Are you experiencing pain towards the back of your hip or on one side of your lower back? Perhaps you fell onto one buttock or maybe you stepped off a curb or missed a last step and landed, hard, on one leg. You might just have pain in this area but don’t know the cause. What you should know is Physical Therapy can help! For pain that occurs with walking, prolonged sitting or standing, bending forward, standing up from a sitting position or climbing stairs, our physical therapists are here to help.This type of back pain and lower hip pain is often associated with SacroIliac (SI) joint pain. The SI joint is located where the lower part of the spine (the sacrum) comes together with the Ilium (the pelvic bone). If you put your hands on your “hips”, you will have your hands on the ilium and your thumbs will be near the location of the SI joints.
The ilium, or pelvic bones, are able to rotate forward and backward to allow proper movement of the hips during walking or physical activity. If your SI joint experiences an injury, this motion can be affected. Inflammation is a typical result that can cause the pain that you are experiencing as the joint is unable to function as it normally does. Additionally, the muscles at the lower back, pelvis and hips can become tight and spasm, adding to the pain that you are experiencing at the SI joint.
It’s important to restore normal mechanics of the joint to decrease inflammation and muscular tension. A physical therapist can help you get those normal movements back in place. Once this happens, appropriate exercises are prescribed to improve the pelvic and core stability and assure that the SI joint remains stable and functions as it should.
Other treatment options include soft tissue work to decrease the muscular tightness and postural and body mechanics education to assure that you are maintaining the alignment and stability while lifting, changing positions and in prolonged positions. Sometimes a pelvic stability belt, or SI belt, can help compress the joint and improve your stability while the area heals.