Diagnosis

Causes of SI Joint Pain

Trauma and degeneration are the two main causes of SI joint dysfunction and pain. Read on to learn more about potential SI joint pain causes.


Low Back Pain and SI Joint Pain Causes

As with other joints in the body, the sacroiliac (SI) joint can become damaged, can suffer from wear and tear, or the ligaments supporting the joint may be stretched or injured. This may result in altered function of the SI joint (SI joint dysfunction), which may cause pain in the buttocks, lower back or spine, pelvis and groin, and even the legs. Thankfully, there are treatments that can lead to lasting relief of these symptoms.

Pelvis Closeup

What Causes SI Joint Pain?

Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction and associated pain can be caused by a specific traumatic event (disruption) or can develop over time (degeneration).

Sacroiliac Trauma (common events that may cause SI joint disruption)

  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Fall on buttock
  • Lifting and/or twisting
  • Natural childbirth
  • Pregnancy (chronic low back pain during and/or after pregnancy is frequently referred to pelvic girdle pain)

Sacroiliac Joint Degeneration (common causes)

  • Previous lumbar spine surgery (e.g., fusion of the lumbar vertebrae)
  • Stresses to the SI joint due to leg length differences, joint replacement, or scoliosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Previous iliac crest bone graft (ICBG)
  • Prior infection of the SI joint

Pain in the lower back and buttocks may be caused by the SI joint, hip, spine, or a combination of these structures. It is important that your doctor thoroughly evaluate ALL potential pain sources during a lower back pain exam in order to give you the proper diagnosis of your symptoms and prescribe the right path of treatment. Carefully review the typical symptoms of SI joint pain.

Other Causes of Low Back Pain

While the SI joint can be a significant contributor to pain in the lower back, pelvis or pelvic region, buttocks, or legs, many structures in the lower back and pelvic area can cause pain:

  • A “slipped disc” may be the cause of low back pain.
  • Hip problems are occasionally confused with low back conditions.
  • Sprains and injury can cause low back pain.
  • Arthritis of the back can cause pain.
  • Scoliosis may result in degeneration and pain in the spine/back.
  • ...plus many, many other potential causes.

Low back pain is a common symptom that affects many people during their lifetime. For some, low back pain can be an acute, short-term problem. Others experience chronic, long-term symptoms. Either way, the cause may or may not be your SI joint.

To determine whether your pain is caused by your SI joint or another source, talk to a trained SI joint doctor.

Patient Stories
In their own words

In-Depth SI Joint Patient Journeys

People who have had ongoing low back pain, an SI joint dysfunction diagnosis, and the iFuse procedure share their own personal journeys.

Read Their Stories

Looking for Answers?

We can help. Tell us what you're looking for below.