What is Pelvic Pain?

Pelvic pain is considered pain that is experienced anywhere from the umbilicus to the bottom of the pelvis which sits between the hips. Pain at the back of the pelvis is often considered low back pain. However, it is often caused by the sacroiliac joints.

What Is the Sacroiliac Joint?

The sacroiliac joint (SIJ) is a very common source of pelvic pain, and many times is misdiagnosed as a problem with the discs of the spine, or the spine itself. To understand SIJ pain, it is important to understand the anatomy.

At the base of the spine, there is a large triangle-shaped bone called the sacrum. On either side of the sacrum is another bone called the ilium. The joining of these two bones creates a sacroiliac joint (sacrum + ilium), and they are connected by multiple, very strong ligaments.


Symptoms of SIJ Pain

Pain in one or both sides of the lower back, usually felt as a dull ache, but sharp stabbing pain can also be present. This may radiate into the glutes, thigh, and/or groin and can extend down one or both legs.

Aggravating factors can include activities where weight is transferred from one side to the other such as climbing stairs, walking, or running. Sitting or standing as well as moving from sitting or lying to standing can also aggravate the pain when trying to relieve the ache from one side to the other. Pregnancy can also cause/aggravate SIJ pain due to changes in weight bearing, pelvic position, muscular changes or ligamentous changes.


Your osteopath will take a complete history and undertake a physical examination checking your posture, how you walk and where pain is located. They will then do a range of tests and movements to diagnose and treat any dysfunction found at the SIJ. Osteopaths are trained in manipulating techniques to alleviate the pain and adjust the SIJ to ease the symptoms.


General Advice

Listen to your body – try to remain active but avoid activities that make the pain worse. Wear flat, supportive shoes. Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees. Don’t stand on one leg while getting dressed. Don’t lift heavy weights. Avoid twisting movements, sitting cross-legged or on the floor. Anti-inflammatory medications can be used to help with pain and inflammation.

Contact our friendly clinic staff to book an appointment.

Content written by Olivia Tamanui-Yaxley.

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