How is sacroiliitis diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, including any previous inflammatory disorders or conditions. Other diagnostic tests include:

  • Physical exam, movement tests - During the physical exam, the spine is examined for proper alignment and rotation. During various physical movement tests, you are positioned or asked to move in specific directions. In some of these tests, the doctor applies pressure to your sacroiliac joint, spine, hip, or leg. The greater the number of tests that are positive (bring on pain), the higher the likelihood that you have sacroiliitis.
  • Blood work - Blood work looks for signs of inflammation.
  • Imaging tests - X-rays, CT scans, and/or MRI scans may be ordered if the doctor suspects an injury as the source of pain or to look for changes in the sacroiliac joint.
  • Steroid injection - An injection of steroids into the sacroiliac joint is both a diagnostic test – if it relieves pain – and a treatment. This procedure is performed using x-ray to guide the spinal needle to the appropriate location for the injection.

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