Sacroiliac joint dysfunction, often referred to as SI joint dysfunction, is a commonly misunderstood and underdiagnosed condition that can cause significant discomfort and affect one’s quality of life. This blog aims to shed light on sacroiliac joint dysfunction by exploring its causes, symptoms, and various methods of management.
What Is Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction?
The sacroiliac (SI) joints are two small, triangular-shaped joints located at the base of the spine, connecting the sacrum to the ilium bones of the pelvis. These joints play a crucial role in supporting the upper body and transferring loads from the spine to the lower extremities. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction occurs when there is abnormal movement or irritation in these joints, leading to pain and discomfort.
Common Causes of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
- Injury or Trauma: A fall, car accident, or any form of physical trauma can damage the SI joints, leading to dysfunction.
- Pregnancy: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can loosen the ligaments around the SI joints, potentially causing instability and pain.
- Arthritis: Conditions like ankylosing spondylitis and osteoarthritis can affect the SI joints, leading to inflammation and discomfort.
- Leg Length Discrepancy: A difference in the length of the legs can cause uneven stress on the SI joints, potentially leading to dysfunction.
- Low Back Pain: Pain is typically felt on one side of the lower back and may radiate to the buttocks and thighs.
- Hip Pain: Discomfort can extend to the hip area, making it difficult to distinguish from hip joint issues.
- Leg Pain: Some individuals experience pain that radiates down the leg, mimicking sciatica.
- Stiffness: The SI joint dysfunction may result in reduced mobility and stiffness in the lower back and hips.
- Pain with Movement: Activities like standing, walking, or climbing stairs can exacerbate the pain.
Diagnosis and Treatment
- Medical Evaluation: A thorough medical history review and physical examination by a healthcare professional are essential for diagnosis.
- Imaging: X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans may be ordered to visualize the SI joints and confirm dysfunction.
- Conservative Treatments: Initially, non-surgical approaches such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and lifestyle modifications may be recommended.
- Sacroiliac Joint Injections: Steroid injections directly into the SI joint can provide temporary pain relief and help confirm the diagnosis.
- Radiofrequency Ablation: This minimally invasive procedure uses heat to interrupt pain signals from the SI joint.
- Surgery: In cases of severe and unmanageable SI joint dysfunction, surgical interventions like SI joint fusion may be considered.
- Exercise Regularly: Strengthening the muscles that support the SI joints can help stabilize and alleviate pressure on the joints.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight can strain the SI joints, worsening dysfunction symptoms.
- Use Proper Posture: Good posture can reduce stress on the lower back and SI joints.
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction may pose challenges, but early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can lead to improved quality of life. If you suspect you have SI joint dysfunction or are experiencing any of the associated symptoms, consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and personalized treatment plan. With proper care, you can regain comfort and enjoy a more active life.
Rediscover Comfort and Mobility with Drs. Maxim Moradian and Revik Vartanian at iSCORE
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction can significantly impact your quality of life, but you don’t have to endure it alone. Drs. Maxim Moradian and Revik Vartanian, experts at iSCORE with locations in Arcadia, Glendale, and Palmdale, are dedicated to providing the highest level of care and expertise.
Don’t let pain and discomfort hold you back from the activities you love. Take the first step towards a pain-free life by reaching out to their offices at (818) 338-6860 or (626) 460-1096 or visiting their website. With their help, you can rediscover comfort, mobility, and an improved quality of life. Your journey to a pain-free future starts here, with the experienced team at iSCORE.