SI Joint Pain

Did you know that the SI Joint is a common cause of back pain, yet is rarely diagnosed? Some studies show that up to 25% of all low back pain can be attributed to the SI joint. In the video below provides a brief overview of the SI joint:

What is the SI Joint?

The SI joint is located in the pelvis and links the iliac bones to the sacrum. It is an essential component for shock absorption to prevent impact forces during walking from reaching the spine. The loosening or injury of the SI joint can lead to debilitating back pain for many patients.

SI joint pain is most commonly felt in the lower back and buttocks, particularly while lifting, running walking or even sleeping on the affected side. SI joint pain is commonly misdiagnosed because it can mimic disc pain or low back pain, and many patients go on to receive lumbar spine surgery instead of actually treating the source of the pain. The SI joint should be carefully examined in any patient experiencing lower back pain, especially if surgery is on the table.

Diagnosing SI Joint Pain

There are a series of tests that your physician can perform in a physical examination in the office to identify whether or not the SI joint is the cause of your pain. A local anesthetic may be injected into the SI joint using fluoroscopic guidance for accurate placement of the needle in the SI joint. If the procedure makes a dramatic difference in your pain level, the SI joint is the cause or a major contributor to your low back pain.

Treatment Options

Once you and your physician have confirmed the SI joint is the cause of your back pain, you have several treatment options available. Some patients respond well to physical therapy, medication and/or injection therapy.

SI Joint Injection Therapy


When you have tried non-surgical options with no relief, you and your physician may explore the option of surgically fusing the joint. This minimally invasive surgical option involves the insertion of three small titanium implants across the SI joint and is designed to create a durable construct to stabilize and fuse the SI joint. This procedure requires only a small incision and minimal tissue damage.


Request a consultation with a physician here or by calling 478-474-2114. 

It’s time to get back to your life. Piedmont Orthopaedic Complex can help you do it faster.