A painful sacroiliac joint is one of the more common causes of mechanical low back pain.  There are two SI joints, each located on either side of the sacrum.

These joints allow twisting movements when we move our legs.

There are many different terms for sacroiliac joint problems, including SI joint dysfunction, SI joint syndrome, SI joint strain, and SI joint inflammation(sacroiliitis). Each of these terms refers to a condition that causes pain in the SI joints from a variety of causes.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction may occur when an SI joint is injured or irritated. This is seldom dangerous and rarely requires surgery.

There are many different causes of SI joint pain. The SI joints have a cartilage layer covering the bone which allows for some movement and acts as a shock absorber between the bones. When this cartilage is damaged or worn away, the bones begin to rub on each other, and degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) occurs. This is the most common cause of SI joint dysfunction.

Pregnancy may be a factor in the development of SI joint problems. During pregnancy, hormones are released that lets ligaments relax. The relaxation of the ligaments holding the SI joints together allows for increased motion in the joints and can lead to increased stresses and abnormal wear.

If a person has one leg which is shorter that the other, the abnormal alignment may cause SI joint pain.
SI joint dysfunction can also occur from trauma, such as injuries resulting from a fall or associated with a motor vehicle accident.

The most common symptom of SI joint dysfunction is pain in the low back that is aggravated by prolonged sitting, standing, and stair climbing.
The diagnosis of Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is often overlooked.

The most accurate method of diagnosing SI joint dysfunction is by performing an injection that can numb the irritated area. An anesthetic material with a steroid can be injected directly into the SI joint. This is usually performed with X-ray guidance to verify that the injection is correctly placed in the SI joint.

If the anesthetic and steroid relieves the pain from inflammation within the SI joint, this helps to verify that the SI joint is the source of the pain, and treatment can target the SI Joint specifically.

Call your physician to determine if your back pain is due to Sacroiliac Dysfunction.

©2011 Winifred D. Bragg, MD. All Rights Reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Winifred D.Bragg, MD is a highly sought after keynote speaker, author of KnockoutPain(R):Secrets to Maintain a Healthy Back.

She is the CEO of the Spine and Orthopedic Pain Center where she uses state of the art techniques to provide patients with non-surgical solutions to treat orthopedic problems of the upper and lower extremities as well as spinal conditions.

She delivers powerful messages on the importance of maintaining a positive attitude and a commitment to self-improvement as key elements to succeed.