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Sacroiliac Joint Pain

Your sacroiliac joints (we call them the "SI" joints) are the places where your hips meet your spine. These joints don't have a lot of flexibility, but they do move slightly as you move your body. And if SI joints become damaged or diseased, it can be painful.

Overview

Your sacroiliac joints (we call them the "SI" joints) are the places where your hips meet your spine. These joints don't have a lot of flexibility, but they do move slightly as you move your body. And if SI joints become damaged or diseased, it can be painful.

Causes

SI joints hurt when tiny nerves in the joints become irritated. That happens if your joint is damaged in a traumatic injury. It can happen if you have arthritis, which causes the joints to break down over time as you age. You can also feel pain in the SI joints if the supporting ligaments become irritated. That happens if you walk with a limp or have some other issue that places more stress on one hip than the other.

Symptoms

SI joint pain starts in your lower back and buttock. It can radiate to your hip, groin and thigh. Your leg may feel weak. It may feel numb or tingly. You may notice SI joint pain when you are sitting or lying down. You may also notice it when you are walking or climbing stairs, or when you try to stand up after sitting. Usually, SI joint pain is felt only on one side. But if both joints are affected, you may feel pain on both sides.

Treatment

Treatment depends on the cause of your pain. You may benefit from physical therapy, or from injections of medicine into your joint. You may benefit from a procedure called "radiofrequency ablation." It uses electricity to destroy the painful nerve endings in your joint. If these aren't helpful, you may need surgery to stabilize your joint. Your healthcare provider can create a plan that's right for you.

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