What is Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction?
The Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction, commonly called as SI joint pain, is a condition that causes lower back and upper leg pain. The Sacroiliac Joint is present in the lower back where the spine meets the pelvis. Sacroiliac Joint pain is the discomfort in this area. Low back and/or upper leg pain due to conditions like disc diseases, overuse, age-related degeneration of joints and inflammation are very common. In fact, it is more common amongst people over 45, leading to disability.
Although some people experience pain in both legs or hips, most people with SI dysfunction have symptoms in only one leg along with the low back pain. Pain may start in the joint, or in surrounding ligaments or nerves. Ligaments are bands of tissue that connect one bone to another. The Sacroiliac Joint has many nerve endings. The nerves send pain signals to the brain. Pain in this region may be caused by many factors.
- Twisting, bending, or moving in a way that triggers Sacroiliac Joint pain
- Infection of the joint
- Osteoarthritis of the joint, which is more common in older adults
- Trauma, such as an auto accident
- Stress fractures, which is common in athletes
- Inflammation of the joints
Factors that may increase your chance for Sacroiliac Joint pain include:
- Weak muscles
- Bending or twisting the back
- Improper lifting
- Inflammatory conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis or psoriatic arthritis
The most common symptoms of Sacroiliac Joint pain are:
- 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
If you have any of the above symptoms, visit your doctor. Finding the source of Sacroiliac Joint pain is often difficult. So, to find out the source of your Sacroiliac Joint pain, the doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history and a physical exam too will be done. Tests depend on your medical history and the suspected cause.
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. Treatment options may include medication, Physical Therapy, surgery or a combination of all.
Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). He may also provide you with muscle relaxants and sometimes may inject steroids into the Sacroiliac Joint.
After evaluating the patient's condition, our therapists at Optimum Rehab Physical Therapy offices in New York City assign positions and exercises to ease your symptoms. They are expert professionals who will provide you exercises to stretch the muscles of the lower back, exercises to strengthen the muscles which support the area, and exercises to affect the motion of the Sacroiliac Joint.
To reduce your chance of developing Sacroiliac Joint pain, take these steps:
- Exercise regularly to keep muscles strong
- Maintain good posture
- Use proper techniques for bending, lifting, or playing sports