Sacroiliac Joint Disfunction

(Sponsored Article)

Dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint is pain in the joint that connects the illium and sacral bones of the pelvis. The sacroiliac joint is located next to the spine, above the tailbone, and absorbs the shock of the motions from the upper body on the lower body. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can be caused by traumatic accidents, but is most often caused by a change or abnormality in movement in the area – either too much movement, or too little.  

Abnormal changes in the motion of the sacroiliac joint, a strong, weight-bearing joint, can cause a patient to feel pain in the lower back, leg, hip, groin, and buttocks. Numbness or tingling in these areas can also be a symptom in some cases, but is more rare.  If a patient with sacroiliac joint dysfunction feels pain in their lower back or hip, it is likely a result of hypermobility, or too much movement.  Too little movement (hypomobility), however, usually causes a patient to feel pain on one side of their buttocks or low back, and occasionally down one leg.  

It is difficult to correctly diagnose a patient’s pain as sacroiliac joint dysfunction because many of the symptoms of the condition are similar to those of other conditions; if a patient feels shooting pain down one of their legs, it may feel similar to sciatica pain.  Many of the symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction are similar to facet syndromes and lumbar disc herniations as well.  A medical practitioner can help determine if sacroiliac joint dysfunction is the source of your pain by conducting a physical examination.  Besides reviewing your medical and family history, you will likely also be asked to engage in a few movement exercises.  If you have no secondary conditions that can account for the pain you feel, and the movements your doctor has you do recreate the same pain you’ve been feeling, it is likely that sacroiliac joint dysfunction is the cause of your pain.

Another, more thorough, method of diagnosing sacroiliac joint dysfunction is by an injection into the sacroiliac joint.  This method is done by injecting a mixture of local anesthetic and anti-inflammatory medication into the sacroiliac joint.  If the injection relieves the patient from their pain, it can be determined that the sacroiliac joint is, in fact, the cause of the pain, and a specific treatment plan can be decided from there.  These injections are usually done using x-ray guidance, as it is important that they are injected into a very specific area of the sacroiliac joint.  If sacroiliac joint dysfunction is the cause of the patient’s pain, the diagnostic injection test can also double as a form of treatment, in that it will reduce inflammation in the joint and begin to relieve the pain.  This type of injection can often be an important first step in a treatment program for sacroiliac joint dysfunction; since it provides immediate pain relief, it allows patients to begin to complete other, more intensive treatments, like exercise.  

In order to fully treat the joint dysfunction, there are also a number of treatments a patient can do at home, in addition to the injection.  Most of the treatment options available for this kind of pain are fairly conservative in nature, and are aimed at returning the patient to their normal range of motion, as that will be extremely beneficial in preventing any further pain from occurring.  

One of the first, and easiest, ways to treat sacroiliac joint pain is by taking medication designed to relive pain.  Over the counter options, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can provide much-needed temporary pain relief and can help reduce swelling.

Icing the painful area surrounding the sacroiliac joint for 15-20 minute intervals throughout the day will bring down swelling in the area, which in turn helps to reduce pain.  This can be continued as needed on a patient-by-patient basis, anywhere from two days to two weeks.  

If you are experiencing sacroiliac joint pain due to hyperactivity, rest is an important part of your recovery.  Continuing to excessively move the sacroiliac joint in an abnormal way will further agitate it and create more pain, but easing up on the amount of movement you put yourself through will help calm the irritation in the area.  Pain due to hypoactivity, however, can be relieved with moderate exercise to prevent the joint from becoming fixed in one position.  Low-impact exercise, such as light aerobic training, can help increase blood flow to the irritated area, helping to heal the distressed joint.  For joints that have become distressed due to too much activity, braces and other supports can be helpful as well to stabilize the area.  For joints that have become “fixed,” or somewhat stuck in place from a lack of movement, chiropractic manipulation can help return normal and necessary motion to that joint.  

A pain management team should use a multi-disciplinary approach to treat a number of conditions affecting the back and spine. A condition in one part of the body often has the potential to cause pain or other unfortunate consequences in other areas, so we aim to treat our patients’ conditions in the most comprehensive way possible, to ensure the greatest results and improvement in quality of life. Given that sacroiliac joint dysfunction is a multi-faceted condition, with many possible symptoms, consequences, and treatments, it is best to treat it in a comprehensive way, which is what we specialize in at BASIC. To begin your treatment program,, to discuss your options with a physician.  

Author: BASICSpine

Click for more Spine Patient Resources.

Any comment about this page?
Your feedback is appreciated. Please click here.

Follow & Share Scientific Spine  Bookmark and Share Subscribe

To join Scientific Spine mailing list, click here.

You are here: Scientific Spine > Spine Patient Resources > Spine Patient Advices > Sacroiliac Joint Disfunction