Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Feb 2014 WEBThe sacroiliac joint is located in the lower part of the back and joins the tail bone (sacrum) to one of the pelvic bones (ilium). There are two sacroiliac joints – one on either side of the spine. The sacroiliac joints act to transfer weight from the spine to the pelvis and allow a small amount of movement to occur.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction may occur from excessive forces being applied to the sacroiliac joint. This can be from bending, sitting, lifting, arching or twisting movements of the spine, or, from weight bearing forces associated with running or jumping. Injury to the sacroiliac joint may occur traumatically or due to repetitive or prolonged forces over time.

There are two main groups of sacroiliac dysfunction that cause SIJ pain:

  1. Hypermobility / Instability
  2. Hypomobility / Stiffness

A thorough subjective and objective examination from a physiotherapist is usually sufficient to diagnose sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Treatment may comprise of:

  • favicon Soft tissue massage
  • favicon Mobilisation
  • favicon Manipulation
  • favicon Electrotherapy (e.g. ultrasound)
  • favicon Taping
  • favicon Use of a sacroiliac belt or lumbar brace
  • favicon Use of a lumbar roll for sitting
  • favicon Correction of any leg length discrepancy
  • favicon Dry needling
  • favicon Muscle energy techniques
  • favicon Activity modification advice
  • favicon Biomechanical correction
  • favicon Ergonomic advice
  • favicon Clinical Pilates
  • favicon Hydrotherapy
  • favicon Exercises to improve flexibility, strength, posture and core stability
  • favicon A gradual return to activity program

The recovery time for sacroiliac joint dysfunction may vary from patient to patient depending on compliance with physiotherapy. With ideal treatment, patients may be pain free in as little as several days, although typically this may take 2 – 3 weeks. It is important to note, however, that injured tissue takes approximately six weeks to restore the majority of its strength in ideal healing conditions. Care must therefore be taken when returning to activity during this period.