What Is SI Joint Dysfunction? 7 Facts You Didn’t Know About It

What Is SI Joint Dysfunction - 7 Facts You Didn't Know About It

Most of us had to deal with low back pain at least once in our lives, right? For some it might have been disc herniation, for others just a bad sleeping position. But if you’re among those suffering from this pain without any explanation, it might be the SI joint dysfunction.

So what is SI joint dysfunction? What lies behind this condition? What can you do to get rid of the pain?

Well, these are all answers that you will find in the following lines.


What Does “SI” Come From?

SI stands for “sacroiliac” and it represents the joint that bends together the sacrum and the iliac crest. These are 2 pelvis bones that are essential for our movements.

The sacroiliac joint is positioned right under the spine, so it’s not among the most mobile joints we have. However, its location makes it one of the strongest joints from our body. In fact, it’s meant to be a structure that absorbs any eventual impact of this area.


What About The “Dysfunction” Part?

Though this term usually describes the inability of a tissue/organ, in this case it means the malfunction of the SI joint.

What Is SI Joint Dysfunction? 7 Facts You Didn’t Know About ItIn other words, the joint stops functioning normally and the obvious consequence is pain.

However, there are 2 possible situations: the joint moves either too much, or too little. In the first case, it’s called “instable” while in the other one it is too “fixed”.

Both of these malfunctions lead to lower back and hip pain, or even leg pain. The pain is typically stronger when the patient is standing, and it tends to feel much better when sitting down.

It sounds pretty easy to understand the SI joint, right? Well, now that you know what it is, it’s time for some interestign facts. Up next there are 7 things you couldn’t guess about this condition.


1. SI Dysfunction Is More Common In Young Females

A condition like this should normally be more frequent in elderly or in athletes. However, pregnancy is a risk factor for SI dysfunction. Its percentage is much higher in pregnant women, because of the additional weight.

In fact, more than 50% of the women developing this condition are pregnant. Another high percent are young women struggling with obesity.


2. Osteoarthritis Is A Risk Factor

Degenerative arthritis tends to affect a massive number of joints. And as the SI are among the most used ones, they have high chances of being affected at one point.

If you already have a diagnosis of arthritis, SI dysfunction is most likely responsible for your back or hip pain.


3. There Is No Special Test For SI Dysfunction

Though it’s a pretty common health problem, the diagnosis of SI dysfunction is often made when there’s no other option left. That’s because you can’t see anything on the X-rays, the blood tests are inconclusive and even the manual examination isn’t a sure thing.

So when all the other possible causes are rejected, SI dysfunction is usually considered the responsible.


4. SI Joint Injections Are An Alternative

If the doctors aren’t sure it’s the SI, there is something that can be done. An anesthesia solution is injected inside the joint. If that’s what’s causing the pain, it should go away within seconds. Otherwise the pain is probably caused by another condition, but it has nothing to do with these joints.


5. Treatment Injections Can Last For Months

Once the patient is diagnosed with SI dysfunctions, he usually receives oral treatment and rest is also indicated. However, if the pain doesn’t go away with this metod, there is a better option – steroid injections.

These anti-inflamatory substances are injected right inside the joint, just like the anesthesia solution. But the interesting part is that the pain is kept under control for weeks, even for months. So these injections are worth every single bit of pain.


6. Braces Are Still Useful

There aren’t many conditions where braces and supports show good results. However, SI dysfunctions is one of them.

These can be of use only in the cases of instability, when the joints are too mobile. The braces keep them in the right shape, and once the inflammation and pain go away, you can take them off anytime.


7. Water Therapy Is A Solution

Exercising is a great way to reduce the inflamation of the joints, and if you’re a fan of water, it’s even better. Water therapy is recommended in SI dysfunctions because it reduces the mechanical stress of the joints. The more time you spend in the water, the better for your cure.



So Now Do You Know What Is SI Dysfunction?

As a summary, the SI is a joint that connects 2 important bones in the pelvis. Once this joints stops performing at its usual rate, the SI dysfunction comes in.

Either the joints are too flexible or too fixed, pain is the main symptom that appears. It may be in the lower part of the back, in the hip or even in the leg.

The SI dysfunction isn’t very easy to diagnose, but once the diagnosis is made, the condition is on its disappearance way.

Do You Think You’re Dealing With SI Dysfunction? Do you have any symptom that can be related to this condition?

If yes, let me know in a comment and I will try to provide you some advice.

Heather Pharm.D.

Heather Tracy Foley is a Pharmacy graduate, Blogger and Author with a vast experience in health sciences. She has a particular interest in joint pain and rheumatology and spent several years studying health problems. You can find her on Pinterest or via email.

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