What is Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction?

A painful sacroiliac joint – or SI joint – is one of the more common causes of mechanical low back pain.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction (SIJD) is impaired and unstable movement of the pelvis resulting from loosening of ligaments in the small of the back. SIJD can be a nuisance, but is seldom dangerous and rarely leads to the need for surgery.

Most people who suffer from this problem can reduce the pain and manage the problem with physical therapy. The most common causes of SIJD are falling, vehicle accidents, incorrectly lifting an object and childbirth.

The sacral spine joins with the pelvis by way of stabilizing ligaments. When these ligaments become loose, gravity, everyday movements, bumps and bruises, and injury can lead to misalignment of the pelvis. In some cases, the pelvis can become “locked” in a non-neutral position.

Symptoms of SIJD include lower back pain, pain in the buttock, pain radiating to the leg, hip pain, groin pain, a numbness or tingling sensation and leg weakness.

Patients also report pain from walking upstairs or pain after sitting, lying, or standing for a while. Ultimately, correct diagnosis requires careful testing and assessment because other musculoskeletal conditions may be the cause.

Among people with lower back pain, about 25 percent of them will suffer from sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

The goal of physical therapy for SIJD is generally threefold:

*Pain relief and joint realignment
*Compression stabilization to address joint hypermobility
*Strength stabilization

A misaligned pelvic girdle stresses ligaments and other soft tissue in the lower back and hip area. In contrast, realignment of the lumbar spine and pelvic girdle allows ligaments to heal.

Physical therapists at Be Fit Physical Therapy & Pilates in Downers Grove can help with sacroiliac joint dysfunction to reduce pain and restore movement.

Be Fit Physical Therapy & Pilates: 4934 Main St. Downers Grove, IL 60515, 630.964.4008, www.befitpt.com