Sacroiliac joint pain, pelvic instability, and pelvic girdle pain are terms that may have been used in the diagnosis of your condition. But what do these terms mean and what structures are they talking about?
The sacroiliac joints (sometimes abbreviated to SIJs or SI joints) are the joints at the back of the pelvis, formed between the two bony wings of the pelvis and the tailbone (sacrum) – see the images above.
Pain and functional difficulties related to the sacroiliac joint:
Sacroiliac pain and dysfunction are however, greatly over-diagnosed. While true instability does occur, it is relatively rare and there are many people living unnecessarily in fear, related to a diagnosis of ‘pelvic instability’ or being told their pelvis keeps moving ‘out of place’.
Here are a few facts about the sacroiliac joint that may dispel some of this fear:
There are also causes for sacroiliac joint pain that are related to other general health conditions. Sacroiliitis refers to an inflammation of the sacroiliac joints associated with a systemic inflammatory disease such as Ankylosing Spondylitis. You can read more about non-musculoskeletal causes of hip and pelvic pain here.
Pain related to the sacroiliac joints is most commonly experienced in the upper buttock region, usually right over the joint, in the area of the dimples at the top of the buttocks. As the pelvis is a ring joined at the front by the pubic symphysis, problems with the sacroiliac joints are sometimes associated with pain in the pubic symphysis – groin region. This is then referred to as Pelvic Girdle Pain. There are many other causes for buttock and groin pain, however, so visit our Pain Locator Map to read about different factors that may be related to pain in each of these regions.
Always seek out a health professional with experience and up-to-date knowledge in this area. Visit our directory to find a Hip Pain Professional near you.
Your Hip Pain Professional will be able to assess your sacroiliac joints to determine if they are likely to be the cause of your pain. If you have sacroiliac joint related pain, you may require:
Search For A Hip Pain Professional Here.
This blog was written by Dr Alison Grimaldi and Kirsty McNab, physiotherapists who have over 50 years of combined professional clinical experience, dealing with patients suffering from a wide range of hip and pelvic conditions.
Dr. Alison Grimaldi BPhty, MPhty(Sports), PhD is Practice Principal of Physiotec Physiotherapy, an Australian Sports Physiotherapist and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, author and global educator.
Kirsty McNab BSc Hons, MPhty(Sports), is Practice Principal of Physiologix and a highly experienced Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist having worked extensively with elite athletes, the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, and Tennis Australia.