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How to Keep Fit With Sacroiliitis

Sacroiliitis is inflammation of the sacroiliac joint, where the hip bones are connected to the sacrum and spine. It causes low back pain, which sometimes is quite severe. It is linked to inflammatory arthritis of the spine but can also be due to infection, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis or gout. Diagnostic imaging, such as x-rays, may show narrowing of the joint space, erosion of the bone in the area, joint fusion or hardening of the ligaments. This can become a chronic condition, and it's important to maintain fitness as much as possible. Maintaining muscle strength supports the sacroiliac joints, and increasing flexibility makes bending, lifting, standing, sitting and walking less painful.

  1. When symptoms are acute, apply ice packs to the painful area up to 20 minutes several times a day. After two or three days, switch to warm heat to help muscles in the painful area relax, according to the University of Cincinnati. Apply heat to the area before doing stretching exercises, and apply ice afterward to reduce pain and prevent inflammation.

  2. The University of Cincinnati also recommends a regular routine of exercises that will help strengthen the muscles and improve joint function in the painful area as well as maintain flexibility. Recommended activities include stretching exercises, swimming and walking to improve coordination and develop proper posture and muscle balance.

  3. Avoid activities that aggravate your pain. These include sitting or standing for long periods of time or climbing stairs, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you sit for a long time, working at your computer for instance, get up regularly and move around. If you have to stand for a long time, in the line at the bank, for instance, move around rather than standing still the whole time. Activities that aggravate your pain can cause muscle spasms and make it hard to exercise regularly.

  4. Learn and practice yoga to increase flexibility and strengthen your core muscles that support the sacroiliac joint.

    Tip

    Ask your doctor for specific recommendations for exercise. Your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter pain medications.

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Things Needed

  • Ice packs
  • Heat packs

About the Author

Ramona French owned a massage school and taught massage for 28 years. In that time she wrote textbooks on Swedish, acupressure, deep tissue and lymph drainage massage. She is the author of "Introduction to Lymph Drainage Massage" and "Milady's Guide to Lymph Drainage Massage." Her book, "The Complete Guide to Lymph Drainage Massage," published by Milady, was released in October 2011.

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