Sacro - iliac Joint Dysfunction


The sacroilliac joint has become more recognised as a sight of possible pain and dysfunction. The sacrilliac joint was previously believed to be fused however evidence now shows that limited movement does occur.

Dysfunctions may occur after lifting, twisting, sitting, falling onto one side of your pelvis or from forces associated with running or jumping.

If these forces are beyond what the body is able to manage then injury to the sacroilliac joint occurs causing sacroilliac dysfunction. When the sacroilliac joint is aggravated the surrounding muscles seize up causing pain and restriction throughout the surrounding joints. This leads to the belief that the pain may be coming from elsewhere such as the lower back. Often this dysfunction will cause pain on one side as one of the ilium will tilt forward or backwards when compared to the other will stay stationary. This tilting creates a torsion force through the sacroilliac joint causing pain. This torsion force will continue into the lumbar spine which will try to compensate for this and will potentially cause more pain or stiffness. Repeated dysfunction of the sacroilliac joint can lead to the joint becoming more unstable and easier to aggravate.

Commonly sacroilliac dysfunction occurs during pregnancy as during pregnancy a hormone called relaxin is released relaxing the
ligaments, allowing greater movement at the sacroilliac joint.


Symptoms of sacroilliac dysfunction include:

  • One sided buttock pain.
  • Difficulty walking up stairs.
  • Problems rolling over in bed.
  • Pain localised around the sacroilliac joint.

Sacroilliac dysfunction may be a factor in or contribute to:

  • Lumbar pain.
  • Buttock pain.
  • Hamstring pain.
  • Groin pain.


Treatment includes:

  • Treating the surrounding tight muscles through stretches, massage and strengthening.
  • Muscle energy techniques to adjust the position of the joints.
  • Mobilisation or manipulative techniques to adjust the position of the joints.
  • Taping to help maintain the position of the joints.
  • Home exercises to ensure the adjustments are maintained preventing a return of symptoms.
  • Core strengthening exercises to maintain the strength and stability around the joint.