The SI joints are located between the iliac bones and the sacrum, connecting the spine to the hips. The two joints provide support and stability and play a major role in absorbing impact when walking and lifting. Strong ligaments and muscles support the SI joints. There is a very small amount of motion in the joint for normal body flexibility.
As we age and our bones become arthritic, ligaments stiffen, cartilage wears down and bones may rub together causing pain. In addition to age, SI joint pain can occur as the result of a fall, work injury, car accident, pregnancy and childbirth, or as a result of hip or spine surgery. Further, scientific data shows pain from the SI joint can feel like disc or lower back pain. For this reason, SI joint disorders should always be considered in lower back pain diagnosis.
Consult your doctor to help distinguish if pain is from spinal disorders or SI joint dysfunction.
1. Weksler, Natan, et al. 2007. “The Role of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction in The Genesis of Lower back Pain: The Obvious is Not Always Right.” Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery 127 (10): 885-88.
Dull, aching lower
back pain that can
range from mild
Sciatic-like pain in lower back or buttocks
or down legs
Stiffness and reduced
Numbness or tingling in legs
Pain climbing stairs
Difficulty moving from sitting to standing or bending at the waist
A variety of tests performed during physical examination to help determine whether the SI joint is a source of your symptoms.
Treatments for SI joint dysfunction typically focus on alleviating pain and restoring normal motion in the joint. Most cases are effectively managed using non-surgical treatments, including: