The sacroilliac joint, or SIJ, is the joint at the base of your spine that connects your tailbone to your pelvis. Injury can be caused by a sudden impact such as directly landing on your side or bottom during a fall, a motor vehicle incident, or during a pivoting movement. Injuries to this joint can range from mild to complex and cause pain in your lower back and buttocks. Your physio will do a few tests in the physical examination, and have a feel around your pelvis and lower back to diagnose this problem. They may also send you for an Xray to confirm the diagnosis. All but the most severe SIJ injuries are treated conservatively with rest, physiotherapy and pain relief. Sometimes you may wear a SIJ belt for a short period to help with your pain. Physiotherapy will initially aim to improve your range of movement and decrease your pain. Once you can move your lower back freely you will need to do some strengthening exercises before you return to sport and lifting. Recovery can take anywhere from 3-12 weeks depending on the severity of your injury.
The SIJ can also be affected by arthritis. This is called Ankylosing Spondylitis or AS and is a form of arthritis that mainly affects the spine, although other joints can become involved. It causes inflammation of the spinal joints that can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort. In the most advanced cases (but not in all cases), this inflammation can lead to new bone growth on the spine, causing the spine to fuse in a fixed, immobile position. Almost all cases of AS are characterized by acute, painful episodes followed by temporary periods of remission where symptoms subside. An Xray will help with the diagnosis of this problem. Along with medication, physiotherapy can help to decrease your pain, increase your strength and mobility and manage the condition.
If you have any further questions or would like to book an appointment, please get in touch.