Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is when there is pain in the sacroiliac joint or SI joint. The sacroiliac joint is where the pelvic bones meet the sacrum, and is located on both sides of the spine. At the end of the sacrum is the coccyx or tailbone. The pelvic girdle works to provide shock absorption for the spine. The sacroiliac joint connects the upper body to the lower body and is very important during ambulation. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction symptoms are often difficult to differentiate from other types of lower back pain.
Common symptoms may include:
● Pain over the buttocks area
● Stabbing, shooting and/or sharp pain down the back of the thigh and usually above the knee
● Difficulty sitting due to pain
● Tenderness to the posterior sacroiliac joint
● Pain with stairs or laying on the affected side
● Pain with sitting to standing
The majority of patients with sacroiliac joint dysfunction are adults. A percentage of cases are pregnancy related, as hormones during pregnancy can relax the sacroiliac ligaments which can lead to hypermobility. Changes to the normal joint motion may cause sacroiliac joint pain.
Physical therapy can help with sacroiliac joint dysfunction by strengthening targeted muscles to help provide stability to the pelvic girdle. A physical therapist will evaluate the sacroiliac joint and perform tests and measures with the patient. Following the initial evaluation, the physical therapist will create a treatment plan which may include strengthening, flexibility, manual therapy, and modalities.
-Leanne Komoda, PT, DPT