SI Joint Pain Causes, Treatment, And More
The sacroiliac joint, commonly shorted to SI joint, can cause pain in the legs and lower back region. SI joint dysfunction can mirror other conditions, making it difficult to diagnose at a glance. A medical professional can determine whether you’re experiencing SI joint dysfunction, lumbar disc herniation (sciatica), or something else.
Because lower back pain is a common complaint with many different sources, it’s important to get a professional diagnosis if you suspect SI joint dysfunction.
What Are Sacroiliac Joints?
The sacroiliac joint connects your hip bones to the triangular bone located between your tailbone and lumbar spine. Your SI joint performs an important duty – it’s responsible for absorbing shock between your lower and upper body.
However, the SI joint itself doesn’t move much. It’s surrounded by sturdy ligaments that help absorb pressure and shock.
Let’s look at some facts about SI joint pain.
- Of the sample, 14-22% of those with back pain had SI joint pain (SIJ)
- SIJ pain could represent up to 15% of all patients seen in outpatient clinics for lower back pain
- The US national burden of SIJ pain could be as high as 10 million
- SIJ pain is a cause of chronic lower back pain
- Annual expenditures in the US for chronic back pain are around $7.4 billion
SI Joint Pain Causes
SI joint pain can be caused by too much movement or not enough movement. Too much movement is called hypermobility. Not enough movement is called hypomobility. Both conditions can lead to pain and discomfort in the lower back, hip, groin, buttocks, and leg.
Other causes of Si joint pain include:
- Traumatic injury – A car crash, fall, or sports injury can damage your SI joints
- Gout – Gout can affect all joints, including the SI joint
- Infection – Though rare, the SI joint can become infected
- Arthritis – Osteoarthritis can affect SI joints
- Pregnancy – The added weight of pregnancy can cause unusual wear
- Walking patterns – Abnormal walking patterns can lead to SI dysfunction
SI joint pain can be further aggravated due to:
- Long strides
- Climbing stairs
- Prolonged standing
- Putting more weight on one leg
SI Joint Pain Symptoms
SI joint pain will vary from person to person. This type of dysfunction can be very frustrating as it often radiates to different parts of the body. The pain originates at the SI joint but can extend to the upper back, legs, groin, buttocks, and one or both sides of the lower back.
Common symptoms include:
- Feeling like your legs cannot support your body
- Pain radiating down the thighs and legs
- Numbness and/or weakness
- A burning sensation in the pelvic area
- Pain in the groin, lower back, upper back, buttocks, hip, or pelvis
- Pain that affects only one SI joint
The pain can be sharp or dull and might fluctuate in intensity throughout the day. Many people feel better as the day goes on, but experience their worst pain upon waking.
SI Joint Pain Treatment
There are quite a few different plans for SI joint pain relief. Your doctor can help you determine the best path forward by creating a personalized plan for you.
Treatment options include:
- Physical therapy (massage, stretching, heat and cold treatments)
- Pain management through medication
- Removal of activities that inflame the SI joints
- Chiropractic treatment
- Nerve treatment
Certain exercises can improve flexibility and strengthen your body. Cortisone injections can help reduce inflammation. Chiropractic adjustments have also been known to improve this condition, and various medications can provide SI joint pain relief.
SI Joint Pain Relief FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Is walking good for SI joint pain?
It depends. A doctor can let you know if you have any abnormalities or habits that are worsening your SI joint condition. Depending on the cause and severity of your SI joint dysfunction, a doctor can suggest the best course of exercise and physical therapy.
Should I see a doctor for SI joint pain?
SI joint pain can be painful and frustrating. Seeing a doctor who specializes in SI joint pain relief can set you on a path to recovery and healing. A doctor can professionally test, diagnose, and treat SI joint dysfunction and its accompanying discomfort.
What does SI joint pain feel like?
People often describe SI joint pain as sharp, stabbing, and radiating. It can affect the lower back, upper back, groin, pelvis, buttocks, and legs. Other symptoms including numbing, tingling, and feeling like your legs might give out.
What is the treatment for sacroiliac joint pain?
There are many different treatment options for SI joint pain relief and recovery. Some common treatment plans include physical rehabilitation, chiropractic care, pain management, injections, and nerve treatment.
Get Chiropractic Care for Your SI Joint Pain
If you have been injured in a car accident, or if you have been involved in an accident recently, and are experiencing discomfort, you should seek chiropractic attention immediately. All Injury Rehab and Chiropractic have eight North Dallas / Plano area locations, each staffed by highly trained and skilled chiropractors who are skilled in the treatment of car accident injury. Visit one of our clinics today or call to schedule your appointment.