Also known as Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction or SI Joint Pain, it is often viewed as the major cause of low back pain or pain in the legs. Pain in the legs can be more painful and difficult to handle, compared to low back pain. Pain experienced in the legs can be similar to types of pain experienced due to either a herniated disc or sciatica.
The sacroiliac joint lies around the hip region, alongside the base of the spine and slightly above the tailbone area. The sacroiliac joint can be characterized by the following:
- It’s small in size yet is very durable. Ligaments that surround it provide the joint with support
- Hardly requires any motion
- Allocates forces produced by the upper portion of the body to the hips and legs
- Serves as a shock absorber
It has not been ascertained as to how the pain occurs but it is assumed that some type of alteration in the way the joint functions may contribute to SI Joint Pain. In fact one of the two extremes can result in the occurrence of pain:
- Excessive Movement: More movement than necessary can result in pain can be felt in the lower back or hip region and can potentially spread into the groin region.
- Minimal Movement: Little to no movement can produce pain to one side of the body (lower back and buttocks) and has the potential to spread down the legs. For the most part, the pain can still remain existent above the knees but may or may not spread to the ankles or feet.
Diagnosing SI joint dysfunction is often difficult due to the fact that the symptoms mirror those of other medical conditions facet syndrome and herniated disc. A sacroiliac joint block injection is usually done on the sacroiliac joint to ascertain the cause of the pain. If the patient experiences relief from the pain, then it can be determined that the pain originates from the sacroiliac joint.