What is sacroiliac joint pain?

The sacroiliac joints (SIJ) play a large role in the lower spine and pelvic stability, and should allow between 1-4 degrees of movement. Sacroiliac joint pain (SIJ dysfunction) occurs as a result of joint dysfunction, often due to either too much flexibility or too much stiffness in the joint both of which may lead to an inflammatory response and result in pain around the area, specifically the lower back, hip, groin, gluteal muscles and the back of the leg. Common complaints amongst those suffering from sacroiliac joint pain include:

  • Pain when upright

  • Pain when cross-legged and

  • Pain when bending forward

 

How is a sacroiliac joint pain treated? 

Initial treatment commonly involves ice therapy, appropriate stretches and exercises that deload the SIJ. Physiotherapy techniques such as dry needling and soft tissue massage may be effective in the initial stages of treatment. In some instances, your GP may recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Exercise physiology treatments aiming to reduce provocative activities while restoring normal range of motion, strength and muscle recruitment patterns is the main priority as pain and discomfort begin to subside. 

How can an Exercise Physiologist help? 

An exercise physiologist will perform an initial assessment to help identify factors that may be exacerbating the sacroiliac inflammation and discomfort. An exercise physiologist will address any, strength, flexibility, or postural issues that may be contributing to the SIJ pain. An exercise physiologist will work with you to implement a pacing strategy to build up functional capacity, strength and mobility to return to pain-free activities, work and hobbies. The goals of exercise physiology treatment will be to improve where appropriate, strength, mobility and posture to alleviate pain and prevent the onset of symptoms in the future.

 

 

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