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TriHealth Orthopedic & Sports Institute

SI Joint - Sacral Dysfuntion

It’s not always clear what’s causing your low back or hip pain. Sometimes it’s a problem in your lumbar spine, but sometimes it can be caused by dysfunction in your sacroiliac joint. The team at TriHealth Orthopedics & Sports Institute and Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine are here to help you find answers about your pain – and get you relief.

Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction (also called SI joint pain) refers to the changes to the sacroiliac (SI) joint. The SI joint connects the hipbones to the sacrum, which is the bone between the lumbar spine and tailbone. It acts as a shock absorber between the upper body and pelvis and legs.

When the bones, tendons and ligaments begin to wear out or have too much pressure, the SI joint can become unstable or tight. This can lead to pain and inflammation.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction causes

The most common causes of SI joint pain or dysfunction include:

  • Arthritis
  • Injury
  • Natural wear and tear from aging
  • Pregnancy or childbirth

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction symptoms

The most common symptoms of SI joint pain include:

  • Instability in the pelvis or lower back
  • Low back pain
  • Pain that radiates to buttocks, hips or groin
  • Pain that worsens when weight is put on the joint
  • Reduced range of motion in the lower back, hips, pelvis or groin
  • Stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis or groin

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction treatment

Our spinal specialists will work closely with you to create a plan that eases symptoms and reduces pain. We also start with a conservative approach before recommending surgery. Your treatment options may include:

  • Physical therapy – Stretching and strengthening exercises, guided by a certified physical therapist, can improve flexibility and stability of the spine, build strength and endurance and even improve your balance. All these can help reduce your symptoms.
  • Steroid injections – Corticosteroid injections reduce inflammation and help relieve pain caused by spinal stenosis.
  • Medicine – Over the counter and prescription medicine can help relieve chronic pain, reduce inflammation and help you find comfort.
  • Acupuncture – Thin needles are inserted into specific spots along the spine to trigger the release of certain chemicals into the body, helping reduce pain. Acupuncture is typically used along with traditional treatment, like pain management or physical therapy.
  • Massage – Medical massage therapy can help reduce inflammation, ease pain and provide relief from certain back conditions. Your doctor may recommend massage therapy along with other treatments.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction risk factors

You may be at higher risk of developing SI joint pain if you have:

  • One leg longer than another
  • Past low back surgery
  • Repeated stress on joint from jobs, sports or activities
  • Scoliosis

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction prevention

Like most back conditions, SI joint pain or dysfunction cannot be completely prevented, but you can lower your risk of developing this condition:

  • Eat healthy
  • Exercise regularly
  • Lift with your legs; not your back
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Sit up straight
  • Strengthen back and core muscles

Make an appointment

At TriHealth Orthopedics & Sports Institute and Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, our spinal specialists are here to help you get stronger and return to good health. Find the right treatment for your SI joint pain. To learn more or make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist: Call TriHealth at 513 246 2300or our orthopedic partner, Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, at 513 354 3700.

TriHealth Orthopedic and Spine Institute
TOSI: 513 246 2300
Beacon: 513 354 3700
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