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Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction vs. Lower Back Pain

Last updated 6 years ago

Whether you’re an active athlete or an office worker always at her desk, lower back pain can be quite a problem. Lower back pain can strike when standing, walking, sitting, or even lying down. And, as a back specialist can tell you, it can be caused by a variety of spinal disorders

One such spinal disorder is sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Although the name of this disorder seems intimidating, it’s a fairly easy problem to explain. Here, we’ll walk you through the anatomy of the problem, the symptoms, and the treatment options.

The Anatomy

At the base of your spine is your sacrum: a column of five vertebra fused together. The sacrum is connected to pelvic bone (or ileum) by the sacroiliac (SI) joints. Because of the symmetrical nature of your pelvis, you have two SI joints. These joints are very strong and stable, since they provide support for the whole body. You might think of them as “shock absorbers.”

The Pain

When the ligaments in the joint are irritated, they cause pain, just as in any other joint. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is usually caused by trauma, as in a car accident, or by sports activities, which can stretch or strain the SI joints. Women also experience sacroiliac joint dysfunction during pregnancy, since a pregnancy hormone called relaxin loosens ligaments. The pain from this disorder can affect the hip, groin, and leg.

The Treatment

For mild cases, treatment includes ice, rest, and anti-inflammatory medication. For more severe cases, back specialists may recommend physical therapy, therapeutic injections, and manipulative therapy. If these treatments do not work, doctors sometimes use surgical techniques to stabilize the joint.

If you’re suffering from lower back pain and think that sacroiliac joint dysfunction may be the cause, then contact SpineOne at (303) 367-2225. We promote minimally invasive spinal care for back and neck pain. 


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