Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Pain

SI Joint Pain

Do you suffer from SI joint pain? If so, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that up to 1 in 4 people experience this type of pain at some point in their lives. While the cause of SI joint pain can vary, there are several treatments available that can help relieve your symptoms. In this guide, we’ll discuss what causes SI joint pain, common treatment methods, and steps you can take to prevent it from occurring again. Let’s get started!

SI Joint Pain: An overview

SI Joint pain is a condition that can cause pain in the lower back and hip region. The SI joint is the joint where the pelvis meets the spine, and it can become painful when there is inflammation or other problems with this joint. There are a number of different things that can cause SI joint pain, and it is important to see a doctor if you are experiencing this type of pain. SI Joint pathologies affect women mostly and it is more common in people over the age of 50.

The sacroiliac joint is a strong, sturdy joint that connects the pelvis to the spine. It is located in the lower back, just above the tailbone. The sacroiliac joint allows the spine to move freely and absorb shock, which helps protect the spine from injury. 

Upper body movement is also possible due to the flexibility of the sacroiliac joint.

Causes of Sacroiliac Joint Pain

The sacroiliac (SI) joint is the joint between the sacrum and the iliac bones. It is a strong, weight-bearing joint that helps to stabilize the pelvis. The SI joint is a common source of low back pain.

Several different conditions can cause pain in the SI joint. These include:


Arthritis of the SI joint is a common cause of SI joint pain. Arthritis may be due to degenerative changes, inflammatory changes, or both.

Degenerative changes:

Degenerative changes refer to the wear and tear on the sacroiliac joints that occur with age. These changes can lead to the development of bone spurs (osteophytes) and the narrowing of the joint space.

Inflammatory changes:

Inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can cause pain and inflammation in the SI joint.


Sacroiliac pain can also be caused by trauma to the area, such as a fall or car accident.

Symptoms of SI Joint Pain

The most common symptom of SI joint pain is a dull, aching pain in the lower back or buttock. The pain may be accompanied by inflammation and stiffness in the joints. Other symptoms include:

* Difficulty walking or sitting for long periods of time

* Pain when moving from one position to another

* Joint pain that is worse in the morning or after periods of rest

* Sharp or shooting pain that radiates down the leg

* Pain slightly below the posterior superior iliac spine

* Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet


If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor so that they can properly diagnose and treat your condition. Left untreated, SI joint pain can lead to chronic pain and disability.

Diagnosis of SI Joint Pain

The most common diagnostic tool for SI joint pain is an X-ray. However, X-rays cannot always show damage to the SI joint, so other tests may be needed as well. These can include:

CT scan:

A CT scan creates a 3-dimensional image of the pelvis and can often show damage to the SI joint that is not visible on an X-ray.


An MRI uses magnetic waves to create a detailed image of the pelvis and can often show damage to the SI joint that is not visible on an X-ray.

Bone scan:

A bone scan can show areas of abnormal bone metabolism, which may be indicative of SI joint pain.

Blood tests:

Blood tests may be ordered to look for signs of inflammation or infection.

SI joint injection:

A local anesthetic and steroid are injected into the SI joint to help relieve pain and inflammation. This can also help diagnose SI joint pain as the source of your symptoms.


The best way to diagnose SI joint pain is to see a doctor who specializes in the treatment of this condition. They will be able to order the appropriate tests and make a diagnosis based on your symptoms and medical history.

Treatment of SI Joint

There are several different treatment options available for treating SI joint pain. Some of these include:


Over-the-counter and prescription medications can be used for pain relief and controlling inflammation associated with SI joint problems.

Physical therapy:

Over-the-counter and prescription medications can be used for pain relief and controlling inflammation associated with SI joint problems.


Steroid injections or other types of injections can be used to help reduce inflammation and pain in the SI joint area. Your doctor may inject a chemical or anesthetic directly into the nerve that transmits pain signals from your SI joint to your brain.


In some cases, sacroiliac joint fusion surgery may be necessary to stabilize the SI joint or to repair any sacroiliac joint injury that has occurred.

Tips to prevent Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

There are a few things you can do to help prevent or reduce the pain of SI joint dysfunction:

  1. Avoid any activities that may put stress on your SI joint.
  2. Keep your back and hips in alignment by regularly stretching and practicing good posture.
  3. Use supportive devices such as a lumbar pillow or brace to help keep your spine aligned.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight to reduce the amount of stress on your SI joint.
  5. Exercise regularly to maintain flexibility and strength in the muscles and ligaments around your SI joint.

If you experience pain in your SI joint, talk to your doctor about treatment options such as physical therapy, injections, or surgery.

Risk Factors for Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Pain

Many risk factors can contribute to the development of sacroiliac joint pain. Some of these include:


The risk of developing SI joint pain increases with age.


Women are more likely to develop SI joint pain than men.


Pregnancy can put added stress on the SI joints and may contribute to the development of pain.


Excess weight can put additional strain on the SI joints and lead to pain.

Repetitive motion:

Activities that involve repetitive motion or excessive force on the SI joints can contribute to the development of pain.


Injury or trauma to the area around the SI joints can cause pain.

If you have any of these risk factors, it is important to be aware of the potential for developing SI joint pain and to take steps to prevent it. If you do develop pain, early diagnosis and treatment is important to help reduce the symptoms and prevent further damage.


There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the outlook for patients with SI joint pain. The condition can vary greatly in terms of severity and duration, and there are many factors that can affect the prognosis. However, in general, most people with SI joint pain will eventually experience some degree of symptom relief.

In some cases, SI joint pain may go away on its own without any treatment. However, this is usually only the case for milder forms of the condition. More severe cases will often require some form of treatment in order to achieve relief.

The good news is that there are a number of effective treatments available for sacroiliac joint syndrome. In many cases, symptoms can be significantly reduced or even eliminated with the help of treatments such as physical therapy, medication, and/or injections.

Surgery is also an option for some people, although it is typically only considered a last resort.

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