It has been estimated that around 40% of patients who consult a Chiropractor for lower back pain have some involvement of the SI joints. The SI joints are strong joints which transmit the weight of the upper body into the pelvis. The joint is protected by very strong ligaments but sprain of the joint is possible. Usually and injury of the SI joint will cause pain which is localized to the joint. The pain may also be referred to the groin, hamstrings or back of the thigh. The pain from a SI sprain is usually different than classic sciatica cause by a disc herniation in that the pain referred from the SI joint is more diffuse and may effect the side and or whole thigh rather than primarily the back of the thigh/leg.
Sprain of the ligaments of the SI joint are relatively uncommon due to the strong nature of the ligaments. Usually the joints of the lumbar spine will be injured before that joints of the SI joint will be involved. The most common injury that may sprain the SI joints is usually a twisting or torsion movement. Some conditions that may cause the ligaments of the SI joint to be more susceptible to sprain include pregnancy or degenerative arthritis. Prolonged periods of bending or lifting may also cause the ligaments to be more likely to sprain. Usually the mechanism of injury involves straightening up from a bent position.
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