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Sacrum Pain – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

What is Sacrum Pain?

Do you frequently feel a painful sensation on your lower back? You could be suffering from sacral pain. The sacrum is actually a large, triangular-shaped bone at the endmost portion of the vertebral column. This is located superior to the tailbone and is composed of five fused sacral vertebrae. Aside from that, there are also several muscles that attach to the sacrum and these include the gluteus maximus muscle or the cheek muscle, hamstrings, hip flexors, pelvic floor muscle and deep lateral rotators. The sacrum is connected to the pelvis via a special type of joint which is called the sacroiliac joint. Several conditions can be associated with the development of sacrum pain. The primary reason for the development of such condition is believed to be due to sedentary lifestyle. Most of us seemed to be forever doomed in our desks doing paperworks and spending long hours in the computer. Sitting for prolonged hours would surely trigger sacral pain. Nearly each of us can be affected by sacral pain. Women are slightly more predisposed to suffer from sacrum pain because of the anatomy of their sacrum which happens to be shorter but wider. Since this is a condition which probably concerns us all, let us then acquaint ourselves with the true nature of this condition.

Symptoms of Sacrum Pain

Whenever the lower back, specifically the sacrum is strained, pain is likely to be noted. However, the development of pain would vary on several factors. The common symptoms of sacrum pain include the following:

  • Pain- Sacrum pain can be prominently felt when one changes from sitting to a standing position, and vice versa.
  • The pain may have sharp, aching characteristics
  • The sacrum would also be extremely sensitive to touch
  • The pain also has the tendency to radiate to other parts of the body, especially towards the legs
  • The affected individual may also experience pain during bowel movement or when having sexual intercourse
  • Sacral pain is prominently felt by women especially during their menstrual period

Sacrum Pain Causes

Sacrum pain has become a chronic problem for a number of people for over a couple of decades. More recently, the exact culprit of this condition has finally been identified through series of research. Though there can be several related causes for the development of sacrum pain, the main culprit is believed to be due to improper posture especially when one assumes a sitting position. To begin with, the body cannot actually tolerate sitting for long hours nor assume other positions for prolonged durations. There are cascades of events that the body, especially the sacrum, may go through when one has remained seated for long hours. When you tend to sit for many hours, a great deal of pressure is exerted towards the lower back, especially at the sacral area. The muscles attached to the sacrum which includes the pelvic, hamstring and deep lateral rotator muscles have the tendency to keep contracted even when they should not be. This would eventually lead to the development of chronic pain in the sacrum. Sacral pain also has the tendency to be elicited when doing repetitive movements such as bending, twisting and arching of the vertebral column. Other common causes of sacrum pain include the following:

Unequal Leg Length

Some people are born with asymmetrical leg lengths and this is sited to be the third leading cause of sacrum pain and discomforts and about 60-90 percent of injuries related to running may also be due to leg length inequalities. The sacrum pain associated with unequal leg length is more prominently felt at the shorter side of the leg. This is according to podiatrists, Mark A. Caselli and Edward C. Rzonca.

Straining the Back

There are also certain movements that would strain the back such as bending, arching and twisting of the spinal column. Sacrum pain often results when the pressure exerted on the back is more than what it can accommodate. Sacrum pain would manifest almost immediately when this is being triggered by traumatic activities. However, the onset of pain would be gradual when this is associated with repetitive movements.

Inflammatory Joint Problems

People who have inflammatory joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are also likely to suffer from sacrum pain. Inflammatory joint diseases affect nearly every joint of the body and the sacroiliac joint is not spared. Degenerative arthritic diseases cause inflammation in the joint and even formation of bone spurs, specifically at the sacroiliac joint. These conditions are among the major causes of sacrum pain. This is especially common among older people whose bones and ligaments are starting to degenerate.


Pregnancy can also be the probable cause of sacrum pain among women. This is primarily because during pregnancy a hormone called relaxin is being produced which puts the ligaments in a relaxed state. The extra weight of the fetus plus the lordotic (bent backward) posture of the pregnant woman also cause further strain on the back which eventually result to sacrum pain.

Sacrum Pain Treatment

Different treatment modalities may be involved in the management of sacrum pain. Whenever sacrum pain occurs, taking ample amount of bed rest is essential because lying down would help relieve the buildup of pressure in the sacrum. Further treatments include the following:

  • Application of ice would also soothe the pain and discomfort. This is especially effective within the first 48 hours.
  • Pain medication especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are also prescribed to control sacrum pain.
  • Corticosteroid Injections – For persistent pain, your doctor may inject corticosteroid directly into the sacrum so as to halt the ongoing inflammatory process and as well as relieve sacrum pain.
  • Exercise – There are exercise routines that would help build stronger muscles and improve blood flow towards the sacral area. This would also improve the body’s flexibility decreasing the risk of straining your back.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight– Most of all, it is very important to stick to a healthy diet and maintain an ideal weight. This would greatly contribute in your attempt to permanently be free from sacrum pain.

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