Pain in my Dimple

By Poppie Human

Have you ever heard of the SIJ and thought it is just more medical jargon that you do not understand.  Well, the SIJ is short for the Sacro-iliac joint and is more commonly referred to as the dimple‚Äôs in your lower back.

What exactly is the SIJ?

The SIJ is in the lower part of your back and it joins onto your tail bone (the sacrum). This joint is responsible for the stability in your lower back by transferring weight from one side of the pelvis to the other. Essentially it may be called the link between your lower back and pelvis.  When this joint is injured, stiffness or overuse from activity occurs; the SIJ can get stuck or may have too much movement and this can cause pain within the lower back area and may lead to dysfunction of the area around the joint.

What does SIJ pain feel like?

The pain can be dull or sharp and can often be only on one side of the lower back.  Pain may also radiate to buttocks, thighs, groin or upper back.  Symptoms usually occur when standing up from a sitting position, turning in bed, getting in and out of a car, lying on your side at night and going up and down stairs.  This pain may be more severe in morning and ease as you start moving during the day.

What are the most common causes of SIJ pain?

– A fall onto your back

– Repetitive pounding with i.e. running, jumping or single leg activities

– Your one leg might be longer than the other (which alters your way of walking)

– Pregnancy causes lax ligaments and increase weight into the lower back area can cause SIJ instability and pain

– Arthritis

What is the treatment for SIJ pain?

Physiotherapy treatment is recommended for the treatment of SIJ related pain.

Your physiotherapist will assess your back to determine whether the pain is coming from your lower back or your SIJ.  Your physiotherapist will then correct the mechanical imbalances within your lower back and pelvis as well as give you appropriate advise and exercises to strengthen your core and the muscles around the lower back and pelvis.

What can be done to prevent recurrence of SIJ pain?

Your physiotherapist will work with you to develop a program for strengthening core exercises and general activity modification advise to prevent re-injury.  Pilates is also a very good rehabilitation program to follow to include into your rehabilitation process.