Understanding Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction: Is Your SI Joint Giving you Pain?

The sacroiliac joint, or SI joint as we’re going to call it from now on, is probably not something you’ve considered much, is it? Right now you’re probably thinking, “is it somewhere in my neck, my knee, or my shoulder?” If so, you’re probably also wondering why this fairly obscurely named joint is important enough for a blog post? Well, we’re here to tell all! In this post we’re going to give you the scoop on SI joints, tell you why you should be more aware of them, and what can be done if they’re giving you trouble. Ready? Let’s go!

SI joints are fairly notorious – no, not for low-balling spelling bee contestants, though we’re sure that’s happened a couple of times. In truth, they’re best known for their role in back injuries. In fact, back pain is so often caused by these joints that it’s quite common to see numerous clients a week suffering from various SI joint related symptoms. It’s certainly possible that, if you’re reading this and suffering from back pain, you might be one of the thousands of sufferers out there. No need to worry, though. Luckily, we’re here to give you all the answers. First, though, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the SI joint.

These infamous joints are actually incredibly important. They connect the base of the spine to the hip bones, so, no, they’re not in your neck! In actuality, they’re vital for the absorption of impact-pressure as you’re walking, running, and working out. That’s great news for your spine and hips, but oftentimes it doesn’t always work out that way. You see, your SI joints are filled with synovial fluid – a technical term for a vicious fluid designed to reduce friction in your joints – and most this fluid contains free nerve endings. Thus, if the joint doesn’t function or move properly, not only is there friction due to joint-on-joint contact, but there is also pressure placed on those nerve endings… and I think you know where I’m going with this, right? Yes, exactly – pain. 

Just a quick segue: this is the point at which I need to jump in and chat about persistent back pain for a second. Chronic back pain is akin to an alarm clock – no matter how many times you hit the snooze button through the use of painkillers or injections, it just keeps coming back shriller and more and more gnawingly. So many of you know what I’m talking about. Back pain can steal your happiness and peace-of-mind. And so, that having been said, understanding how the SI joints function in facilitating back pain is absolutely essential, wouldn’t you agree?

If your SI joints don’t function properly, that is, if mobility is impeded and they do not have the full range, capacity, or strength, then injury is bound to occur… followed shortly thereafter by debilitating pain. SI joint pain typically manifests in levels, so to speak. These ‘pain levels’ range from mild all the way through to extreme – the severity of each stage is characterized by the extent and duration of the particular injury. Some of the technical names for the particular injures found in the SI joint injury spectrum include SI joint dysfunction, SI joint syndrome, SI joint strain, and SI joint inflammation. No matter the name or intensity of them, though, each and every level has to be diagnosed and treated properly. 

You might be asking yourself why, in fact, an SI joint injury is different to other back injuries. That’s a really good question. The truth is, an SI joint-related injury affects a lot more than you might think – from your physical health all the way through to your mental wellbeing. It can be truly agonizing to suffer from SI joint pain, as just some of the symptoms associated with this injury include shooting pain, aching, or numbness in the lower back and buttocks region, all of which can be felt in the hip or thigh areas, too. Moreover, these symptoms are not specific to a single side of the body; they can be present in one, or both sides. And sadly, it often seems impossible to shake the pain – not even standing helps for some. It’s understandable, then, that living with this type of pain day-in and day-out is truly overwhelming. 

But how in the world does it happen? How does a SI joint injury actually occur? Unfortunately, the majority of SI joint injuries are as a result of falls, improper postural form during exercises like running or jogging, and as such, during other athletic activities, too. 

Knowing all this, how would you know if you had an SI injury in the first place, and what can be done to get rid of the pain? Well, the very best thing you can do is visit a hands-on, professional physical therapist. If you’re suffering from shooting pain, lower back pain, and/or numbness in any area around or below the hips, then we really urge you to see a physical therapist, right now. Physical therapy will diagnose and treat the root cause of the problem, thereby eradicating your pain safely and permanently – without the use of dangerous painkillers and injections. And not only that, physical therapy will also equip you with tailor-made, powerful exercises and stretches that you can do at home, thereby giving you the tools to maintain a pain free life. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain.

SI joint-related pain doesn’t need to keep you in bed or on the sofa – there is a way out of your pain, and we can help. If you want answers to your questions, want to get rid of your pain, and want the means to tackle SI related issues, then we invite you to contact us today. We’re here to answer all your questions, and we’re excited about helping you get back to the healthy, pain-free life you deserve. SI joint troubles and back pain no longer need to dictate your life – visit us today for your own free, non-obligatory discovery visit to find out how we can set you free from pain, right now. Just click the link below to get started! 


Alison McLean

"I help the Entrepreneur reduce stress and live a more fulfilled and balanced life."