Symptoms and causes of SI joint pain

If you are suffering from SI joint pain symptoms and want to learn the causes of your discomfort, you should first learn what the sacroiliac (SI) joint is and what purpose it serves for your spine. The SI joint lies between the sacrum and the ilium bones of the pelvis and provides shock absorption for the spine while helping to transfer the weight of the spinal column to the pelvis.

The sacrum is located at the bottom of the spine, just below the lumbar region and above the coccyx (tailbone), and has an SI joint on each side. If you believe that you are suffering from this debilitating condition, it is important to learn about symptoms of SI joint deterioration as well as the causes of any SI joint pain you may be experiencing.

SI joint pain and other symptoms

When a patient experiences SI joint deterioration, pain and other symptoms can greatly affect their quality of life. Because the SI joints are an integral part of a person’s mobility, chronic pain can limit a person’s ability to work or perform other simple tasks, and there is often a great amount of frustration associated with this condition.

The most common symptoms of SI joint dysfunction are localized and radiating pain, which can be felt in the hips, lower back, pelvis, thighs and buttocks. Often, the pain will only be felt on one side of the body, and its severity can depend on whether it is the result of increased or decreased mobility in the joint. Additionally, SI joint pain can be more pronounced when a patient bends over, has been sitting or lying on one side for an extended period or makes sudden movements.

The causes of SI joint pain

Aging and the gradual deterioration of the spine are thought to be the primary SI joint pain causes. It is also believed that SI joint dysfunction can result from anything that causes an alteration in the normal motion of the joint, such as:

  • Twisting or lifting awkwardly
  • Falling
  • Lumbar fusion surgery
  • Hip misalignment
  • Uneven leg lengths
  • Arthritis, including degenerative sacroiliitis
  • Pregnancy

Treatments for SI joint pain

Fortunately, there are several nonsurgical treatment methods that may help you find relief from your SI joint pain and other symptoms. The goal of these conservative treatments is to realign the spine to reduce the pressure that is being applied to an affected nerve root. Some options include stretching, chiropractic care, physical therapy, strengthening exercises, massage and lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or reducing alcohol consumption and tobacco use as well as low-impact activities like swimming or biking.

If these treatments don’t succeed in providing you with the relief from your symptoms that you desire, you may need to consider surgery. At Laser Spine Institute, our minimally invasive surgery can help treat patients with SI joint pain. By using a small incision that is muscle sparing, our board-certified surgeons+ are able to relieve SI joint pain and other symptoms. Contact us today with any questions or concerns you may have about our minimally invasive procedures.

As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, our procedures have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain since 2005. If you would like to find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our outpatient procedures to treat SI joint pain, reach out to our dedicated team today and ask for a free MRI review.* We can help you get back to the activities that you have been missing out on.