Warning Signs of Sacroiliac Pain

Jun 01, 2023
Warning Signs of Sacroiliac Pain
The sacroiliac joints link your lower spine and pelvis. When you’re standing, this pair of joints supports the entire weight of your upper body. Often mistaken for other types of back pain, sacroiliac pain has several warning signs.

The specific causes of back pain can sometimes be hard to identify. Due to the complexity of your spine and nerve tissues, the point where you feel symptoms may not be where nerve irritation actually occurs. That’s sometimes why it’s hard to diagnose sacroiliac pain, medically referred to as sacroiliitis when it’s accompanied by inflammation. 

Your sacroiliac joints connect your spinal column to your pelvis. When these joints become irritated or inflamed, pain presents in your lower back and buttocks, a common location for many types of lower back pain. Dr. Rudy Malayil and our team at Pain Management 360 in Huntington, Hurricane, and Charleston, West Virginia, specialize in pelvic pain conditions including sacroiliac pain. 

Sacroiliac joint anatomy

At the base of your spine, the shield-shaped sacrum serves as the connection point between your spine and upper pelvis, called the ilium. There are two sacroiliac joints, one on each side of your sacrum. These joints bear all the weight of your upper body, transferring it through your pelvis, down to your legs. 

Primarily serving as a shock absorber, your sacroiliac joint doesn’t have a wide range of motion, but there is some, usually assisting with bending both backward and forward. Ligaments and other soft tissue help to support and absorb the load on your joint while also maintaining its limited range of motion within a narrow window. Dysfunction occurs when your joint moves too much or not enough. 

Warning signs of sacroiliac pain

Problems with your sacroiliac joint often create symptoms similar to sciatic nerve compression. Usually, you’ll have symptoms on one side, though in rare cases both sides might be affected. Pain in your lower back from your sacroiliac joint is usually an ache, ranging from dull to severe. 

Stops at the knee

Like sciatica, you can also have symptoms that spread into your leg, but sacroiliac pain doesn’t usually extend past your knee, while sciatic nerve issues could reach your feet. 

Trouble with stairs

Any back pain issue makes stair climbing a chore, but dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint often highlights itself when you place additional pressure on your joint. Climbing stairs often makes your pain worse. You may notice increased pain too when you’re sitting, standing, or laying down for extended periods. Running or taking long steps also tends to increase pain. 

Increased stiffness

As well as pain, you may feel restrictions to your range of motion in your hips, groin, pelvis, and lower back. Stiffness can make certain motions more difficult, including stair climbing or bending at the waist. 

Pelvic instability

Your pelvis and lower back may feel prone to giving way, as though the region might buckle or collapse while you’re standing, walking, or changing positions between sitting and standing. 

When you need relief from back pain, regardless of its origin, contact us at Pain Management 360. Call or click to request an appointment at our location nearest you. The first step in recovering from sacroiliac joint problems often means controlling your pain. Schedule your visit with us today.