SI joint pain can cause a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms, from hip and low back pain to numbness and tingling sensations traveling down the leg. Chronic SI joint pain can make it difficult to perform common daily tasks and affect every aspect of a patient’s life.
WHAT IS THE SI JOINT?
The sacroiliac joint, or SI joint, links the iliac bone (pelvis) to the sacrum (lowest part of the spine above the tailbone). This joint transfers weight and force between your upper body and legs. It is an essential component of shock absorption. The SI joint works with other parts of the hip to keep movements like walking and running from impacting the spine.
WHAT CAUSES SI JOINT PAIN
Like any other joint in the body, the sacroiliac (SI) joint can degenerate from overuse or underuse. It can also injure the supportive network of muscles and ligaments that keep it stabilized. When this happens, pain can be felt in the buttock and sometimes even well above the hip. This is especially true with lifting, running, walking, or even sleeping on the involved side.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF SI JOINT INJURIES
This source of pain can be caused by either too much movement or too little movement. Symptoms typically involve pain that is felt in the lower back and/or the hip and may radiate into the groin area. When caused by too little movement, the pain is typically felt on one side of the low back or buttocks and can radiate down the leg. The pain usually remains above the knee, but at times pain can extend to the ankle or foot.
Common complaints from patients suffering from SI joint pain may include:
- Lower back pain
- Sensation of lower extremity pain
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness
- Pelvis/buttock pain
- Hip/groin pain
- Feeling of leg instability
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Inability to sit for long periods of time
- Pain going from sitting to standing.
HOW DO YOU TREAT SI JOINT PAIN?
Treatment for an SI joint injury usually consists of rest and icing, pain medication, physical therapy, and joint injections. Unfortunately, SI joint pain is often overlooked because its symptoms can sometimes mimic other common conditions. This can often lead to expensive, time-consuming tests and treatments that can alleviate the symptoms but may leave the source of pain unresolved.
EXERCISES FOR SI JOINT PAIN
Foam Roll Glutes
- Carefully sit on the foam roller crossing your ankle over your opposite knee.
- Place your hands on the floor behind you to support yourself.
- Tilt to the side of the raised leg, focusing on one glute at a time.
- Roll from the top of the glute to the bottom of the glute scanning the area for tender spots.
- Pause when you reach a tender spot until the pain lessens, about 10 – 20 seconds, then move to another tender spot and repeat.
- Complete this for no more than 2 minutes per side.
- To modify the exercise, uncross the ankle placing your foot on the ground.
- Continue to roll for no more than 2 minutes.
Knee to Chest Stretch
- Lie on your back with your knees bent.
- Lift one knee towards your chest and pull it as far as you can with your hands.
- Lower your leg and repeat with the other leg.
- Now lift both legs (one at a time) and pull them both towards your chest as far as you can to flatten your lower back.
- Hold this stretch for up to 30 seconds.
- Complete 2 sets of 30-second holds.
AIRROSTI SI JOINT INJURY DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
At Airrosti, our providers are extensively trained to evaluate the specific cause of your symptoms. This detailed evaluation helps lead to a professional diagnosis, followed by highly specific manual therapy and active rehab to help address the root cause of your pain. To learn more about treatment at Airrosti, or schedule an appointment, give us a call at (800) 404-6050. We offer both in-house and telehealth appointments to best suit your needs.
Reviewed by Casey Crisp, Doctor of Chiropractic