What is sacroiliac pain?

The sacroiliac joint is found between the the ilium (hip bone) and the sacrum, joining the hips to the spine. Among other roles, the joint is critical in absorbing the impact we experience when we walk, or we lift objects. If these joints become too loose, or too tight, the we can experience pain in the lower back and buttocks.


Injuries to the sacroiliac joint can be difficult to diagnose as they often resemble more commonly found conditions in the hip or a herniated disc. Symptoms include pain and discomfort in the lower back and buttocks, pain that radiates into the lower hip, down the legs and/or into the groin.

For some people, the pain may increase at night, when sleeping, sitting, standing or climbing stairs. The pain may also increase when standing on one leg or when moving from a seated to a standing position.


There are three common causes of sacroiliac pain. Firstly, the pain is usually the result of an injury, either from a fall, work-related injury or a car accident. Another common cause of sacroiliac pain is from the ligaments becoming loose due to pregnancy and childbirth. Finally, people who have had surgery on their hips and/or spine can also experience sacroiliac pain.


The first step in the diagnosis of a sacroiliac injury is undertaken by a general practitioner (GP) who will take a medical history and complete a physical examination. Your GP may choose to order diagnostic tests such as an X-ray, CT scan or MRI to help confirm the diagnosis and to check for any other conditions.


First-line treatment options include manipulation by a chiropractor and home exercises and stretches. Your GP may also suggest a course of anti-inflammatory medications or creams to help manage the pain and inflammation.


To help prevent injuries to the sacroiliac joints, the ilium and the sacrum, it is important to keep the surrounding muscles and ligaments strong. It is also important that you always follow the correct procedure when lifting heavy objects.

Seeking further advice

Booking a consultation with your Sydney-based chiropractor is an important first step when it comes to understanding and treating your sacroiliac pain. Book your appointment with MyChiro today.