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SI joint pain

What is SI joint pain?

The sacroiliac (SI) joint is located near the base of the spine, between the lumbar spine and tailbone. Sacroiliac joint pain, or sacroiliac joint dysfunction, refers to pain and other symptoms in this area, including the lower back, hips and pelvis, which can be caused by several different conditions.

Diagnosing SI joint pain

A doctor may diagnose sacroiliac joint pain based on your description of symptoms and a review of your medical history. Additionally, medical imaging, such as a CT scan or MRI, may be used to identify the underlying cause of your pain and help your doctor determine the best treatment option for you.

SI joint pain causes

Sacroiliac joint pain is often caused by a degenerative spine condition, whether as a result of injury or from the wear and tear the spine endures over years of use. Other causes include:

  • Arthritis
  • Pregnancy
  • Uneven hip alignment
  • Injury from a fall
  • Previous lumbar fusion

Symptoms of SI joint pain

Sacroiliac joint pain primarily results in a dull, ongoing pain in the lower back. Symptoms may appear on just one side of the body, or both sides, depending on the underlying condition. Pain can radiate to the groin or thigh, making it difficult to sit or lay down. Certain motions or activities, such as climbing stairs, may accentuate the pain.

SI joint pain treatment

In mild cases of SI joint dysfunction, conservative treatments often provide adequate relief from symptoms. Your doctor may recommend:

  • Low-impact exercises, such as swimming or walking
  • Stretching techniques
  • Physical therapy

Additionally, some patients have had success using alternative therapies, including acupuncture, massage therapy and chiropractic manipulation.

Will surgery be needed?

In more severe cases of SI joint dysfunction, surgery may be required to address the underlying condition. Laser Spine Institute Philadelphia specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery. Compared with traditional open neck and back surgery, our procedures are more muscle sparing, require a smaller incision and typically have a shorter recovery time^. Our skilled surgeons have an unparalleled level of experience and helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from their neck and back pain.

If you are experiencing SI joint pain and are interested in the minimally invasive options available at Laser Spine Institute in, contact us today for a no-cost MRI review* to help you determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.