Could Your Lower Back Pain Be Caused by Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction?

Could Your Lower Back Pain Be Caused by Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction?

The 33 vertebrae and 23 discs that make up your spine are ground zero for a host of painful issues that range from herniated discs to lumbar spinal stenosis. In fact, in 2019, 39% of adults in the United States reported back pain.

Well, there’s another culprit that might be responsible for lower back pain — sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction. This condition is often confused with other back issues, but it should stand alone given that SI joint dysfunction accounts for between 15% and 30% of lower back pain cases.

If you’re among the millions who are struggling with back pain, the team here at Advanced Spine Care and Pain Management presents some key pieces of information about SI joint dysfunction below to help you narrow down the potential culprits behind your ongoing discomfort.

Understanding your SI joints

Your SI joints perform an incredibly important function — they are the two points where your spine attaches to your hips. More specifically, you have SI joints on either side of your sacrum that connect to the iliac bones that make up the “wings” of your hips.

Your SI joints don’t enjoy much movement and are held in position by soft tissues, including cartilage, ligaments, and muscles. Their primary role is to absorb shock between your upper body and your lower body.

When your SI joints malfunction

Like any other joint in your body, your SI joints can succumb to wear and tear, and the cartilage can break down, which is one road to SI joint dysfunction.

This condition is also common in women during and after pregnancy, since the ligaments that hold the joint in place loosen during pregnancy.

In other words, there are two opposing issues that can lead to SI joint dysfunction — too little movement in the joints or too much (hypermobility).

Signs of SI joint dysfunction

The hallmark of SI joint dysfunction, like most other back issues, is pain. Making matters a little more complicated is that the pain often mimics other common lower back issues, namely sciatica and herniated lumbar discs.

Like those conditions, the pain from SI joint dysfunction occurs in your lower back, typically on one side, though it can affect both. The pain can spread into your hips, buttocks, and groin, and it can also shoot down to the back of your thigh.

Aside from the pain, you might also experience stiffness in your back that can make climbing stairs and bending over more challenging

If your SI joint dysfunction is due to hypermobility, you might feel that your pelvis is unstable.

Finding relief from SI joint dysfunction

If we find that your lower back pain is rooted in SI joint issues, we can help you get on the road to relief with one or more of the following:

The first step toward relief is scheduling a visit so we can get to the bottom of your discomfort. To get started, please contact one of our offices in Staten Island or Hartsdale, New York.

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