resort.

If you’re suffering from pain and stiffness centered in the lower back, buttocks and thighs, see your health care provider to find out if sacroiliitis is the cause.