Sacroiliac joint pain, which is also called sacroiliitis, is a condition that is caused by inflammation in your sacroiliac (SI) joints. The SI joints are where your pelvis connects to your lower spine, and this condition is most noticeable when you stand up after sitting in a chair for a long time. SI joint pain usually occurs in your lower back, extending down the leg.
SI joint pain is sometimes caused by a traumatic injury such as a fall, sports injury, or a car accident. This condition is also commonly caused by osteoarthritis, which occurs when the cartilage between your joints wears thin or ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis in which there is long term inflammation of the joints of the spine. The sacroiliac joints stretch during pregnancy, which can cause joint discomfort. Also, an infection may be the cause of SI pain in rare cases. However, it appears that the underlying cause of this type of joint pain is inflammation, and if inflammation can be relieved, joints affected by SI pain generally heal themselves. Symptoms of SI joint pain include pain, difficulty walking, standing and sitting.
Since SI joint pain is easy to confuse with other types of lower back pain, it can be hard to diagnose. Your doctor will begin the diagnosis with a general examination, but they may also use diagnostic techniques such as the pain-provocation SIJ test. In some cases, diagnosis can also be aided by MRI scans or X-rays.
Prescription medications such as pain relievers and muscle relaxants may be prescribed for SI joint pain, and surgical procedures are sometimes employed in extreme cases. However, physical therapy is a very effective treatment for sacroiliac joint pain, and a variety of range-of-motion or stretching exercises may be employed to treat this condition. At Advance Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation we are experts in evaluating and treating the SI joint. Treatments may include ultrasound, electrical stimulation, moist heat, cryotherapy, manual therapy, joint mobilizations, massage, stretching, strengthening, home exercise programs, postural and body mechanics training.