Sacroiliac Joint Pain
The sacroiliac joint (also known as the SI joint) is where the hip bones connect to the sacrum, which is the triangular bone between the lower spine and the tailbone. The sacroiliac joint is mostly responsible for absorbing shock between the upper body and the pelvis and legs.
If something causes the SI joint to move or function in an abnormal way, it often results in pain. This pain is commonly referred to as sacroiliac joint dysfunction or instability.
What causes sacroiliac joint pain?
The main causes of SI joint pain include:
- Too much movement – Excessive movement (hypermobility) of the SI joint can result in feelings of instability, which may cause pain. SI joint hypermobility pain is generally felt in the lower back, hip, and groin.
- To little movement – Reduced movement (hypomobility) of the SI joint can result in muscle tension, limited mobility, and pain. SI joint hypomobility pain is generally felt one side of the lower back, buttocks, and down the back of the leg (similar to pain caused by sciatica).
- Inflammation – SI joint dysfunction can cause inflammation of the sacroiliac joint, which may result in pelvic pain.
SI joint pain is most common in women, particularly those of middle age or who are pregnant or have recently given birth. It is also more likely to develop in people who regularly engage in activities that place extra stress on the joint, such as contact sports or labor-intensive jobs.
What are the symptoms of sacroiliac joint pain?
The most common symptoms of SI joint pain include:
- Dull, achy pain in the lower back, usually on one side
- Hot, sharp, stabbing pain in the buttocks or backs of the thighs
- Stiffness and limited range of motion in the lower back, hips, pelvis, and groin
- Feeling of instability in the pelvis, as if it may give way when standing or walking
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