What is Scacroiliac Pain?

  • The sacroiliac joint is in the low back where the spine meets the pelvis
  • When the cartilage is damaged or worn away, the bones begin to rub on each other
  • Degenerative arthritis occurs commonly in the SI joint

The sacroiliac joint (SI Joint) is where the spine meets the pelvis. Sacroiliac joint pain is discomfort in this area. The pain is a symptom that may come from several conditions or diseases. As with most other joints, the SI joints have a cartilage layer covering the bone. The cartilage acts as a shock absorber between the bones and allows for some movement. When this cartilage is damaged or worn away, the bones begin to rub on each other, causing degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis). This is the most common cause of SI joint dysfunction. Degenerative arthritis occurs commonly in the SI joints, just like other weight-bearing joints of the body.

Causes

The pain is caused by a variety of factors including:

  • Inflammation of the joint, which can occur with ankylosing spondylitis
  • Pregnancy
  • Twisting, bending, or moving in a way that triggers sacroiliac joint pain
  • Osteoarthritis of the joint, which is more common in older adults
  • Stress fractures , which is common in athletes
  • Trauma , such as an auto accident

Symptoms

Your symptoms may vary but could include:

  • Mild-to-severe low back pain
  • Pain in the buttocks
  • Pain that seems deep in the pelvis
  • Pain in the hip or groin or back of the thigh
  • Pain that radiates down the leg on the affected side
  • Stiffness of the lower spine
  • Certain activities may increase the pain, such as walking, twisting, or bending

Our Treatment Approach

We believe is starting with the most conservative treatment. Options may include one or more of the following:

  • Medication
  • Treatment depends on the cause of the pain. Any underlying condition would receive treatment specific for that disease.
  • Regardless of the cause, short-term rest is often advised.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Prescription pain relievers
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Steroid injections into the sacroiliac joint
  • Physical therapy may include:
  • Exercises to stretch the muscles of the lower back
  • Exercises to strengthen the muscles which support the area
  • Exercises to affect the motion of the sacroiliac joint
  • Applying ice to the painful area
  • Applying deep heat to the sore area

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