What is Sacroiliac Joint Pain, and How Can it Be Treated?

“Sacroiliac joint pain can be debilitating & intrusive to your daily life, but the upside is that it can often be treated with simple, conservative measures” [1]. To that end, consulting a Pain Specialist is essential.

Although sacroiliac (SI) joint problems are commonplace, they are nonetheless, somewhat under-recognised. The two SI joints can be found on each side of our lower backs, between the triangular-shaped bone that sits below the lumbar spine and sacrum, and above our tail bone and pelvic bones. It is important to be mindful of the fact that, just as with all joints, the SI joints are subject to injury, and can become dysfunctional (in that they may not more sufficiently, or move too much), all of which can result in pain [1].

“As our sacroiliac joints serves two purposes – to act as a shock absorber, decreasing stress on the pelvis & spine, and appropriately transferring the load from our upper body to our lower body when standing or walking, it’s easy to see how they can become compromised” [1]


Of note, the main symptoms of SI joint pain, comprise: dull, stabbing, or sharp pain emanating from the back of the hip region, or the lower back. Further, in some cases, the pain can be felt in the buttocks, below the knee, in the thigh, or in the groin. Moreover, positions or movements which stress the joint, can make the pain worse. These include: twisting/bending, turning over in bed, walking up the stairs, or standing up after sitting.

So What Treatments Are Available?

Fortunately, Pain Specialists can offer a number of different treatments. These include: NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which are designed to ameliorate the inflammation and pain; physical therapy exercises, and corticosteroid injections. Further, if your SI joint pain is a result of inflammatory arthritis, then your specialist may recommend whole-body therapies. For example, patients with ankylosing spondylitis could be prescribed anti-TNF drugs in order to stop the disease from progressing.

Diagnostic & Therapeutic SI Joint Injections

The first of these (diagnostic SI joint injections), are given to allow your Pain Specialist to understand whether your inflammation and pain is emanating from your SI joint. The second (therapeutic SI joint injections, are administered in order to ameliorate your sacroiliac joint pain for a limited period of time.

Getting Things Sorted

Your Pain Specialist will review your medical history, and give you a comprehensive examination, paying particular attention to your leg muscles, pelvis, hips, spine and SI joint. He/she will also ask you various pertinent questions, including when your pain is worse. – So to that end, keeping a ‘Pain Diary’ is highly recommended, as you can take it along to your appointments, or show it to your Pain Consultant during a video appointment.

[1]. Eustice, C. (2020). “An Overview of Sacroiliac Joint Pain.” Very Well Health.
Sacroiliac Joint Pain: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment (verywellhealth.com)