Is Your SI Joint Causing Your Back Pain?

If you stand up from your chair and feel a pain in your lower back, it could be coming from your sacroiliac (or SI) joint. SI joint pain affects many people, and in some cases the pain can be debilitating.

What Is the SI Joint?

Sacroiliac joint

The ‘sacro’ in sacroiliac refers to your sacrum, which is at the bottom of your spine, above your tailbone. The ‘iliac’ refers to the hips. So your sacroiliac joint is where your spine and hips join together.

The main job your SI joints perform is to take the weight of your upper body when you stand or walk, and transfer that load to your pelvis and legs.

Types of SI Joint Pain

The pain can be a dull or sharp type of pain. It normally starts at your SI joint, but it can transfer to your buttocks, thighs, groin, or even upper back.

It is common to feel the pain on just the one side of your lower back, and sometimes standing up can trigger the pain. Sometimes it will feel worse when you wake up in the morning, and then gets better as you move around during the day.

SI joint pain occurs more frequently than you may expect. It is estimated that 15%-30% of people who have this type of pain have a problem with their SI joint.

Some common symptoms associated with sacroiliac joint problems include:

  • Pain with Weight-Bearing: the person may experience pain or discomfort when standing, walking, or standing up from a sitting position. The pain is often stronger when they shift their weight from one leg to the other.
  • Stiffness: they may experience stiffness in their lower back, making it harder to bend or turn their back.
  • Radiating Pain: the pain can sometimes radiate into their hip, groin, and down their leg. (So sometimes the condition is misdiagnosed as a hip or sciatic problem.)
  • Pain During Certain Activities: climbing stairs, getting out of a car, lifting objects, or similar movements can trigger or intensify the pain.
  • Postural Imbalance: sacroiliac joint alignment issues may cause one leg to appear to be shorter than the other.


The pain is caused by damage or inflammation of the joint. This can be from

  • An injury (including from lifting something heavy)
  • An activity that over-uses the joint (such as too much jogging)
  • Misalignment of the joint. There are many possible causes of this, including muscle imbalances, rotation of the pelvis, old ankle or knee injuries, etc.
  • Some chronic viruses can cause a weakening of the ligaments holding the joint together
  • Arthritis could affect the joint (in particular a type of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis)
  • Pregnancy can cause a weakening of the joint (due to hormones the body releases to loosen the joints, plus the extra weight on the joint)


As with any condition, it is important to determine what has caused the problem, otherwise any treatment may not be effective. Your osteopath will ask you a number of questions and perform an assessment of your alignment and movements. This will allow them to understand how your body is working from a mechanical, functional and postural perspective.

Osteopaths are also able to refer you for X-rays, CT or ultrasound scans if they consider it necessary for your assessment.


If certain activities or sports make the pain worse, avoid those activities. The exception to this is when the pain is caused by arthritis- in this case it is important to keep the joint moving, otherwise it will become worse over time.

Osteopaths place a lot of importance on the structural integrity of the body. When the body is balanced and efficient, just like a well-tuned engine it will function with the minimum amount of wear and tear (leaving more energy for living).

Your osteopath will apply manual methods of treatment which are tailored for each individual client. Some of the techniques they use include soft tissue massage, manipulation, stretching of joints and muscles, articulation, mobilisation of joints, and muscle energy techniques.

They will often also provide simple stretches or exercises to improve your alignment and condition further, and to help prevent the condition recurring in the future.


Osteopathy can be a very effective treatment for many muscle and joint problems, including SI joint pain. They provide a holistic approach, by addressing both the causes and the symptoms, and tailoring the treatment for each individual.

Our osteopath Becky Hull previously worked as a senior osteopath for many years, and part of her role was training 6 other osteopaths. She has 12 years of expertise in treating back and sacroiliac joint pain.

Other therapies that can be used in conjunction with osteopathy include acupuncture and naturopathy.

  • Acupuncture is widely used to reduce pain and inflammation, and to correct muscle and structural imbalances.
  • Naturopathy can also be used to reduce pain and inflammation. It is especially valuable if there is arthritis or degeneration of the joint.

If you are not sure if osteopathy is the ideal therapy for you, or would like to find out if acupuncture or naturopathy would also be valuable for you, please book in for a free Comprehensive Assessment at our clinic. Otherwise, you can book in to see Becky by giving us a call or use the Book Now button at the top of the page.

Be well, and have a great life!



Make an online booking here:
Book Now


Valued at $120, your Assessment will help to uncover:

  • What is going on with your body
  • What is working properly and what is not working properly
  • What is causing the problem, and
  • The best way to get it sorted out

All this will be fully explained to you, and you can ask as many questions as you like. That way we can be sure to give you all of the right information, understanding and advice you need. Terms and conditions: This is a free, no obligation offer.


62 Looranah St,
Jindalee QLD 4074
07 3376 6911


Winner Business Achievers Award 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011 & 2012
Inducted into Business Achievers Hall of Fame 2009
LPA Outstanding High Achievement Award 2011
Mt Ommaney Small Business Award (Health & Fitness) 2018 & 2020
Mt Ommaney Small Business Community Spirit Award 2021


We help provide care and accommodation to young disabled people through regular support of YoungCare (by donating the proceeds of our Gift Voucher sales)

quick links:

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram