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Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SI Joint Pain)

March 26, 2012
Spine-Health link to original article

By: Steven G. Yeomans, DC

Dysfunction in the sacroiliac joint, or SI joint, is thought to cause low back and/or leg pain. The leg pain can be particularly difficult, and may feel similar to sciatica or pain caused by a lumbar disc herniation.
 
Anatomical Source of Sacroiliac Joint Pain

The sacroiliac joint lies next to the bottom of the spine – below the lumbar spine and above the tailbone (coccyx). It connects the sacrum (the triangular bone at the bottom of the spine) with the pelvis (iliac crest). The joint typically has the following characteristics:

While it is not clear how the pain is caused, it is thought that an alteration in the normal joint motion may be the culprit that causes sacroiliac pain. This source of pain can be caused by either:

This condition is generally more common in young and middle age women.

Background on Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

For decades, the sacroiliac joint was suspected to be a common cause of low back and/or leg pain, although difficulty in proving it with standard diagnostic tests left many in the medical profession skeptical.

Also, over the last twenty to thirty years, the medical profession has focused more on discogenic pain (herniated disc, degenerative disc disease) as a common cause of low back and/or leg pain. In fact, to this day sacroiliac joint dysfunction remains difficult to diagnose, but anesthetic injection blocks specifically applied to the SI joint are considered the gold standard.

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