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SI Joint Pain

2110 S 17th St


600 Beaman St
Clinton, NC 28328

116 N Norwood St
Wallace, NC 28466

SI Joint Pain

SI (sacroiliac) joint pain refers to discomfort or dysfunction in the sacroiliac joints, which connect the sacrum (triangular bone at the bottom of the spine) to the pelvis. The SI joints play a crucial role in absorbing shock between the upper body and the legs and help with weight-bearing activities such as walking and lifting. SI joint pain can result from various causes and typically presents as pain in the lower back, buttocks, or thighs.

Common Causes of SI Joint Pain:

  1. Trauma or Injury: Impact from falls, accidents, or direct blows to the pelvis can injure the SI joints, leading to pain and dysfunction.

  2. Pregnancy: Hormonal changes during pregnancy, particularly the hormone relaxin, can loosen ligaments around the SI joints, causing instability and pain.

  3. Degenerative Joint Disease: Wear and tear on the SI joints due to aging, leading to osteoarthritis and inflammation.

  4. Biomechanical Changes: Poor posture, abnormal gait patterns, or uneven leg lengths can stress the SI joints and lead to pain.

  5. Inflammatory Conditions: Conditions like ankylosing spondylitis or psoriatic arthritis can cause inflammation and pain in the SI joints.

  6. Infection: Rarely, infections in the SI joints (e.g., septic arthritis) can cause pain and swelling.

Symptoms of SI Joint Pain:

  • Lower Back Pain: Pain in the lower back that may radiate to the buttocks and thighs, typically on one side.

  • Pain with Movement: Pain worsens with activities that stress the SI joints, such as standing up from a seated position, walking, or climbing stairs.

  • Stiffness: Difficulty bending or rotating the spine due to SI joint discomfort.

  • Painful Sitting: Discomfort or pain when sitting for prolonged periods, especially on hard surfaces.

  • Radiating Pain: Pain that may radiate down the leg, mimicking sciatica but typically not crossing the knee.

Common Injuries Associated with SI Joint Pain

SI joint pain itself is not an injury but can lead to complications and conditions that may require medical attention:

  1. Muscle Imbalances: Chronic SI joint dysfunction can lead to muscle imbalances and compensatory movements, affecting posture and gait.

  2. Degenerative Changes: Ongoing inflammation and wear on the SI joints can lead to osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease.

  3. Impaired Mobility: Pain and discomfort in the SI joints can limit mobility and affect daily activities such as walking, standing, or bending.

  4. Secondary Pain Syndromes: Compensation for SI joint pain can lead to secondary pain syndromes in nearby structures, such as the lumbar spine or hip joints.

  5. Psychosocial Impact: Chronic pain from SI joint dysfunction can impact mood, sleep, and overall quality of life.

Prevention and Management

  • Physical Therapy: Strengthening exercises to stabilize the pelvis and improve flexibility, posture, and body mechanics.

  • Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, or corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

  • Supportive Devices: Use of supportive belts or braces to stabilize the SI joints and alleviate pressure.

  • Heat or Ice Therapy: Application of heat or ice packs to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.

  • Activity Modification: Avoid activities that exacerbate SI joint pain and modify daily activities to reduce stress on the joints.

  • Manual Therapy: Chiropractic adjustments or osteopathic manipulation to improve joint alignment and function.

  • Injection Therapies: SI joint injections of corticosteroids or local anesthetics for pain relief and diagnostic purposes.

  • Surgery: In severe cases where conservative treatments fail, surgical options such as SI joint fusion may be considered to stabilize the joint.

Effective management of SI joint pain involves a comprehensive approach tailored to individual symptoms and underlying causes, aiming to reduce pain, improve function, and restore mobility and quality of life. Regular consultation with healthcare providers and adherence to treatment plans can help manage SI joint pain effectively.

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