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Pain as a Symptom of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Sacroiliac joint discomfort, like other forms of back pain, can be debilitating to the person who is experiencing it.

SI Joint Pain Symptoms – SI Joint Pain

The sacroiliac joint joins your pelvis to your sacrum, and it can be a source of lower back pain. That’s because it acts as the body’s shock absorber, and it can take on a lot of force during daily activities. Pain may appear in areas of your body than your back, making sacroiliac problems hard to diagnose.

Pain as a Symptom of SI Joint Dysfunction

How do you know if you have a sacroiliac joint problem? You’d think the answer would be obvious – your low back hurts! Unfortunately, when it comes to SI joint problems, there is much more to it. Often, this type of back problem can manifest in areas other than in the lumbar region of the spine. It’s not just “Oh, my aching back!” It can be “My hips are killing me,” or even “I’m feeling a pain in my rear when I climb the stairs!” In order to understand the problem, we should first talk about the sacroiliac joint, where it’s located, and what function it serves.

The sacroiliac joint rests at the bottom of the spine, just above the tailbone and just below the lumbar spine. Its function is to connect the sacrum, which is the triangular bone that rests at the bottom of the spine, with the pelvis. This sacroiliac joint is small but extremely strong, and it doesn’t move much. It sends all the force delivered by the upper body to the hips and legs – kind of like a shock absorber for your entire body. When there’s too much movement in the sacroiliac joint, you can end up with lower back pain. For that matter, SI joint pain can also manifest in other areas of your body – it can masquerade as a problem with your hips or your buttocks, and is sometimes even mistaken for sciatica, just to use a couple of examples.

Diagnosing problems in the SI joint can be difficult, because the symptoms are much like those presented by other problems in the spine. But a trained spine expert knows special maneuvers during examination designed to elicit the SI joint pain response which will help confirm a diagnosis. This could involve manipulating your knee or your leg. If that doesn’t clue your doctor into the source of the problem, a diagnosis may be arrived through an epidural steroid injection into the sacroiliac joint to see if the pain goes away. If it does, the problem is likely in the sacroiliac joint. During this procedure your doctor will likely also deliver a steroid into the joint to reduce inflammation and decrease pain.

At a Glance: SI Joint Pain as a Symptom of SI Joint Dysfunction

  • The sacroiliac joint is what connects the sacrum to the pelvis
  • Sacoriliac joint dysfunction almost always first manifests as SI joint pain. It can occur in the back, the hips, or even the buttocks.
  • Problems with the sacroiliac can mimic other problems, like trouble in the hips or sciatica
  • The sacroiliac joint is strong and acts as your entire body’s shock absorber

Health Tips For Healthy Back

  • Good back health practices are always important, but may not always be enough to prevent SI joint pain
  • Maintain strong back muscles through regular exercise
  • Remember that your back muscles are easily damaged, so don’t lift heavy objects with your back – use your legs
  • Exercise caution when walking on slippery or uneven surfaces to avoid falls that could result in damage to the SI joint
  • Sleep on a firm mattress, and use a lumbar pillow for added spinal support

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