What Is SI Joint Dysfunction and What Can You Do About It?


SI Joint dysfunction is the most commonly diagnosed cause of lower back pain. The SI joint is located on each side of the body where the sacrum at the bottom of the spine connects with the ilia, or the large bones of the pelvis. The SI joint is stabilized by an intricate network of strong ligaments and the deep muscles of the core group. The SI joint can become unstable when the ligaments that support it are either too stiff or too lax, with laxity being the most common.

SI joint pain is often centered on the injured joint itself in the lower back slightly off the mid-line. The pain can radiate throughout the buttock and into the thigh, and sometimes wraps around the hip and affects the groin.


1. Pain in the lower back
2. Generally aggravated by sitting, standing, or bending at the waist
3. When severe, there will be pain in the hip, groin, and legs

One of the causes for SI joint dysfunction is muscle imbalance. The pelvis is the site of many muscles that work closely together to control the movements of the lower body and to support the weight of the upper body. If a muscle imbalance exists, the web of tough ligaments that supports the joint will be tugged in one direction, pulling the joint out of its proper position either upward, downward, to the front or to the back.

Physical therapy will be needed to resolve any muscle imbalances that may have contributed to your SI joint dysfunction. The therapist can identify which muscles are overly-tight and which ones need conditioning to create a balanced workforce of core muscles.


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