What are the Symptoms of Sacroiliac Joint Pain?

SI joint pain, or sacroiliac joint pain, refers to discomfort or pain in the sacroiliac joints, which are located in the lower back and connect the sacrum to the ilium bones of the pelvis. The symptoms of SI joint pain can vary in intensity and may be localized to the lower back and buttocks. Here are the common symptoms associated with SI joint pain:

  • Low Back Pain: Pain is typically felt on one side of the lower back, often just above the buttocks. The pain can be dull, aching, or sharp and may extend into the hip or thigh on the affected side.
  • Buttock Pain: Pain or discomfort in the buttock region is a characteristic symptom of SI joint pain. This pain may be concentrated in the area overlying the SI joint.
  • Pain Radiating Down the Leg: In some cases, SI joint pain can radiate down the back of the thigh or even into the lower leg. This is often mistaken for sciatica or lumbar spine issues.
  • Stiffness: People with SI joint pain may experience stiffness in the lower back, which can be particularly noticeable after sitting or standing for extended periods.
  • Pain While Walking or Climbing Stairs: Activities that involve weight-bearing on the affected side, such as walking or climbing stairs, can exacerbate the pain.
  • Pain When Transitioning from Sitting to Standing: The act of going from a sitting to a standing position can trigger pain in the SI joint.
  • Pain When Rolling Over in Bed: Shifting positions in bed, especially rolling over, can be uncomfortable for those with SI joint pain.
  • Reduced Range of Motion: Some individuals may experience a limited range of motion in the lower back and pelvis.
  • Tenderness to Touch: Pressure applied directly over the SI joint may elicit tenderness or discomfort.

It’s important to note that SI joint pain can sometimes be mistaken for other musculoskeletal conditions or lower back issues, such as lumbar disc problems or hip arthritis. To confirm a diagnosis and determine the cause of the pain, a healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist, orthopedic specialist, or rheumatologist, may conduct a physical examination, imaging studies, and possibly diagnostic injections into the SI joint. Treatment options for SI joint pain may include physical therapy, medications, and in some cases, minimally invasive procedures or SI joint injections to alleviate pain and inflammation.

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