Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Symptoms and Causes

Sacroiliac Joint Procedure

Are you experiencing SI joint pain? You may be suffering from sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction. This is a condition that is characterized by pain that radiates from the lower back into the buttocks. It is the result of issues affecting the SI joint. This is the joint linking the pelvis to the lower spine. The two joints consist of the pelvis (iliac bone) and the lowest part of the spine i.e. the sacrum. This joint is responsible for transferring weight and other forces between the legs and the upper body. It is therefore essential for movement. Below, we discuss SI joint pain symptoms and their causes.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain Symptoms

What does SI joint pain feel like? Some of the most common SI joint dysfunction symptoms include a combination of those listed below:

  • A dull, aching pain in the lower back. This pain can range from mild to severe. It typically affects one side. However, there are cases where both sides are affected.
  • Pain that mimics sciatic symptoms and radiates to the lower back and buttocks. It can also radiate to the backs of the thighs. This is often a stabbing, sharp and hot pain that may be accompanied by tingling and numbness.
  • Pain that radiates to the buttocks, hips and groin. Many patients experience pain in the upper back, buttocks as well as the side of the thigh. This pain may affect both or one side.
  • A reduction in range of motion or stiffness in the pelvis, hips, lower back as well as the groin. You may experience difficulty in walking up the stairs, twisting or bending the waist.
  • Increasing intensity in pain when pressure is placed on the sacroiliac joint such as when sitting, climbing stairs, lying down, jogging or placing weight on one side of the body.

Causes of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

There are various factors that can increase the risks of developing SI joint dysfunction. These include:

  • Uneven or unbalanced gait including discrepancies in leg length can place uneven pressure on either side of the pelvis. This can cause wear and tear and increase the risk of developing pain.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth is a common risk factor in women. This is due to increased weight, pelvic changes that occur during childbirth as well as hormonal changes that cause relaxation of the joint in the pelvic area. All of these factors can result in instability of the joints.
  • Lower back surgery can result in the displacement of pressure to the pelvic joints. Studies have shown that procedures such as fusion surgery increase the risks of issues in the pelvis. Many patients that have undergone bone grafting or hip replacement procedures complain of pain too.
  • Engaging in activities that put stress on the joints including spots, lifting heavy weights or even working a labor intensive job can contribute to discomfort.

In many cases, the discomfort arises gradually. The cause may therefore not be readily apparent. However, there are cases where injuries or trauma can result in pelvic discomfort.

Treatment for SI Joint Pain

Treatment for this condition is focused on reducing pain and restoring function. First priority is given to non-surgical treatments. These include:

  • Rest
  • Application of cold and hot therapy
  • Administration of pain medication
  • Manual manipulation including chiropractic sessions
  • Wearing support braces
  • Injections to affected areas
  • Physical therapy

Surgical treatment is used as a last resort. It involves fusing the joint to eliminate movement. This involved grafting the sacrum and ilium together using screws or rods.

Sacroiliac Joint Surgery Bellevue & Redmond

If you’re seeking treatment for SI joint dysfunction, don’t hesitate to contact us at Chris Boone. Schedule an appointment for consultation and get an accurate diagnosis. We’ll help you eliminate the pain so you can get the most out of life.

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