Category: Spine Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: June 18, 2014
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (also referred to as SI Joint Disfunction) is a condition affecting the joint that joints the pelvis and the base of the spine. It can lead to intense pain in the lower back and legs. Read on to learn more about this condition and how it is best treated.
The sacroiliac joint is located at the intersection of the sacrum at the bottom of the spine and the iliac bones of the pelvis. This joint essentially connects the sacrum (the triangle-shaped bone at the bottom of the spine) to the pelvis. Surrounding these bones are a group of very strong cartilage ligaments. This area is responsible for supporting nearly the entire weight of the upper body when standing. Over time this weight can cause the joints, cartilage, and ligaments to wear down, resulting in arthritis, as well as pain in the low back and legs.
Causes of SI Joint Dysfunction
There are a handful of factors that can contribute to SI joint dysfunction. Osteoarthritis and related degenerative bone diseases are the most common cause of SI joint dysfunction. It is also quite common in pregnant women due to the excess weight placed on the joint while the child comes to term. Other existing conditions that can lead to SI joint dysfunction include:
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Pain is the best identifier of this condition. If you experience pain in your low back, hips, legs, or groin area, this could be indicative of the condition. Contact your physician to diagnose the source of the pain and plot a course for treatment.
Treatment options for sacroiliac joint dysfunction range from conservative to surgical. If you wish to avoid surgery, NSAIDs, and steroidal injections may be effective at relieving pain – though these are usually temporary solutions. Many patients who choose this option experience recurring pain weeks or months after an injection and have to go back for another shot. A spinal fusion generally provides the most effective long-term pain relief.