SI joint pain symptoms and causes

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 provide 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.

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 reduced 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

Fortunately, there are several conservative and alternative treatment methods that may help you find relief from your symptoms. The goal of these 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, strengthening exercises, swimming, physical therapy, massage and lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or reducing alcohol consumption and tobacco use.

If these treatments don’t succeed in providing you with the relief from your symptoms you desire, you may need to consider surgery. At Laser Spine Institute, our minimally invasive surgery can help treat patients with SI joint pain. If you would like to find out if you are a candidate for one of our outpatient procedures, contact us today and ask for a no-cost MRI review.*