The sacroiliac joint is a vital component of the human skeletal system, connecting the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine) to the ilium (part of the pelvic bone). It is often referred to as the SIJ ( sacroiliac joint). It serves a crucial role in transferring forces between the upper body and lower extremities, providing stability and facilitating movement. It is a complex joint, and can create issues in us all, from women in pregnancy and post natal days, sportsmen and women, runners, and those with lower back or lumbar issues. IT has been reported that up to 70% of those suffering from persistent lower back pain will have some element of their pain stemming additionally from the SIJ.
As the SIJ is a huge weight transfer 'station' for loads passing from our lower extremities to our trunks, the joint is reinforced by many strong ligaments and surrounded by muscles that help support the pelvis and spine.
These reinforcements give the joint incredible stability to cope with the transmission of upper body weight and forces from the spine to the lower extremities during activities such as walking, running, and lifting. It absorbs shock and redistributes forces, ensuring efficient movement and minimizing stress on other joints.
Despite this stability, the SIJ is prone to dysfunction and pain. Injuries, arthritis, pregnancy, or imbalances in the surrounding muscles can lead to dysfunction of this joint, causing pain in the lower back, buttocks, or legs. Diagnosis and treatment of SIJ issues often involve a combination of physiotherapy and exercise. Long rehabilitation programs are often required to improve the muscular support and stability of this very important joint. These programs need to be sport specific, or tailored to each individual's needs and can include core stability, pelvic alignment exercises, postural stability and gluteal strength.