SI Joint Pain

Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Pain

Have you been feeling a sharp pain in your lower back or pelvic region, usually on one side, that radiates down one or both legs? Or, does your lower back hurts when you get up from a chair or climb stairs?

If yes, you might be experiencing Sacroiliac Joint (SI) pain. Don’t worry… you’re not alone!

SI joint dysfunction is a common cause of lower back pain. In fact, it is estimated that almost 15-30% of patients with chronic lower back pain suffer from SI joint problems.

Before we tell you how experts at Allegheny Pain Management can reduce or eliminate your pain and restore your quality of life, let’s first understand the SI joint and the common causes of SI joint dysfunction.

What is the Sacroiliac (SI) Joint?

The SI is where the spine meets the pelvis. There are two SI joints – one on either side of the spine that connects the ileum (pelvic bone) to the sacrum (lowest part of the spine). The crucial role of SI joints is to support the weight of your body and distribute it across the pelvis when you stand or walk, thereby reducing the pressure on your spine.

What causes SI joint pain?

It is not clear what causes sacroiliac pain. There are many underlying reasons that may cause or aggravate SI joint pain, including trauma, pregnancy, abnormal walking pattern, spine surgeries, and infection in the SI joint. Excessive movement of SI joints during sports can also injure the joints by stretching or straining the ligaments. Something as simple as a missed step when descending stairs can also cause injury to the ligaments leading to pain.

What are the symptoms of SI joint pain?

Though each patient experiences different symptoms, here are some of the commonly reported symptoms of SI joint pain:

  • Pain in the lower back
  • Pain in hips and pelvis
  • Pain in just one SI joint
  • Sharp pain when standing up from a sitting position
  • Stiffness or dull pain in the pelvis
  • Numbness in legs
  • Pain radiating down the thighs from the lower back

How is SI joint pain treated?

The treatment depends on the symptoms and the severity of the disease.

Once diagnosed, the first step to treating the SI joint pain is resting the back, applying hot or cold packs, and taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil and Motrin. Massaging the area may also reduce the pain.

If conservative treatments don’t work or if the pain is debilitating, there are many other safe and efficacious treatment options available to reduce your pain and help you lead a normal life.

At Allegheny Pain Management, we use the most advanced interventional pain relief methods available, including pain blocks, injection therapies, radiofrequency ablation, spinal cord stimulation, discography, thermal nucleoplasty, lumbar decompression, and implantable pain-relieving devices.

We recommend that you seek medical attention if you have a lower back or other symptoms that persist for two to three weeks despite home treatment. If left untreated, SI joint problems can become chronic, leading to permanent disability or even depression.

Don’t let the pain get the better of you. Contact our pain management specialists today for an accurate diagnosis and a care plan tailored to fit your needs and lifestyle.


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