Sacroiliac Joint Pain

Conditions | Interventional Pain Doctors California

What is it?

Sacroiliac Joint Pain

Sacroiliac joints are the connection between the lowest part of the spine (sacrum) and the hip (iliac crests). The function of the sacroiliac joint is to absorb impact between the upper and lower body and to distribute it evenly across the pelvis. When this joint moves abnormally, is inflamed, or is arthritic, it can cause pain.

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What are the causes?

  • Trauma, falls, or motor vehicle accidents
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pregnancy and childbirth due to hormonally induced loosening of the ligaments supporting the joint and from altered walking patterns in the last several months
  • Hip or spine surgery (lumbar fusion)
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Uneven leg lengths

Your sacroiliac joints (we call them the "SI" joints) are the places where your hips meet your spine. These joints don't have a lot of flexibility, but they do move slightly as you move your body. And if SI joints become damaged or diseased, it can be painful.

Symptoms

Pain is usually felt in the low back, buttock and groin. Numbness, weakness, and pain may radiate into the thighs and legs as well.

Diagnosis

The Interventional Pain Doctors team of spine and pain management specialists can diagnose sacroiliac joint pain during a comprehensive history and physical examination. Specifically, there are a group of physical tests that are gold standards in making a diagnosis of sacroiliac joint pain that we employ. We may also request additional tests such as an MRI, CT scan, X-ray, or diagnostic injections.

Treatment

Non-surgical treatments such as physical therapy, chiropractic, stretching, anti-inflammatory medications or bracing may be recommended. In more severe cases, sacroiliac joint injections, radiofrequency ablations, or minimally invasive joint fusion may be indicated.

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