Like any other joint in the body, the SI joint can be injured and/or become degenerative. When this happens, people can feel pain in their buttock (and sometimes in the low back and legs), often causing them to sit on the pain free buttock. This is especially true while lifting, running, walking or even sleeping on the involved side. It is common for pain from the SI joint to feel like disc or low back pain. For this reason, SI joint disorders should always be considered in low back pain diagnosis.
If you experience one or more of the symptoms listed below, you may be experiencing SI Joint Dysfuntion.
- Low back pain
- Sensation of low extremity: pain, numbness, tingling, weakness
- Pelvis/buttock pain
- Hip/groin pain
- Feeling of leg instability (buckling, giving way)
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Disturbed sitting patterns (unable to sit for long periods, sitting on one side)
- Pain going from sitting to standing
Dr. Andres Munk performs a variety of tests during a physical examination that help reveal the SI joint as the cause of your symptoms. Sometimes, X-rays, CT-scan or MRI may be helpful in the diagnosis of SI joint-related problems. The most relied upon method to accurately determine whether the SI joint is the cause of your low back pain symptoms is to inject the SI joint with a local anesthetic. The injection will be delivered under either X-ray or CT guidance to verify accurate placement of the needle in the SI joint. If your symptoms are decreased by at least 50%, it can be concluded that the SI joint is either the source of or a major contributor to your low back pain. If the level of pain does not change after SI joint injection, it is less likely that the SI joint is the cause of your low back pain.