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What is Sacroiliac Joint Pain?

The sacroiliac (SI) joint is located in the pelvis and links the iliac bone to the sacrum (lowest part of the spine above the tailbone).

Pain in the SI joint can extend into the lower back, buttocks, groin, and leg, and may result from wear and tear or injury, particularly when the ligaments supporting the joint are stretched. This SI joint is instrumental in the transfer of weight between your upper body and legs. It also acts as a shock-absorber during motion. Damage to the SI joint is common and may be caused by too little movement (called hypomobility) or too much movement (hypermobility).

Symptoms of Sacroiliac Joint Pain

Pain from sacroiliac joint disorders can be felt anywhere in the lower back, buttocks, or in the legs. Chronic SI joint pain can make it difficult to perform common daily tasks such as sitting, standing, and climbing stairs. Common symptoms of SI Joint Pain include:

    Common symptoms of Sacroiliac Joint Pain include:
  • Lower back pain
  • Sensation of lower extremity: pain, numbness, tingling, weakness
  • Pelvis/buttock pain
  • Hip/groin pain
  • Feeling of leg instability (buckling, giving way)
  • Disturbed sleep patterns due to pain
  • Disturbed sitting patterns (unable to sit for long periods, sitting on one side)
  • Pain going from sitting to standing

Prior to having a surgical procedure to treat your Sacroiliac Joint Pain, conservative measures such as physical therapy, chiropractic, and steroid injections should be attempted. If these measures do not meaningfully relieve your pain, a North American Spine procedure may be in order.

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Causes of Sacroiliac Joint Pain

As with other joints in the body, the SI joint can become damaged, can suffer from wear and tear, or the ligaments supporting the joint may be stretched or injured. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction and associated pain can be caused by a specific traumatic event (disruption) or can develop over time (degeneration).

    Additional common Sacroiliac Joint Pain causes include:
  • Previous lumbar surgery (e.g., lumbar fusion of the L3/L4, L4/L5, or L5/S1)
  • Stresses to the SI joint due to leg length differences, joint replacement, or scoliosis
  • Pregnancy – chronic lower back pain during pregnancy and/or after giving birth (Post-partum Pelvic Girdle Pain, frequently described as PGP or PPGP)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Previous iliac crest bone graft (ICBG)
  • Prior infection of the SI joint

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Some of our former patients have been kind enough to offer to speak with back and neck pain sufferers who are looking into treatment options. We encourage you to take them up on it! After we determine a treatment plan, we’ll connect you with a past patient who had a similar condition and procedure.

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