The sacroiliac (SI) joint is one of the most important joints in your body. However, it’s also one of the most commonly overlooked areas of pain. The SI joint can be thought of as the link between your spine and pelvis and is responsible for providing stability to your lower body.
While this joint is essential to your mobility, it doesn’t actually move very much. The SI joint is a strong, stable joint that only gets about 2 to 4 mm of movement. When this joint moves too much or isn’t moving properly, it may eventually lead to the joint becoming inflamed or even damaged. When this happens, finding ways to treat SI joint pain becomes a priority.
Common Symptoms of SI Joint Pain
The symptoms of sacroiliac joint pain may vary from person to person. However, there are some common symptoms associated with this condition. If you are experiencing any of the following, you may be dealing with sacroiliac joint pain:
- Lower back pain
- Pain in the groin
- Burning sensation in the pelvis
- Pain that radiates down the legs
- Pain in the hips, pelvis, and buttocks
SI joint pain is often confused with other types of pain, such as sciatica or hip pain. This is because the symptoms may be very similar. It’s essential to see a doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. They will be able to properly diagnose your condition and recommend the best course of treatment.
Causes of SI Joint Pain
When your SI joints become inflamed, it is known as sacroiliitis, or SI joint dysfunction. Sacroiliitis may be caused by several conditions, such as:
Osteoarthritis happens when the cartilage in your joints breaks down. This may lead to inflammation, pain, and stiffness in the joints. As you age, osteoarthritis is more likely to occur and may affect the SI joint.
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammatory arthritis in the joints and vertebrae of the spine. AS mainly affects men and usually begins in early adulthood. While AS primarily affects the SI joints, it may also lead to pain and stiffness in other joints throughout the body.
Pregnancy is another common cause of SI joint pain. During pregnancy, the body releases relaxin, a hormone that loosens the joints and ligaments in preparation for childbirth. This may make the SI joint less stable, causing pain and discomfort. Furthermore, the extra weight from pregnancy may put a lot of strain on the SI joints and lead to pain.
A traumatic injury such as a fall or car accident may damage the SI joint. Trauma to the hips or lumbar spine commonly causes SI joint pain. Trauma may be gradual, such as from repetitive motions, or it may happen suddenly, such as from a fall.
What are the Treatment Options for SI Joint Pain?
When looking for ways to find relief from SI joint pain, there are a few different treatment options available. It is often recommended to try more conservative treatment options before seeking out surgery.
Non-surgical Treatment Options
There are several non-surgical treatments that may be effective in relieving sacroiliac joint pain. These include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications: These may help reduce swelling and joint pain. Common examples include ibuprofen and naproxen.
- Physical therapy: Physical therapy may strengthen the muscles around the SI joint and improve flexibility.
- Braces or supports: Wearing a brace or support may help stabilize the SI joint and relieve pain.
- Rest: It is important to rest when experiencing SI joint pain. This may help to reduce inflammation and give the joints time to heal. Applying ice or heat to the area may also help relieve pain and swelling.
If the above treatment options do not provide relief, your doctor may recommend trying epidural corticosteroid injections, radiofrequency ablation, or a TENS unit. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem. By consulting with your doctor, you can determine the best treatment option for your sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
Relieve Your SI Joint Pain with The Spine Pro
When finding ways to relieve SI pain, having a knowledgeable and experienced team on your side is crucial. At The Spine Pro, we are dedicated to helping our patients find relief from their pain.
We offer a variety of treatment options that are geared toward each individual patient. If you are suffering from SI joint pain, contact us today to schedule a consultation and be on your way to finding relief.