The sacroiliac joint (SIJ) is formed by the connection of the ilium (hip bone) to the sacrum (flat triangular bone at the base of the spine). There are two sacroiliac joints found in the lower back that join to form the pelvis. They are held together with strong ligaments and are cushioned from shock by rings of cartilage, allowing thejoints to support the weight of the upper body at the hip region. Sacroiliitis is a general term used to describe inflammation of the SIJ and can be caused by many different factors. Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction is a condition that leads to joint inflammation and is caused by either too much or too little motion at the SIJ. Pregnant women present with ligamentous laxity, or SIJ hypermobility, due to hormones that relax the ligaments in the pelvis. Mechanical conditions that lead to muscle imbalances and pelvic misalignments, such as scoliosis and leg length discrepancies, can lead to SIJ pain.
- Spine Surgery
- Aging/ Degenerative Joint Disease/ Arthritis
- Muscle imbalances and abnormal mechanics due to back/ hip pain and leg
- length discrepancy
- Fall or other traumatic injuries
- Sharp localized pain, usually on one side
- Pain may radiate to the groin, hip, and knee although rarely below the knee
PHYSICAL THERAPY FOR
SACROILIAC (SI) JOINT PAIN
With SI joint dysfunction or sacroiliitis, your physical therapist will do a thorough assessment of joint mobility and muscle tightness of your hip and lumbar region. Your therapist will create a specific program targeted to address any joint restrictions, muscle tightness, and weakness. Modalities, massage, stretches, and exercises will be part of your physical therapy regimen. This will decrease joint inflammation and help to restore normal SIJ mobility. Pregnant patients may also be advised to wear a maternity belt that will give them more pelvic support.