SI Joint Pain When Climbing Stairs

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SI Joint Dysfunction & Pain When Climbing Stairs

While it may seem strange to the person experiencing SI Joint pain, if you experience the pain during stair-climbing it is an important symptom to take note of and is one of the chief complaints that spine health experts use in getting to the bottom of low back pain, especially in the case of a condition called SI Joint Dysfunction.

SI Joint Pain Symptoms – Pain When Climbing Stairs

If you experience low back pain when climbing stairs, and you find relief when you rest, your SI joint(s) may be to blame. Treatment options such as oral pain medications, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and SI joint pain injections may be recommended by your spine health expert as initial methods of SI joint pain relief. When those options have failed to provide necessary pain relief, in some cases surgery may be recommended to treat the problem.

Is Pain While Climbing Stairs a Symptom of SI Joint Dysfunction?

Consider this scenario – You’re sitting in your doctor’s office for a low back pain evaluation and he or she ask: “Does your back hurt when you try to climb stairs?” This might sound like an odd question for your doctor to ask but it has an important purpose. If the cause of the low back pain you are experiencing is in your sacroiliac (SI) joint among the most telling symptoms is low back pain when twisting, walking, and yes, climbing.

It’s often hard to determine the exact source of low back pain, but when other problems, like injury to the musculature of the back have been eliminated, your spine health expert may turn his or her attention to the sacroiliac joint, and problems climbing stairs can be a tip off that the pain is originating from a problem with this part of the spine.

The SI joint is the bone that bridges the lowest part of your spinal column and your pelvic joints. They support the upper body when you’re standing and sometimes the SI joint can become damaged, making it difficult to climb stairs and do a number of other daily tasks without pain.

Of course, there are a variety of sacroiliac joint dysfunction causes. The problem can be caused by arthritis, by trauma – a fall, improper lifting, or some other sort of accident. Other causes can be having one leg shorter than the other, a previous fusion surgery in the lumbar region of the spine, and age-related deterioration and arthritis. In women, pregnancy can even cause SI joint pain, due to the increased pressure a growing womb can place on the pelvic area.

In order to properly diagnose SI joint pain as the origin of your pain while climbing stairs, a spine health expert will usually take your history, and do a physical exam during which he or she will try to determine if the sacroiliac joint is causing the problem. This involves manipulating the joint in such a way as to determine if doing so causes the pain to come back in the same way as it does when you climb the stairs. He or she may also recommend X-rays an MRI or a CT scan.  If none of these measures result in a diagnosis, sacroiliac joint injections may be used. This involves injecting a local anesthetic directly into the sacroiliac joint. If the injection relieves the symptoms, then the sacroiliac joint is likely the cause of the pain.

At a Glance: Pain When Climbing Stairs as a Symptom of SI Joint Dysfunction

  • People with SI Joint Dysfunction often experience discomfort or pain when climbing stairs
  • Injury to the lower back musculature can be a cause of trouble climbing stairs
  • A physical examination is needed to determine the cause of discomfort when climbing stairs.

Health Tips For SI Joint

  • You can damage your sacroiliac joint by twisting or lifting heavy objects the wrong way. Always use proper body mechanics and lifting techniques
  • Observe good spine health care – get regular exercise, don’t smoke and maintain a healthy body weight
  • Be careful when walking on slippery surfaces – hard falls are among the most common ways the SI joint can become injured
  • Use a hand rail when climbing stairs to help ease the strain placed on a painful SI joint

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