Sacroiliac joint syndrome

Complaints of the sacro-iliac joint

Iliosacral joint pain

What are SIJ complaints and how are they caused?

The pain is caused by disorders of the sacroiliac joint (joint of the sacrum and ilium). There are actually two joints, which together form the connection between the sacral bone and iliac bone. This can be an inflammation of the joint, joint wear, or a disorder of the joint function or position. The discomfort may radiate into the pelvis or the buttocks, and also into the upper and lower leg. Once the cause of the pain is identified, the discomfort can generally be well treated. Pain in the lower region of the spine, for example, after sitting or standing for a long time, often originates in the iliosacral joint. 

Common SIJ diseases include:

  • SIJ syndrome
  • Arthrosis of the sacroiliac joint (SIJ arthrosis)
  • Instability of the sacroiliac joint (SIJ instability)
  • Instability of the pelvic girdle
  • Sacroiliac joint blockage
  • Symphysis diastasis and loosening

Risk factors and causes


  • Sustained levels of incorrect weight distribution and excessive physical strain caused by sports or occupational activities
  • Jerky incorrect movements, such as a misjudged step
  • Shortening or hardening of certain muscles (e.g. iliopsoas muscle)
  • Physical deformities such as scoliosis or shortening of the leg
  • Incorrect weight distribution and excessive physical strain due to the forward tilting of the pelvis as a result of arthrosis of the hip joint
  • Loosening of the annular ligaments of the pelvis due to hormonal changes during pregnancy


  • SIJ inflammation
  • Inflammation of the bowel (such as Crohn’s disease)

Bone fractures

  • Accidents
  • Fatigue failure
  • Insufficiency fractures in the event of osteoporosis

Treatment options for SIJ syndrome

The treatment depends on the cause of the disorder. Therefore, there are different therapeutic approaches. Usually the complaints are treated conservatively (without surgery). Patients can prevent a recurrence of the disorder by doing special exercises.


Manual therapy involves stretching and mobilising the joints and the corresponding muscles and ligaments. This improves joint function. Depending on the diagnosis and stage of the disorder, the doctor can, if necessary, prescribe other physiotherapeutic treatments (such as electrotherapy (TENS), magnetic field therapy or acupuncture). 

Bandages and orthoses

Special medical aids (for example the Lumbamed sacro pelvic orthosis from medi) support conservative therapy. Circular compression can stabilise the pelvis and the sacroiliac joints and alleviate pain. The individually positionable massage pads can specifically massage the pain points and accelerate the healing process. The circular compression and pressure of the pads can be infinitely varied by pull straps. 

Heat treatment

A heating pad, hot water bottle, hot bath or simply, a warm towel can relieve acute SIJ pain.


Ibuprofen or Diclofenac are anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving drugs that doctors can administer if necessary. In any case, consult the doctor in charge.

Drug ointments

The affected area can be massaged several times a day with ointments that are anti-inflammatory or promote blood flow. This promotes recovery.


If necessary, the doctor may give a local anaesthetic mixed with a cortisone preparation in order to soothe irritation. However, this form of therapy is used only for very severe, persistent pain – and only after consulting with the doctor in charge.

SIJ therapy exercises

Get mobile again quickly – with exercises for the sacroiliac joint that you can do at any time in the comfort of your own home after consultation with your doctor.

Exercises for sacroiliac joint syndrome

More information about Lumbamed sacro*


* Brace for stabilisation of the pelvis.