Typically, SI joint pain has a sudden onset. It can heal within a few days, or it may take several months. The time it takes to heal depends on what is causing the SI joint pain. For example, it could be tight ligaments or damaged muscles that support the SI joint. The soft tissue needs time to heal in order for the pain to subside and the joint to return to normal functioning. Chronic pain is pain that endures for more than three months.
How to sit with SI joint pain?
Since the SI joint is in the lower back, sitting can be painful because it places pressure on the hips and lower spine. The best way to sit with SI joint pain is in a way that relieves that pressure as much as possible. Some suggestions are:
- Sit in a relaxed position with a cushion or a rolled towel placed behind the back
- Sit upright with your chest pressed upward and the shoulder blades relaxed
- Sit with your feet crossed while placed underneath your legs and pulled back towards the hips (called a tailor’s position)
- Sit with the knees apart and turned out slightly
You will have to try the various sitting positions to determine which ones most ease the pain.
What doctor should I see for sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
Usually, a patient will first visit a general practitioner due to the back pain. If sacroiliac joint dysfunction is suspected, the physician will refer you to a spine specialist who can make a more definitive diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. The spine specialist may be a neurosurgeon who specializes in the treatment of the brain and spine or an orthopedic spine surgeon who specializes in treating spinal conditions.
What does sacroiliac joint dysfunction feel like?
In most cases of SI joint dysfunction, the lower back is painful. The pain may be mild but can also become severe. The pain sometimes spreads into areas like the buttocks and hips and the side or back of the thigh. If the pain is felt beyond the lower back, it may be a sharp stabbing pain similar to that felt with sciatica. In addition, the areas impacted by the sacroiliac joint dysfunction may feel stiff, and the pain will intensify when pressure is placed on the sacroiliac joint.