SI Pain or SI Joint Dysfunction

At the base of the spine is a triangular bone called the Sacrum.  It articulates with the hips, and is referred to as the SI joint.  In women, this joint can have too much movement (hypermobility) or it can get a little stuck on the side (hypomobile). Either way it can create inflammation and pain.  SI joint dysfunction is far more common in women than men, especially women who have been pregnant.  When the ligaments expand to accommodate the birth of a child in the last weeks of pregnancy, they stay loose and set women up for future instability and pain in this joint

  • Patients frequently report pain to the sides of the low back (near the area of dimples in the low back), pain with walking up and down steps or curbs, a pain that is worse in the days before their monthly menses.  Usually running and walking do not increase this pain.  Sitting with legs crossed can also be a trigger
  • Treatment with physical therapy is very successful.  First, we realign the SI joint based on the particular asymmetry.  Next, if there is a muscle imbalance or weakness, we work to increase stability of the joint.  Finally, if the patient tends to fall into the same pattern, they are instructed in self correction exercises.  The patient is also educated in body mechanics to prevent recurrent misalignments.