Sacroiliac joint pain is most often caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction, which is due to an improper or mechanically altered movement of the joints at the bottom of your spine. The sacroiliac joint is a very strong joint with very little movement that connects the bottom of your spine to your hip bones. It is where the considerable weight of the upper body is transferred to through the pelvis and to the legs.
Like any joint in the body, the SI joint is subject to aging in which degeneration of the joint can occur. Abnormal joint movement causes joint dysfunction and can contribute to and accelerate this degenerative process. Too much joint movement, or “hypermobility”, can result in joint instability. Too little movement or “hypomobility” results in “fixation” of the joint. Either instability or fixation of the joint can result in pain. The joint is commonly injured in trip and fall injuries and can occur with mis-steps as when missing the last step on a staircase or stepping into a hole.
Symptoms of sacroiliac joint problems result in pain that can be felt anywhere in the lower back, buttocks, or in the legs. Pain can radiate into the leg but generally not below the knee. It can mimic hip pain where patients complain of pain in the buttocks with radiation into the groin. Patients most often complain of pain when walking. As with other arthritic joint pain, the pain can be worse after holding one position either sitting or standing for too long and then trying to move. It is often worse first thing in the morning. Chronic SI joint pain can make it difficult to perform common daily tasks, work and participate in the athletic and sports activities you enjoy.