Managing SIJ Pain – What You Need to Know

If you’re dealing with chronic pain in your lower back or hip, you may have been diagnosed with SIJ (Sacroiliac Joint) Pain. SIJ pain is a condition where the sacroiliac joints, located in the lower spine, becomes inflamed and causes lower back and hip pain. The condition can come in many forms, ranging from mild to severe. Here we’ll discuss the signs and symptoms of SIJ pain, treatment options and some tips on how to manage it.

SIJ pain is often characterised by an ache in the lower back and hip area, and flares up with certain movements. Other symptoms include tenderness when touching the area, stiffness when changing positions, and pain radiating down the leg. Due to the diffuse nature of these symptoms, SIJ pain often goes undiagnosed, or is misdiagnosed as lower back pain, hip pain or even visceral pain, often causing its sufferer a longer than needed time to treatment. If your back pain or hip pain is not improving with current treatments, it may be worth asking your Physiotherapist to rule out SIJ pain as the true cause of your symptoms.

Treatment Options for SIJ Pain

Treatment options for SIJ pain include; Physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory medications and sometimes injections. Physiotherapy typically focuses on stretching and strengthening the core muscles, while medications can help reduce inflammation and pain. While these interventions have proven to be helpful, even with medication SIJ pain can sometimes be difficult to manage.

At BPS we understand the link between the pelvis, the trunk (also known as the thorax) and the lower limbs. The pelvis and SIJ are the connections between the upper body and the lower body and as such they must be assessed as part of a whole functioning system. This revolutionary model of understanding the pelvis in relation to the whole body is what has lead our experienced Physiotherapists and Pilates instructors to gain such great results with our patients suffering from SIJ pain. Using a model of Physiotherapy known as ConnectTherapy our team are able to identify the root cause of your SIJ symptoms and create a treatment plan which encompasses all the necessary components to ensure not only are your symptoms relieved, but they are prevented from returning.

One consideration which is often helpful in reducing the intensity of SIJ-related pain is switching to low-impact exercises such as swimming, walking, and Pilates. These types of activities can help loosen up the area around the sacroiliac joint and strengthen core muscles. Additionally, your treating Physiotherapist may recommend other treatments such as manipulations and adjustments, massage and soft tissue therapy, dry needling and acupuncture as well as taping and bracing.

Managing the Pain

Although SIJ pain can be painful and uncomfortable, there are many ways to manage it and create a pain-free life. Remember to pay attention to your body, talk to your Physiotherapist if pain becomes too intense, and switch to low-impact exercises to minimise the intensity of pain. With proper care and attention, you can find ways to alleviate and prevent your SIJ pain and enjoy the activities you love. 

Have a question, ask our team of highly skilled Physiotherapists, they love talking about all things SIJ related and I am sure they have some nuggets of wisdom for you!