What is sacroiliac joint (SI) pain?

Mechanical low back pain is a common problem nowadays. According to research US population, 85% will experience an episode of mechanical LBP at some point during their lifetime. Sacroiliac(SI) joint dysfunction is a significant cause of lower back pain in 15% to 30% of mechanical lower back pain patients.

Mechanical dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint can result in pain and stiffness at lower back area. Patients often describe pain over the right or left side of lower back or and in buttock.

Why this joint is important?

The SI joints are junction of upper and lower body, their primary responsibility is to evenly transfer the upper body weight to both the lower extremities. Their main function is to provide shock absorption for the spine and to transmit forces between the upper body and the lower limbs. The sacroiliac joints are located on each side of the spine between the two pelvic bones, which attach to the sacrum. The sacroiliac (SI) joint is strongly stabilized by a network of ligaments and muscles. The SI joint normally allows a small amount of motion of approximately 2-4 mm of movement in any direction.

This Diagram is from http://www.nosecreekphysiotherapy.com

How it feels?

Symptoms of SI dysfunction are often difficult to differentiate from other types of low back pains. Therefore, the SI joint dysfunction is a condition that is difficult to diagnose and is often overlooked or treated as low back pain.

Patient usually feels :-

  • Lower back pain or sometimes it radiates to lower extremity (Sensation of lower extremity: pain, numbness or tingling).
  • Buttock pain
  • Hip / groin pain
  • Thigh pain
  • Difficulty sitting in one place for too long due to pain

How a Physiotherapist can help?

  • In the initial stage of the treatment the aim is to reduce the pain and inflammation.
  • A second important goal is improved mobility by using mobilizations, electrotherapy and exercise therapy.
  • Finally, we teach postural correction exercises and give ergonomic advices to help the patient to avoid the future risk of re injury.

Some important stretching and core strengthen exercises

Please consult Doctor or Physiotherapist before starting any exercises

All exercises pictures from https://ca.physitrack.com

References

1.Everett C Hills, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more…
2.OMBREGT L., BISSCHOP P., TER VEER H.J. A Sytem of Orthopaedic Medicine. Elsevier Limited, 2003
3.OLIVER J., MIDDLEDITCH A. Functional anatomy of the spine. Elsevier Science, p 190-191; 195-198, 2004
4.HANSEN H., HELM S. Sacroiliac pain and dysfunction. Pain Physician. Vol. 6, p 179-189, 2003. ISSN 1533-3159
5.http://www.orthonc.com/education-research/spine/patient-education-spine-sacroiliac-joint-syndrome (accessed on 22/10/2011)
6.MORRIS E. C. Low Back Syndromes: integrated clinical management. The McGraw-Hills Companies, 2006.
7.SEIDENBERG P.H. The Hip and Pelvis in Sports Medicine and Primary Care. Springer, p. 140, 2010.
8.http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/96054-differential (accessed on 30/10/2011)
15.MAGEE D.J. Pathology and intervention in musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Saunders Elsevier, p 432, 2009
9.http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/96054-treatment (accessed on 31/10/2011)

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