What Causes SI Joint Pain?

The SI joint can be damaged for a variety of reasons including normal wear and tear, a traumatic injury or due to inflammation. As a result, these events cause changes in the joint’s normal range of motion and are often the culprit behind the sometimes severe pain that patients experience as a result.

SI Joint Pain Causes

The two main types of (SI) Sacroiliac Joint pain are caused by hyper-mobility or hypo-mobility. Of the two, hyper-mobility is the most common. It means that the ligaments that hold the pelvis together have become lax and allow for too much movement, sometimes resulting in pain.

The SI joints are designed to provide stability and shock absorption for the body. Under normal circumstances, they aren’t intended for a large range of motion. But damaged caused by a variety of events can make them either too mobile or not mobile enough. In either case, these changes can cause SI joint pain and other symptoms in the people suffering from them.


The clinical term for inflammation arising out of the SI joint, long-term sacroiliitis can lead to SI Joint Dysfunction and is often the cause of SI joint pain symptoms.


The most common cause of arthritis, osteoarthritis in the SI joint involves wear and tear on the spinal joints as a result of aging or particularly hard use. SI joint pain caused by osteoarthritis is the result of hypo-mobility which presents itself when the SI joint does not move at all, and this is usually seen when the joint locks up in long standing degenerative disease, such as osteoarthritis.

SI Joint Injury

A traumatic injury to the pelvis is a common cause of SI joint pain resulting in hyper-mobility. In addition, repetitive stress injuries, such as those sustained by marathon runners, can also be an Si joint pain cause.

Altered Walking Pattern

Conditions that affect the normal gait or walking pattern of an individual can be cause for SI joint pain and damage due to the abnormal stress placed on the joints. Often, hip pain while walking can be a sign that an individual is at risk for developing SI joint dysfunction which causes pain in the SI joint.

SI Joint Infection

Though it is the least common cause of SI joint pain, infection in the SI joint can be the source of significant pain. This serious condition requires immediate medical attention.

Prior Lumbar Fusion Surgery

SI joint pain is common after lumbar vertebrae fusion. In nearly 75 percent of patients, the pain symptoms begin within five years after the surgery. The surgical fixation of the lumbar spine creates immobility that can in turn place too much pressure on the pelvic ligaments.


Relaxin, a hormone produced by women during pregnancy can result in an over-stretching of the pelvis. This can lead to problems with the normal movement of the SI joint, eventually causing pain and discomfort.

No matter the cause of the SI joint pain, no one should believe they have to just “live with it.” If you or someone you know needs help in figuring out the cause of their SI joint pain, the expert team at BASIC has the vast experience, advanced-training and specialty qualifications to help.

Health Tips For SI Joint

  • Perform SI joint stretches – these help prevent injury and increase mobility
  • Maintain a healthy body weight – extra pounds can worsen SI joint pain
  • Quit smoking – it seriously restricts nutrient rich blood flow to the spinal discs and joints

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