Resting on either side of the spine, the sacroiliac joints are responsible for supporting your upper body weight when you stand. If you experience lower back pain while getting up from a sitting position, it could be the result of a condition called sacroiliac joint dysfunction, referring to pain originating from one or both of the SI joints.
SI Joint Dysfunction Causes
Pain triggered as a result of an issue with SI joints can have many causes, from taking a hard fall while playing sports to conditions like ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis affecting the spine. Normal age-related wear and tear of cartilage that cushions the SI joints may also result in some level of discomfort. SI joint dysfunction can also be caused by:
- Excess weight
- Bacterial infections
Diagnosing SI Joint Dysfunction
Pain related to the SI joints can mimic other sources of back pain, often making it difficult to accurately diagnosis a problem without a thorough medical exam and image tests performed by an experienced Los Angeles spine surgeon. Diagnosis also involves process of elimination since symptoms are similar to what’s seen in patients with a herniated disc. Signs of a possible issue related to the SI joint include:
- Pain felt when standing, walking, or running
- Sharp or recurring pain on one side of the lower back
- Lower back pain felt when first waking up
- Burning sensations in the pelvis
Treatment for SI Joint Dysfunction
Oral anti-inflammatory medications, such as Naprosyn and Motrin, are often recommended for treating sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Cortisone shots may also provide relief by numbing nerves around the SI joints. If pain is severe, nerve treatment, where nerves sending pain signals to the brain are purposely damaged, may be employed. Treatment can also include:
- Heat and cold applications
- Physical therapy
- Massage therapy and muscle stretching
- Improving posture to avoid excessive pressure on joints
Pain stemming from the SI joints may also be the result of inflammation around these joints or strain either directly on the joints or on muscles supporting either joint. Maintaining a normal weight, getting regular exercise and eating foods that naturally curb inflammation can help minimize SI joint pain.
If back pain is disrupting your everyday life, reach out to Dr. Bae, Medical Director of The Spine Institute Center, and his qualified team of diagnosticians who can diagnose the source of your back pain and provide you with a detailed overview of treatment options. Call (310) 828-775 today.