SIJ Dysfunction WaranaFebruary 2, 2011
The Sacroiliac joint is located in the lower back and joints the tail bone/ sacrum to the pelvic bones/ ileums. There are two SIJs on either side and their job is to transfer weight from the spine to the pelvis. If excessive forces are placed on these joints, injury/ dysfunction may occur. This can be from bending, sitting, lifting, twisting or from running/ jumping. It can be traumatic or from repetitive/ prolonged forces.
Signs and symptoms are usually one sided low back pain sometimes referring into the lower buttock, groin or thigh. In rare cases, pain may be felt on both sides. Symptoms are generally exacerbated with back or hip movements, eg. rolling in bed, stairs or running. This dysfunction is also commonly seen during pregnancy.
Subjective and objective examination from a physiotherapist is usually enough to diagnosis a sacroiliac dysfunction and most will heal well with physiotherapy, however this is largely dictated by patient compliance. Initially, rest from any activity that aggravates symptoms is the key as it allows healing to begin. The RICE regime should be followed in this initial phase.Patients should perform early postural, mobility and strengthening exercises as early as pain allows, to ensure the correct function of the SIJ. Your physiotherapist can advise how to do these and when they should be commenced.
Other in-clinic treatment may comprise of massage, mobilisation, taping/ bracing, acupuncture, muscle energy techniques, activity modification and postural re-education. Some patients will undergo a corticosteroid injection to alleviate symptoms (from a specialist). Recovery time will vary patient to patient depending on compliance with physiotherapy, duration and severity of the dysfunction. Care must be taken with a graduated return to activity.