SI Joint Dysfunction: Causing your lower back pain?

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction: Is it causing your lower back pain?

Seeking Treatment for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

If you are suffering from chronic low back pain you may be suffering from SI Joint Dysfunction. In fact, about 25% of Americans with low back pain are thought to have sacroiliac joint Dysfunction. 

What is the Sacroiliac Joint?

The spine attaches to the pelvis at both (right and left) sacroiliac joints, enabling a person to stand upright and walk.

When the SI joint becomes irritated, people can begin feeling lower back, groin, buttock, thigh, down the leg, or hip pain. Standing, sitting, climbing stairs, rolling over in bed, bending, and other physical activities may make the pain worse.

Causes of SI Joint Dysfunction

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can develop as a result of a traumatic injury to the joint or joint deterioration/arthritis. Any damage to this joint, that helps with weight transfer between the upper body and legs and shock absorption during activity, could lead to debilitating pain. The joint pain can be triggered by hypermobility (too much joint movement) or hypomobility (too little joint movement).

There are several possible causes to pain in this joint, including:

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis – This form of inflammatory arthritis affects the spine and Sacroiliac Joint.  This is a painful condition that intensifies when the joints of the spine and SI Joint fuse as a result of the joint inflammation.
  • Gout – Typically, people think of gout as something that only affects the feet but it can also involve the sacroiliac joint. In response to the body having an abnormally high level of uric acid, gout develops.
  • Injury – Trauma from a car accident, fall, or something similar is the most common cause of SI Joint pain.
  • Osteoarthritis – The constant stress placed on this joint increases with age. In some people, the wear and tear on the joint causes the cartilage to break down and the development of osteoarthritis and pain.
  • Patterns of Walking – Even something as simple as abnormal walking patterns can cause dysfunction and pain in the sacroiliac joint. For instance, waddling while pregnant, favoring an injured leg, or having one leg longer than the other could cause SI Joint pain.
  • Pregnancy – When pregnant, the body naturally releases a hormone called relaxin, which makes the sacroiliac joint more elastic in preparation for pelvic widening during childbirth. The same hormone can cause instability in the sacroiliac joint. For this reason, women have a higher risk of developing SI Joint arthritis than men.

Symptoms of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

With dysfunction of the Sacroiliac Joint, each patient experiences a unique symptom complex in terms of the type and intensity of pain. Some people have a lot of lower back pain and notice tingling or numbness in the buttock and/or leg. Other patients complain of a sharper, stabbing pain that radiates from the lower back into the hips, pelvis, and legs. It is also common to feel pain in the groin area and increased pain with movement from a seated to standing position.

Professional Diagnosis and Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Treatment

When you visit Key Clinics, Dr. Siegal will begin your evaluation to determine if you have SI Joint dysfunction. Dr. Siegal believes in diagnosing and treating SI Joint dysfunction as part of a multidisciplinary program for SI Join pain relief. It is important to differentiate whether the primary pain generator causing someone’s discomfort is the SI joint, hip, spine, or nerves. For proper diagnosis, Dr. Siegal and his medical team may order tests, perform multiple physical exams, and have you see several providers in order to help confirm that you have sacroiliac joint dysfunction and to devise the best treatment plan.

The good news is that many people with this condition respond favorably to non-surgical treatment such as non-narcotic medications, physical therapy, and SI Joint injections. If you don’t achieve long-term relief with conservative treatment, a minimally-invasive SI Joint fusion option is available. Approximately 85% of patients that undergo this fusion procedure obtain early relief that appears to be sustainable long term.

Get Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief from Key Clinics and Orthofix

If you have tried everything else and it is recommended that you get an SI Joint fusion, Key Clinics offers a minimally invasive procedure developed by Orthofix called the Firebird™ SI Fusion System. The Firebird™ SI Fusion System represents a significant leap forward in spinal care, promising a new era of pain relief and stability for those suffering from sacroiliac joint issues.

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