3 Signs Your Low Back Pain Might Be Rooted in Your Sacroiliac Joint

3 Signs Your Low Back Pain Might Be Rooted in Your Sacroiliac Joint

It’s rare to find someone who hasn’t experienced low back pain at least once in their lives. In fact, millions of people struggle with the problem on an ongoing basis. 

From degenerative changes in the spine to muscle strains, there are many different roads to low back pain, but we want to focus on one that’s little known, yet may be responsible for up to 30% of the problem — sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction.

As spine health experts, our team of board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at Pain Medicine Consultants has in-depth experience with diagnosing and treating SI joint issues.

If you’re struggling with ongoing low back pain and you’re not sure why, read on to learn whether the problem may be rooted in your SI joints.

What are SI joints?

You have two SI joints at the bottom of your spine that serve an incredibly important role. They connect your sacrum to your hip. In effect, these joints are connecting your upper body to your lower body and facilitate:

The SI joints also play a key role in pregnancy by widening, thus enabling women to still move around.

Recognizing SI joint dysfunction

With SI joint dysfunction, there’s inflammation in one or both of the joints, which can be the result of arthritis, injury, pregnancy, and gait issues.

The symptoms that stem from SI joint dysfunction include:


Since we’re discussing lower back pain, it’s obvious that this symptom tops our list. 

If there’s inflammation in your SI joints, the pain typically presents itself in the lowest part of your back, and it often spreads to one side of your buttocks, hips, and pelvis. Sometimes the pain can also spread into your thigh or into your groin area. 

This pain might flare when you change positions, such as standing up from a sitting position. Spending too much time in one position can also exacerbate SI joint pain.


The inflammation in your SI joints can also lead to stiffness, which you might feel more when you're trying to bend down or climb stairs. This stiffness affects your lower back, as well as your hips and groin.


Going in the opposite direction, SI joint dysfunction can also include unstable SI joints that are too loose. When this happens, you might feel as if your lower body is just going to give way.

If you recognize any of the above symptoms, the best way to figure out whether your SI joints are involved in your ongoing back issues is to come see us. Through advanced imaging, we can quickly determine which areas of your low back are causing problems and get you on the road to relief as quickly as possible.

To get started, please contact one of our offices in Pleasanton, Pleasant Hill, or Corte Madera, California, to schedule an appointment.

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