What is SI joint pain?

Your sacroiliac (SI) joints are tissues that connect your ilium and sacrum. The SI joints are located at the bottom of your spine and are a part of your pelvis.

SI joint problems can be expressed by pain in the low back, hip, pelvis, groin, and buttock as well as by pain, numbness, and weakness in the leg and foot.

Sacroiliac joint pain can also disrupt your sleeping and can cause difficulty sitting and standing.

Although 25% of low back pain comes from the SI joint, SI joint pain often is misdiagnosed as pain originating from your spine. Fortunately, Dr. Ahuja is familiar with SI joint problems and has a variety of diagnostic and treatment options available.

Do you suffer from SI Joint pain?
Woman with lower back pain

Do you have chronic low back pain?
About 15-30% of the time, the SI joint is a cause.

SI Joint Quiz button

The results of the quiz are meant to help you determine if the symptoms you are experiencing are coming from your SI joint.

Find your SI Bone Buddy

  • Prior Lumbar Fusion
  • SI Joint Trauma
  • SI Joint Degeneration
  • Pregnancy Related

How do I know if I have SI joint pain?

Lower back pain from the SI joint is usually constant.

SI joint pain impacts your ability to sit for long periods of time (thus impacting your ability to work in an office setting, or drive/remain in a vehicle).

SI joint pain also is triggered by the transition from sitting to standing, while walking, and low-impact activities like climbing stairs.

Women who have been through childbirth and those with instrumentation in their back from a prior back surgery are also at heightened risk, as the SI joint area has been spread and aggravated.

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What are causes of SI joint pain?

Potential causes of SI joint pain include:

  • Inflammation of the SI joints, also called sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Ankylosing spondylitis, a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine
  • Osteoarthritis, or cartilage wear and tear
  • Gout, when the body has high levels of uric acid
  • Injuries to the back
  • Abnormal gait

Curious about the causes and effects of SI Joint pain?
Watch our short video below:

How is SI joint pain diagnosed?

Dr. Ahuja and the staff at NeuroEndo want to make SI joint pain diagnosis as accurate as possible.

  • First, a physical exam will first be performed to elicit that the pain is indeed coming from the SI joint.
  • Next, Dr. Ahuja will perform a nerve block with numbing medication into the SI joint, guided by a video xray. If your lower back pain is relieved by this injection and no other sources of pain are detected, you may be a candidate for pain medication, physical therapy, or surgery.

Is surgery necessary for SI joint pain?

Dr. Ahuja will first try physical therapy, medication, and time to control your SI joint pain.
Dr. Ahuja will take the time to assess your symptoms, answer your questions, and provide you with the full range of treatments available for your specific needs.

If treatment does not work to your satisfaction, Dr. Ahuja will recommend a sacroiliac joint fusion surgery.

In SI joint fusion surgery, a small incision is made on the side of the hip and three rods are placed into the SI joint. These rods will stabilize the SI joint, reducing irritation, inflammation, and, most importantly, your pain.

The surgery takes about an hour or less.

What are non-surgical treatment options for SI joint pain?

Some potential non-surgical treatment options include:

  • Medication, such as pain medication, anti-inflammatory, or muscle relaxants
  • Physical therapy or exercises, such as yoga
  • Corticosteroid injections

Continued SI joint pain can deteriorate your quality of life.
Call 414-488-1111 to see what treatment options are available.