Sacro Iliac Joint

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INJURY TITLE

Sacro Iliac Joint ‘SIJ’

 

 

INJURY OVERVIEW

This is a joint between the lower back and pelvis (between your bottom cheeks). There is minimal movement at this joint but it can still be a source of significant pain which is commonly in the buttock, groin or thigh region.  Pain in this area is a common complaint during pregnancy due to the increasing stress on the joint (especially the second or third baby).

 

 

INJURY IN-DEPTH INFORMATION

The SIJ is a very strong joint that has to withstand extreme forces as you stand, walk, and run around.  If you compete in contact sports the forces are even higher and so are the stresses going through the joints and it’s surrounding supportive tissues.  As there is minimal movement within this joint it is more likely that the ligaments around the joint are the actual source of pain.  The ligaments have an abundant nerve supply can produce widespread and often severe pain.

 

Rarely pain in this area can be due to other pathologies such as Ankylosing Spondylitis (see lower back body area or search).

 

The lumbar spine (lower back) is relatively more mobile than the sacro-iliac joint. This can refer pain into the region of the sacro-iliac joint mimicking a sacro-iliac joint problem.

 

 

COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

– Can be a gradual onset of pain, but could follow a fall onto your bottom

– Pain in the buttock (usually on one side)

– Pain can be felt in the buttock, thigh, groin and even in the genitalia

– Sometimes difficulty weight bearing on one side, using stairs, and turning in bed.

 

 

HOW IS IT ASSESSED

Physical examination of the sacro-iliac joint including:

– Assessment of the joint position and movement whilst standing still and during certain movements and in different positions.

– Assessment of the muscles (their length and strength) that work over the sacro-iliac joint.

-Assessment of your lower back to check symptoms aren’t being referred from there instead.

-Blood tests, X-ray and MRI may be required if there are concerns of Ankylosing Spondylitis or if injections are being considered.

 

 

 

 

GENERAL TREATMENT

– Massage and / or joint mobilisation techniques can be used to address any acute pain you feel but these would really depend upon your situation.

– Exercises to address any muscle problems founds.

– Movement education (for example most people may claim that they ‘lift using their legs’ but they usually don’t) and correction of technique that could be worsening the problem.

– Some evidence suggests the use of a corticosteroid injection into some of the bigger ligaments to address pain also, but this is rarely required and would follow other investigations.

 

 

 

 

WHICH HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO CONSULT

PHYSIO     X MEDIC     X PODIATRY     

 

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