The sacroiliac joint or SI joint is the joint between the sacrum, at the base of the spine and the ilium of the pelvis, which are joined by ligaments. It is a strong, weightbearing synovial joint with irregular elevations and depressions responsible for interlocking of the two bones. The human body has two sacroiliac joints: a left and a right joint that often match individually but are highly variable from person to person. Sacroiliac joint syndrome is thought to be a problem with the normal movement of the sacroiliac joints (too much or too little movement in the joint). Sacroiliac joint syndrome may cause low back and sometimes leg pain from inflammation of the sacroiliac joint.
The following are symptoms/signs that maybe associated with an SI joint (SIJ) problem:
- Mechanical SIJ dysfunction usually causes a dull ache.
- The pain is usually no more than a mild to moderate ache around the dimple or posterior superior iliac spine (PSIS) region.
- The pain may become worse and sharp whilst doing activities such as standing up from a seated position, or lifting the knee up to the chest during stair climbing.
- Typically the pain is felt on one side or the other (unilateral pain) but can occasionally be bilateral.
- Noticing frequent changes in body posture to avoid prolonged stress on the SIJ and ligaments.
- When SIJ dysfunction is severe, there can be referred pain into the hip, groin and occasionally down the leg, but rarely below the knee.
- Pain can be referred from the SIJ down into the buttock or back of the thigh, and rarely to the foot.
- Low back pain and stiffness, often unilateral, that often increases with prolonged sitting or prolonged walking.
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