Defining SI Joint Dysfunction

What exactly is sacroiliac joint dysfunction?

SI 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.

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Ligaments of the SI joint

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:

Effects on the rest of the body:

Other potential causes to rule out: