Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction: Symptoms and Treatment

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction The sacroiliac (SI) joint connects your hip bones to your sacrum, the triangular bone between your spine and your tailbone. Its main job is to absorb shock between your upper body, pelvis, and legs. The SJ doesn’t move very much, as strong ligaments and other soft tissue hold it in place, but it experiences some movement. SI joint dysfunction develops when the joint moves too much or not enough.

Symptoms of SI Joint Dysfunction

Too much movement in the SI joint, known as instability or hypermobility, can cause your pelvis to feel unstable and may lead to pain and discomfort. Instability or hypermobility of the SJ can cause pain in the lower back and hip; the pain may radiate into the groin area.

Too little movement, known as fixation or hypomobility, can cause muscle tension and pain. It may even prevent your hips, pelvis, and lower back from moving freely. Fixation or hypermobility of the SI joint typically causes pain on one side of the lower back or buttocks; the pain may radiate down the back of one leg, similar to the pain that sciatica causes.

SI joint dysfunction can cause inflammation or swelling, which may lead to pelvic pain and stiffness.

The hallmark symptoms of SI joint dysfunction include:

  • Lower back pain that feels dull and aching, usually on only one side; pain can range from mild to severe
  • Pain that extends to the hips, buttocks, or groin.
  • Hot, sharp, and stabbing pain in the buttocks and backs of the thighs; may include numbness and tingling.
  • Reduced range of motion in the hips, lower back, pelvis, and groin make it hard to climb stairs, bend at the waist, or perform other movements
  • Worsened pain when you climb stairs, run or jog, or lie on one side
  • Feeling like your pelvis will buckle or give way when you stand, walk, or move from a standing to a sitting position

Treatment for SI Joint Dysfunction

Treatment for SI joint dysfunction usually focuses on relieving pain and restoring normal motion within the joint. Most cases of SI joint dysfunction respond to non-surgical treatment.

Treatment for SI joint dysfunction may include:

  • Resting for 1 to 2 days
  • Applying heat or ice
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Support or braces
  • Injections of anti-inflammatory medication
  • Physical therapy

Surgical treatments may be needed in some cases. The standard surgery for SI joint dysfunction is joint fusion, in which the surgeon permanently immobilizes the joint.

Contact The Paint Experts of Arizona Today

For more information on the symptoms and treatment of SI joint dysfunction, consult with The Pain Experts of Arizona in Gilbert and Mesa, AZ. Our team of doctors has the experience, advanced training, and medical technology to diagnose and treat SI joint dysfunction. Schedule a consultation today at 480-550-9393 to get started.


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