Not matter its intensity or cause, experiencing back pain is pretty miserable. Often, it's easy to attribute that discomfort solely to your lower back, but there's a sneaky culprit that might be contributing to your pain – the sacroiliac joint (SIJ). 
This vital joint, connecting your lower back to your pelvis, can mimic similar symptoms of pain, leaving you puzzled about the true source of your discomfort. 
So, how can you distinguish between lower back pain and sacroiliac joint pain

Understanding the Sacroiliac Joint 

The sacroiliac joint, or SIJ for short, resides on either side of the base of your spine, linking your lower back to your pelvis. You can easily spot these joints as they nestle just beneath the dimples at the back of your pelvis. This joint plays a pivotal role in helping your pelvis distribute force throughout your body during activities like walking, running, and even hopping. 
But wait, there's more! The SIJ can also twist and expand to assist during childbirth – amazing, right? However, like any part of the body, it's susceptible to dysfunction or irritation due to various factors, leading to the onset of pain. 

Identifying SIJ pain 

Pain originating from the sacroiliac joint often presents itself as a dull, persistent discomfort deep in your lower back, which can typically be localised to one of the dimples at the side of your spine. This irritation can also manifest as a lingering ache deep in your buttock, on the outer hip, in the groin area, and down the front of your thigh to your knee. 
Certain activities, such as rolling over in bed, getting in and out of a car, and prolonged periods of sitting, can exacerbate SIJ pain. It's a frustrating and uncomfortable ordeal, to say the least. 

Managing your pain 

Your first step toward relief is pinpointing whether the sacroiliac joint is indeed the source of your pain. This requires a comprehensive assessment of the movement in your pelvis, lower back, and hip complex. The goal is to identify any areas of restriction or dysfunction that might be causing your symptoms. 
By combining this assessment with your injury history, healthcare professionals can determine whether the SIJ is the culprit. Soft tissue massage is an effective way to address tight muscles and joint restrictions that contribute to your pain. 
Additionally, rehabilitation exercises aimed at strengthening the affected areas can play a pivotal role in managing your symptoms in the short term. These exercises, when combined with hands-on treatments, address the root cause of your joint pain and discomfort, offering lasting relief. 

Getting long term relief from back pain 

If you find yourself grappling with lower back or pelvic pain and yearning for long-term relief, consider consulting with one of our experienced therapists. They can provide you with valuable insights into the causes of your pain and work with you to develop a personalised treatment plan that will have you on the path to recovery. 
Thinking about becoming a sports massage therapist? Find out more about our introduction days and courses here! If you’d like more information, you can also get in touch with our friendly team who will be happy to help. 
Share this post:
Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings