Sacral pain refers to the aching or sharp pain emanating from the bottom of the spine between the lumbar area and the coccyx. The sacrum is a bone forming the back wall of the pelvis consisting of five segments that are fused together. It is rare for the sacrum bone to be fractured, except during a fall or trauma to the area causing serious bone injury, so sacral pain may not be about pain in the bone but the area around it. Stress fractures and fatigue fractures in the sacrum can however develop during cases of osteoporosis or rheumatoid arthritis. Sciatica pain can also typically arise in the sacral region when this section is stressed during sports activities or sitting for long periods of time.
Sacral pain may come from one side of the lower back due to sacroiliac joint dysfunction. This type of sacral pain maybe due to either hypermobility or hypomobility defined as either too much movement or too little movement in the sacroiliac joint. Sacroilic joint dysfunction has symptoms that closely resemble pain symptoms of a herniated disc and sciatica.
The vertebrae in the spine are individual and separate for maximum flexibility and ease of movement. The vertebrae in the sacral region are fused like the coccyx or the tailbone. The sacral bones and the coccyx are attached by ligaments which may cause pain. The coccyx acts as the body’s shock absorber when sitting. Sometimes childbirth or falling on your rear can cause coccygeal pain and sacral pain. There are cases where chronic inflammation of the sacro-coccygeal joint occurs.
Sacral pain can be caused by many other things but commonly by muscle strain, cold abscess, venebral osteomyelitis, tuberculosis of the spine and acute transverse myelopathy. The gluteus maximus are muscles that are attached to the sacrum and it can cause pressure and sacral pain. If you went through the diagnostic imaging processes like x-rays and MRI and no bone structure showed evidence of the cause of pain, the muscles and ligaments might probably be causing it.
Because of the muscle structure and the use of the buttocks area, back pain diagnosis can be complicated. The pressures on this area come from many muscle groups and bone groups. Increases in incidence of lower back pain and sacral pain have been steadily increasing. This is often caused by poor posture and poor working conditions in the workplace. The advent of the computers is causing more people to stay sitting down all day, causing severe stress on the lower back area. Standing for long periods can also create stress patterns associated with lower back pain, as the lumbar area carries more than half the weight of the body. This posture causes shortening of the hamstring, the hip flexors and other muscles in the lower back area.
Sacroiliac joint disorder is the leading cause of sacral pain, but there can be many other disorders that can affect the joints of the body like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriaris or ankylosing spondylitis. These are all painful conditions that can be affecting the joints in the lumbo-sacral area. The human body muscles are supposed to stretch, move and contract using a full range of motions. When we do not move for long periods, like driving long distances or working on the computer all day, the muscles atrophy and get tighter and tighter. When the vein within the muscle structure gets compressed or pinched, then back pain and sacral pain is felt.
Muscle stretching and physical therapy can help ease sacral pain. There are press ups much like push-ups but different in the sense that the legs and pelvis stays flat. And there are hamstring and lumbo-sacral stretches to ease and lessen sacral pain.