Questions/Answers on SI (Sacroiliac) Joint Pain
SI Joint Pain varies widely depending on the individual person and their underlying cause. The following information may clarify some of your concerns.
The sacroiliac (SI) joint is located in the pelvis. It links the iliac bone (pelvis) to the sacrum (lowest part of the spine above the tailbone). This joint transfers weight and forces between your upper body and legs. It is an essential component for energy transfer between the legs and the torso.
Common symptoms include lower back pain worsened with prolonged sitting/standing or specific mechanical movements. Possible causes of sacroiliac pain include arthritis, traumatic injury, pregnancy and post-partum, systemic inflammatory conditions, and infection.
Here are a few questions/answers people ask about SI Joint Pain.
What aggravates SI Joint Pain?
Activities such a running, jumping, contact sports, labor intensive jobs, or even standing for prolonged periods of time can aggravate your SI joint related pain. Deconditioned and weak abdominal, gluteal, and spinal muscles can also contribute to worsening pain. Each individual person may experience different symptoms worsened by particular activities.
What can I do to help pain while sitting?
If you are sitting for long periods of time, a lumbar pillow or a seat with built-in lumbar support can help align your pelvis and SI joints when sitting and help reduce pressure and relieve pain. Other options include wearing a SI brace or using heated kinesiology tape to help stabilize the sacroiliac joints and help them heal.
What is the best sleeping position for SI Joint Pain?
To support your hips and pelvis in a better alignment and reduce your SI Joint Pain when lying down, use pillows to supports your pelvis and hips. If you are a stomach sleeper, try placing a pillow underneath the lower abdomen. If you are a side sleeper, place a pillow lengthwise between your knees and ankles.
What muscles help to stabilize the SI joint?
The major muscles that help stabilize the SI joint include the psoas muscles, gluteal muscles, hamstrings, liliaceous, and piriformis muscles. Your physical therapists will help determine if any of these muscles are weak followed by specific strengthening exercises.
What kind of doctor do I see for Sacroiliac Joint Pain?
A clinician such as a physical therapist, pelvic health specialist, or pain management specialist can perform these tests to help you diagnose SI joint Pain or SI Joint Dysfunction.
Can physical therapy help with SI Joint Pain?
A physical therapist will educate you on proper body mechanics, muscle strengthening, and stretching to name a few. They may also perform joint mobilization, manual massage, and dry needling to help mobilize the soft tissues and relax tight muscles.
Can my doctor identify if I have SI Joint Pain (Dysfunction)
Provocation tests, are performed while you are lying on your back or side. In five different positions, your doctor applies pressure to your hips, knees, and other areas to see which positions are indicating pain. If three or more of the positions causes pain in your SI joint region, the SI joint is likely to blame. A trained doctor will consider your health history, symptoms, results from SI Joint Pain diagnostic exams, and other medical tests.
We are Here to Assist!
If you have any questions about SI Joint Dysfunction, exercise programs, or how physical therapy can help with pain, speak with one of our Pelvic Floor Professionals and get clarity on all the options available to you.