Sacroiliac Joint Pain Symptoms: Identifying And Managing The Discomfort

Sacroiliac joint pain, often referred to as SI joint pain, can be a debilitating condition that affects many individuals. Understanding its symptoms and causes is crucial for effective management and treatment. In this article, we’ll delve into the various factors that contribute to SI joint pain and explore ways to alleviate its symptoms.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain Symptoms
Natalie Smith

Written By
Natalie Smith

Published On
April 18, 2024

Disclaimer: This article has been generated with the assistance of AI tools. While our research team has fact-checked the content, readers should independently verify information for accuracy and reliability.

The sacroiliac (SI) joint, located at the back of the pelvis where the spine and pelvis meet, is a common source of lower back and buttock pain. Sacroiliac joint pain, also known as SI joint dysfunction, can significantly impact an individual’s daily activities and quality of life. Understanding the various symptoms associated with this condition is crucial for seeking proper diagnosis and effective treatment.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain

Sleeping Or Sitting For A Long Time

One of the primary symptoms of sacroiliac joint pain is discomfort or pain that worsens with prolonged sitting or sleeping (Mayo Clinic, 2022). The SI joint may become stiff and painful after extended periods of inactivity, leading to difficulty getting up from a seated or lying position. This is often due to the increased stress and inflammation the joint experiences when it is not being actively used.

Standing For A Long Time

Similarly, standing for extended periods can also exacerbate sacroiliac joint pain. The SI joint may experience increased strain and inflammation when bearing weight for an extended duration, leading to discomfort (Mayo Clinic, 2022). Individuals with SI joint dysfunction may find it challenging to stand for long periods without experiencing pain.

Having More Weight On One Leg Than The Other

Individuals with sacroiliac joint dysfunction may experience pain when placing more weight on one leg compared to the other. This uneven distribution of weight can put additional strain on the affected SI joint, causing discomfort (SI-BONE, 2023). Patients may report a feeling of instability or imbalance when standing or walking.

Stair Climbing

Climbing stairs can be particularly challenging for those with sacroiliac joint pain. The act of stepping up requires the SI joint to bear significant weight and stress, often leading to increased pain and difficulty with this activity (Mayfield Clinic, 2023). Individuals may find themselves avoiding stairs or experiencing a significant increase in discomfort when using them.


Running and other high-impact activities can also exacerbate sacroiliac joint pain. The repetitive motion and stress placed on the joint during running can cause inflammation and discomfort (WebMD, 2022). Patients with SI joint dysfunction may need to modify or limit their physical activity to manage their symptoms.

Taking Large Steps When Moving Forward

Individuals with sacroiliac joint pain may experience discomfort when taking large steps while walking or moving forward. This motion can put strain on the affected joint, leading to pain (Spine-Health, 2023). Patients may find that taking smaller, more cautious steps helps alleviate the discomfort.

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Diagnostic Evaluation

If an individual is experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, it is crucial to seek medical attention for a proper evaluation. A healthcare provider, such as an orthopedist or physical therapist, will typically conduct a comprehensive physical examination, including range of motion tests and palpation of the SI joint area (Cedars-Sinai, 2023).

In some cases, imaging tests, such as X-rays, MRI, or CT scans, may be ordered to rule out other underlying conditions and confirm the diagnosis of sacroiliac joint dysfunction (Mayfield Clinic, 2023). These tests can help identify any structural abnormalities or inflammation within the SI joint.

Treatment Approaches

Once a diagnosis of sacroiliac joint pain has been established, healthcare providers may recommend a combination of conservative treatment options, including:

  1. Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can develop a customized treatment plan, which may include exercises to strengthen the core and stabilize the SI joint, as well as manual therapy techniques to improve mobility and reduce inflammation (NCBI, 2019).
  2. Medication: Over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatory medications may be used to manage pain and reduce inflammation in the SI joint (Cleveland Clinic, 2023).
  3. Injections: In some cases, steroid injections into the SI joint may be recommended to provide temporary relief of symptoms (NCBI, 2019).
  4. Lifestyle Modifications: Patients may be advised to modify their daily activities, such as avoiding prolonged sitting or standing, to minimize stress on the SI joint and alleviate pain (Spine-Health, 2023).

In more severe or persistent cases, surgical interventions, such as SI joint fusion, may be considered if conservative treatments prove ineffective (SI-BONE, 2023).

Preventing Sacroiliac Joint Pain

While some causes of sacroiliac joint pain, such as age-related wear and tear or underlying medical conditions, may be difficult to prevent, there are steps individuals can take to reduce the risk of developing SI joint dysfunction:

  1. Maintaining a healthy weight: Excess weight can put additional stress on the SI joint, leading to pain and inflammation (Mayo Clinic, 2022).
  2. Engaging in regular, low-impact exercise: Activities like walking, swimming, or gentle yoga can help strengthen the core and stabilize the SI joint (Mayfield Clinic, 2023).
  3. Practicing good posture: Proper spinal alignment and body mechanics can help distribute weight evenly and reduce strain on the SI joint (Spine-Health, 2023).
  4. Seeking prompt treatment for any back or pelvic injuries: Timely management of injuries can prevent the development of chronic SI joint pain (WebMD, 2022).

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Sacroiliac joint pain can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, making it challenging to perform everyday activities. By recognizing the key symptoms, such as discomfort with prolonged sitting or standing, uneven weight-bearing, and difficulty with physical tasks, individuals can seek prompt medical attention and receive appropriate treatment. A comprehensive approach, including physical therapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications, can help manage the symptoms and improve overall well-being. Proactive steps to maintain a healthy weight, engage in regular exercise, and address any underlying injuries can also play a crucial role in preventing the development of sacroiliac joint pain.


1. Mayo Clinic. (2022). Sacroiliitis. Retrieved from

2. WebMD. (2022). SI Joint Back Pain. Retrieved from

3. Cleveland Clinic. (2023). Sacroiliitis. Retrieved from

4. NCBI. (2019). Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction: A Review of the Literature. Retrieved from

Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith

Natalie Smith is a highly respected Osteopath with over 15 years of experience in treating a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions. She graduated from the British School of Osteopathy with a Master’s degree in Osteopathic Medicine and is a registered member of the General Osteopathic Council. Natalie’s expertise spans the diagnosis and treatment of issues affecting the muscles, bones, joints, and connective tissues. She utilizes a holistic, patient-centered approach, combining manual techniques such as spinal manipulation, soft tissue massage, and joint mobilization to alleviate pain and restore optimal function. Passionate about educating her patients, Natalie frequently speaks at local health workshops and has authored articles on osteopathic care for several respected medical journals. Her commitment to ongoing professional development ensures she remains at the forefront of the latest advancements in the field of osteopathy.

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