Sacroiliac dysfunction is a common cause of back pain, and may be associated with pirformis syndrome.
What Is Sacroiliac Dysfunction?
The sacroiliac joint is located in the low back between the spine and hip joint, and normally does not move much. Misalignment of this joint can cause the pain associated with sacroiliac dysfunction.
The typical patient is often a woman in her 30s or 40s who has had children. It is thought that the relaxation of the sacroiliac ligaments necessary for childbirth does not fully reverse, and that a subsequent minor trauma may sublux (partially dislocate) the joint and cause pain. Younger women may develop sacroiliac problems as a result of sport or other injuries. The condition also occurs in men, but less frequently and usually from more severe injuries, often involving lifting while the trunk is in torsion.
Sacroiliac dysfunction also may be associated with piriformis syndrome. The piriformis is a small muscle in the buttock that stabilizes the sacroiliac joint. When irritated, it causes pain in the buttock. The piriformis muscle happens to overlap the sciatic nerve and can also cause sciatic pain down the leg all the way to the foot. This is often mistaken for sciatica, caused by a pinched nerve root in the spine.
What Are The Symptoms of Sacroiliac Dysfunction?
Pain associated with sacroiliac dysfunction is usually located in the low back, just to the side of the midline, and may be felt on one or both sides. The pain often radiates down to the knee and into the groin. Another commonly-reported symptom is discomfort when lying down.