What Causes SI Joint Pain and Dysfunction?
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction typically comes as a result of moving too much or too little, such as prolonged sitting. Any change in the SI joint’s normal function and motion may trigger sacroiliac pain. During certain movements of the spine or hips, beyond what the SI joint can withstand, inflammation and injury may occur. When the joint becomes inflamed it causes pain. This inflammation, or sacroiliitis, can sometimes cause pain in the lower back, buttock or thigh, and/or leg, depending on the amount of inflammation.
Certain factors can raise the risk of developing SI dysfunction and pain, including:
- Injuries to the joint as the result of a trauma such as a fall
- Prior lower back surgery
- Leg length discrepancies
- Inflammatory arthritis
- Advanced age
- Pregnancy and childbirth
Being pregnant puts additional stress on the SI joint, so women who are pregnant or have recently given birth may be more susceptible to sacroiliac joint pain. Pregnancy or recent childbirth can cause SI joint pain in women due to weight gain, hormonal changes causing ligaments in the SI joint to relax, and pelvic changes and instability associated with childbirth. In addition, as we age the characteristics of the sacroiliac joint change.
See your medical provider to determine if your pain is a symptom of an underlying condition or a simple strain of the SI joint.