Sacroiliac joint dysfunction tends to begin with an injury to the ligaments that are meant to hold the joint in place. This can happen through blunt force, like falling on your butt, or through repetitive motions and sports that subject the ligaments to more force than they are able to handle.
When a ligament is sprained, it becomes slightly stretched out. This means it can’t hold the joint in place as well as its supposed to, and abnormal motion patterns begin to develop, causing pain, inflammation, or even the feeling that the joint is “stuck.”
SI joint dysfunction can affect different people in different ways, depending on the extent of their injury, their individual joint shapes, as well as other factors such as gender and age. Some injuries can heal in a matter of months; others can take years, or even require surgery.
It’s also possible for SI joint dysfunction to affect the motion patterns in the rest of your body, causing pain in other areas.
On the other hand, there are a few conditions which cause pain patterns which can very easily be mistaken for SI joint dysfunction, so it’s important for your doctor and physical therapist to figure out exactly what’s going on.
Here are some posts I wrote to try to clarify some of the different types and patterns of symptoms that can stem from SI joint issues.
Understanding SI Joint Dysfunction:
- Are there 3 main types of SI joint dysfunction?
- Causes of sacroiliac joint dysfunction: acute and chronic
- What is the difference between SI Joint inflammation and dysfunction?
- What happens when an SI joint gets stuck?
- Why do some people’s SI joints get stuck, when others’ don’t?
- SI Joint Concepts: Hypomobility vs. Hypermobility
- You may not experience symptoms directly after injuring the SI joint. Sometimes it can take a while.
- A physiatrist explains SI joint dysfunction (Coordinated Health Part 4)
Effects on the rest of the body:
- How SI joint dysfunction can affect the rest of your body
- Malalignment Syndrome (Vicki Sims video)
- Common Symptoms of SI Joint Dysfunction (Vicki Sims)
- The pubic symphysis: the joint at the front of the pelvis
- How the SI Joint affects Movement Efficiency
- The SI Joint and Shock Absorption
Other potential causes to rule out:
- Lumbar Rotation vs SI Joint Dysfunction
- Tight muscles can mimic SI joint dysfunction
- Is your hip pain a labral tear?
- How does the SI joint relate to other causes of lower back pain? (video from Coordinated Health)
- Can SI joint dysfunction be caused by lumbar fusion surgery?
History of SI joint treatment