Preparing for your appointment

You're likely to start by seeing your primary care provider. He or she may refer you to a rheumatologist or an orthopedic surgeon.

What you can do

When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as fasting before having a specific test. Make a list of:

  • Your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to the reason for your appointment
  • Key personal information, including major stresses, recent life changes and family medical history, particularly if anyone in your immediate family has had similar symptoms
  • All medications, vitamins or other supplements you take, including the doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you retain the information you're given.

For sacroiliitis, some questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's likely causing my symptoms?
  • What are other possible causes?
  • What tests do I need?
  • Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
  • What's the best course of action?
  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
  • How can I best manage this condition with my other health conditions?
  • Are there restrictions I need to follow?
  • Should I see a specialist?
  • Are there brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, including:

  • When did your symptoms start?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • Where exactly is the pain and how severe is it?
  • Does any type of activity worsen or lessen the pain?
Dec. 18, 2015
  1. Frontera WR. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction. In: Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. Accessed Oct. 23, 2015.
  2. Wu DT, et al. Diagnosis and differential diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis in adults. Accessed Oct. 23, 2015.
  3. Navallas M, et al. Sacroiliitis associated with axial spondyloarthritis: New concepts and latest trends. RadioGraphics. 2013;33:1.
  4. FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA strengthens warning that non-aspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause heart attacks or strokes. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Accessed Nov. 2, 2015.