Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction is a common cause of lower back pain that is difficult to diagnose. The SI joint is located at the base of the spine and connects the spine to the pelvis. The pain associated with SI joint dysfunction can be disabling and can make it difficult to perform daily activities. Fortunately, there are tests that can help you determine if your back pain is caused by SI.
1. Identifying Symptoms of SI
The most common symptom of SI joint dysfunction is pain in the lower back or buttocks. This pain may be localized to one side or may radiate down the leg. Other common symptoms include stiffness or decreased range of motion in the lower back, difficulty standing or sitting for long periods, and pain that worsens with certain activities such as walking, lifting, or climbing stairs.
2. Evaluating Risk Factors for SI
Certain risk factors can increase your chances of developing SI joint dysfunction. These include age, gender, and a history of trauma or surgery to the lower back. In addition, if you have a job that requires you to lift heavy objects or stand for long periods, you may be at higher risk for SI joint dysfunction.
If you are experiencing back pain and suspect it may be caused by SI joint dysfunction, it is important to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis. Your doctor may use a combination of tests to determine if your back pain is caused by SI, including physical examination, imaging tests, and specialized SI joint tests. Treatment for SI joint dysfunction may include rest, physical therapy, medications, and in some cases, surgery.