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Your sacroilliac joints (SIJ) are the two joints either side of your sacrum that connect your pelvis together. The main function of the sacroilliac joint is to absorb the shock between the upper body and your pelvis and legs. Typically there is very little movement through the SIJ as it is held together by strong connective and soft tissues such as ligaments and muscles.

Symptoms of SIJ Dysfunction:

  • Low back pain that may be one sided or both
  • Pain that spread from the low back into hips, legs or buttock
  • Pain with climbing stairs/hills
  • Pain/Discomfort from going from sitting to standing
  • Pain lying on one side
  • Pain while performing one legged activities (e.g. putting pants on)

Risk Factors/Causes:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy/Childbirth
  • Previous Spinal Surgery
  • Leg Length Discrepancies
  • Walking abnormalities
  • Scoliosis

Pregnancy and SIJ Pain:

Pregnancy related SIJ and Pelvic pain are one of the most common concerns for expectant mothers. When you become pregnant your body produces a hormone called relaxin which causes your ligaments and joints to become laxer and move to accommodate the growing foetus and prepare for labour. Increased laxity of the supportive connective tissues increases movement of the joint causing pain and discomfort.

Physiotherapy Treatment Options:

  1. Apply Heat or Ice – Heat will help relieve pain by reducing muscle tension and spasm while ice will help reduce inflammation.
  2. Manual Mobilisations – depending on what is causing the SIJ pain manual mobilisations of the low back or pelvis may be needed to improve movement.
  3. Massage – deep tissue massage is an effective technique used to help release tight, painful musculature which may have gone into spasm as a result.
  4. Stabilisation – this can be done through specialised taping and/or specific braces to help stabilise and reduce movement at the joints.
  5. Exercise Prescription – your Physiotherapist will prescribe you with specific exercises to help alleviate pain and to help build strength to stabilise the joints.
  6. Dry Needling – can be an effective and quick way to reduce muscular spasm and tension through the low back and glutes.

Specific Exercises:

  • Knee to Chest
  • Clams
  • Piriformis Stretching
  • Lumbar Rotation