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How Common Is Lower Back Pain Caused By The Si Joint?

How common is Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Pain?


SI joint pain prevalence: How common is it, what causes it, and who gets it?


How often is SI joint dysfunction diagnosed? Here’s what the clinical research shows.

Research shows that chronic lower back pain caused by the SI joint is more common than many people — even healthcare professionals — think. Several published clinical papers noted that 15-30% of people who complained of lower back pain actually had problems in their sacroiliac (SI) joint. What’s more, 43% of post-lumbar fusion patients who had ongoing or new lower back pain were also symptomatic for SI joint disorders. (reference: clinical evidence)

That’s why it’s important to ensure that your doctor is using diagnostic tests specific to SI joint dysfunction, to rule it out or confirm your diagnosis. SI joint diagnostic tests include provocative tests, imaging, and diagnostic (not therapeutic) injections.

With an accurate diagnosis comes more effective treatment for low back pain. If you’re looking for a doctor that is trained and specializes in SI joint disorders, you can find one near you in this directory.

What is causing all these cases of sacroiliac joint pain?

Trauma and degeneration are the two causes of SI joint dysfunction. Trauma can include damage from a fall or accident, twisting or turning, pregnancy and/or natural childbirth. Common causes of degeneration that may lead to SI joint pain include stresses to the SI jointe from lumbar spine surgery, repetitive motions, or physical variations (such as one leg being longer than the other), and conditions such as osteoarthritis and infection.

Here are five reasons your lower back may hurt.

Who is more likely to have SI joint pain?

Both men and women can experience pain caused by SI joint dysfunction but a higher proportion (about two-thirds) are in women. That may be because women have a broader pelvis and greater curvature of the lumbar spine which can result in biometrics that put stressors on the SI joint. Also, pregnancy can stretch the SI ligaments, which can lead to permanent changes that increase the risk of SI joint pain. (reference: patient surgery guide)

If you think you or your loved one is suffering from sacroiliac joint pain, talk to your doctor about your concerns. If your doctor is not a specialist in SI joint care, you can find one here.

Sacroiliitis vs. SI Joint Dysfunction: What’s the difference?

Sacroiliitis and sacroiliac joint dysfunction can easily be mixed up, and it’s easy to see why. SI joint dysfunction is even confused with sciatica symptoms! When considering SI joint pain prevalence, it’s good to know the difference. Here are some quick and simple definitions:

Sacroiliitis: Sacroiliitis refers to any type of inflammation of the SI joint. People with SI joint dysfunction often experience sacroiliitis.

Sciatica: Sciatica is not a diagnosis: it’s a symptom related to an underlying condition, which may or may not be SI joint related.

Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction: SI joint dysfunction is an injury to or degeneration of the SI joint that leads to pain and inflammation, including buttock, leg, and lower back pain.

What and where is the SI joint? Here are some handy pictures.

Do you have SI joint pain? What are the chances?

Studies show the SI joint is a source of pain in about 15%-30% of patients with chronic low back pain. Take this short SI joint pain quiz to start understanding whether your symptoms may be related to your SI joint.

Consider when your pain started. Was it a sports injury? A car accident? After childbirth? Do you have a curvature of the spine or other biomechanical or orthopedic issue or condition that might be affecting your SI joint? Trauma and degeneration can increase your risk of developing SI joint dysfunction.

It’s important to be proactive in researching the prevalence of SI joint pain so you can be informed when you talk to your doctor about your concerns. Congratulations on your efforts to find reliable resources to help relieve your pain; it’s not an easy task.

Do you have more questions about the prevalence of SI joint pain? Check the additional resources included at the end of this article, or ask a nurse today.

Additional Resources Regarding the Prevalence of SI Joint Pain and Effective Treatments

Clinical Evidence: Published, Peer-Reviewed Articles on iFuse Implant System®, available since 2009, the only SI joint fusion device with published results from multiple randomized controlled trials18, 76 and multiple prospective clinical studies20, 79, 105 that show treatment with iFuse improved pain, patient function, and quality of life.

National Library of Medicine:

SI Joint Pain Risk Quiz

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