Back Pain from Sacroiliac Joint Inflammation

Solihull Back Pain Clinic Osteopath reviews sacroiliac joint inflammation and its role in low back pain

Sacroiliac Joint Inflammation

The Sacroiliac joint is a common cause of low back pain and often mistaken for problems in the low back such as sciatica, disc bulges or slipped discs. Radiating pain can travel into the buttock and upper thigh and even affect the testicles on males.

The sacroiliac joint is a pelvic, not low back problem and will appear to affect the lower back. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe and will affect mobility.

What is a Sacroiliac Joint?

The sacroiliac joints are located at the bottom of the back. You have one either side of the spine. The sacroiliac joints help make up the rear part of the pelvic girdle and sit between the sacrum, which is the wedge shaped bone at the bottom of your spine and the pelvic ilium bones.

There are torsional or twisting forces applied to the pelvic girdle when the lower limbs are moved.

These limbs act like long levers and without the sacroiliac joints and the pubic symphysis (at the front of the pelvis) which act like expansion joints and allow movement, the pelvis would be very likely be subject to a fracture.

These joints can often get stuck, or in some cases one half of the pelvis may glide forwards or backwards, which is often described as a twisted pelvis. When this occurs it often irritates the iliolumbar ligament which results in inflammation and pain. This is usually indicated by tenderness around the bony lumps which you can feel if you place your thumbs either side of your lower back.

Inflammation of the sacroiliac joints and associated ligaments are very common, especially following pregnancy where the hormone Relaxin is released resulting in a relaxation of ligaments in preparation for childbirth. In most cases the causes of sacroiliitis are mechanical, however there may be other medical inflammatory conditions present such as Ankylosing Spondylitis which will need attention.

Symptoms Include

Pain usually one sided, located either to the left or right of your low back. The pain may range from an ache to a sharp pain which can restrict movement.

The pain may radiate out into your buttocks and low back and will often radiate into the front of your groin. Occasionally it is responsible for testicular pain in males.

Occasionally there may be referred pain into the lower limb which can be mistaken for sciatica.

Classic symptoms include, difficulty turning over in bed and often this movement wakes you from sleep. Struggling to put on your socks and shoes and throwing your legs in and out of a vehicle when moving in and out of the car.

Stiffness in the low back when standing from sitting or getting out of bed in the morning.

Aching in low back when driving long distances

Treatment for Sacroiliac Joint Inflammation

Ice the area over the sacroiliac joint to reduce pain and inflammation. Use an ice pack wrapped in a damp teatowel and apply for 10 minutes on, 20 minutes off and then a further 10 minutes on. Do this 3 times daily.

Sleep with a pillow between your knees to ease the stress on the pelvis and sleep on your side.

Seek help from someone who understands the sacroiliac joint well. At Solihull Back Pain Clinic we see approximately 5 patients every day with this condition and have experience in diagnosing the causes, which can be many and varied. In order to resolve the complaint it is important to accurately diagnose the problem and have the correct treatment plan available.

Most cases are resolved within 6 treatments at Solihull Back Pain Clinic by our Osteopaths and Physiotherapists

Clinic Director John Alan Williams and his team are available for help and advice by contacting them on

By: John Alan Williams

Solihull Back Pain Clinic Osteopaths are committed to helping and treating low back pain sufferers via informative articles and providing treatments for Solihull and Birmingham back pain patients. This article is simplified and written in terms designed to be understood by the general public. further details can be obtained by viewing our website