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Sacroiliitis and SI Joint Pain

Painful inflammatory conditions of our sacro-iliac joint can be a symptom or range of inflammatory conditions, including:

Degenerative Arthritis

Also known as osteoarthritis of the sacroiliac joint, degenerative arthritis is primarily caused by wear and tear and breakdown of the joint cartilage. Of course it can also be caused by diseases, injuries and direct impacts.

The wearing and breakdown of our sacroiliac joint cartilage can be caused and/or aggravated by:

  • age (the older generally the more wear and tear)
  • obesity (the heavier the more load is put through the joints)
  • direct trauma
  • repeated stress on the sacroiliac joints from repetitive movements and strains
  • malformed/misaligned joints.

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) usually begins as/with sacroiliitis, as ankylosing spondylitis begins in our sacroiliac joints before it progresses by traveling upwards of our spine through a vicious cycle of

  • inflammation
  • erosion
  • calcification

To be able to accurately diagnose ankylosing spondylitis, our sacroiliac joints need to be clearly seen to be affected by the inflammation cycle. This detection of AS-related sacroiliitis can be done via

  • X-ray imaging
  • MRI scans
  • CT scans t
  • Blood tests to detect elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) and/or erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR).

Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Psoriatic arthritis is an auto-inflammatory disease that causes

  • pain and swelling in our joints,
  • scaly skin patches (commonly known as psoriasis)

Problem is psoariatic arthritis can be hard to distinguish from rheumatoid arthritis because their symptoms overlap. That being said, psoriatic arthritis is much more likely to cause spondylitis which is the inflammation of the joints in our spine, which also includes the sacroiliac joints.

If sacroiliitis is amongst the symptoms experienced by a patient, then the patient more likely has psoriatic arthritis. Research show that

  • 10% of patients with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis
  • majority 90% of them do not experience any forms of joint pain and swelling


Gout is a painful condition that is caused/aggravated when the build up of uric acid forms uric acid crystals that can travel and when these uric acid crystals insert painfully into our joints, causing swelling and pain.

Actually, gout is a very common form of inflammatory arthritis, and it generally and typically affects one joint at a time (usually the big toe). But unfortunately in some cases, some gout patients may experience pain and inflammation in the sacroiliac joints too.

If the usual and typical gout treatments aren't working for your sacroiliac joint symptoms, and there is no inflammatory conditions identified by a doctor, it is possible that you receive direct treatment to the sacroiliac joint, such as

  • diagnostic anesthetic injection to confirm the pain
  • steroid compound to treat the gouty pain

There are many different causes of sacroiliac joint pain and inflammation, and treating them effectively lies mainly in identifying the main cause of the problem and treating the cause.

Non-Arthritic Causes of SI Joint Pain

That being said, we must note that not all types of sacroiliac joint pains are caused or related to arthritis. There are other causes such as direct trauma, pregnancy and even mechanical loads can cause painful SI condition, read more below:

  • Trauma. The SI joint, which is comprised of the ligaments that surround and support the SI joint can be injured by direct trauma, and our sacroiliac joint can be easily damaged even with mild or light force trauma. You can damage your sacroiliac joint by something as simple as stepping a higher grond the wrong way or accidentally accurately "jamming" the joint in a fall.

  • Lax ligaments during pregnancy. Pregnant bodies secrete special hormones relaxin and progesterone to loosen and laxen joints to prepare the body for childbirth. Sometimes, these ligaments get too lax and unfortunately in some cases, the sacroiliac joint can dislodge or slip out of place and this is really painful. Symptoms often decrease after pregnancy and childbirth is over as the ligament automatically becomes stronger once relaxin hormone is no longer secreted, and as patients increase activity levels.

  • Mechanical stress. Sometimes some people develop very stiff spines because of conditions like severe arthritis or surgical spinal fusion, which can increase the stress experienced at the SI joint due to overload/overcompensatory functions. Over a period of time, this can lead to degenerative changes and pain.

A trained and experienced specialist physiotherapist can assess, diagnose and treat the root cause of your sacroiliac joint pain and customize a specific treatment plan for you.

physiotherapy Treatment of Sacroiliac Dysfunction

Most of the causes of back pain that is linked to SI dysfunction can be treated with allowing the joint to

When the sacroiliac joint pain and sacroiliitis are caused by a specific type of arthritis, we always need to diagnose and treat the main cause underneath - there is no point just treating the symptoms only.

Sometimes the inflamed SI joint can be slightly misaligned and our specialist spinal/sacroiliac physiotherapist can help to realign the joint with a combination of

In other times, injections are helpful to decrease the inflammation and in some cases, surgical intervention is required for SI dysfunction that doesn't respond to non-surgical interventions.

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book your physio appointment or enquire now

Email questions and your preferred physiotherapy timings to nigel@phoenixrehabgroup.com or

WhatsApp / SMS your name, preferred date, time and enquiries to +6588001830

Clinic Locations: See how to get to us here

Phoenix Rehab physio Services

Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.


Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists (sprains and fractures) and fingers, and requires Hand Therapy to increase the function of their hand following injuries or post-operations as well as custom made hand splints.

Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes


Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on

  • posture
  •  core stability
  • balance
  • control
  • strength
  • flexibility and
  • breathing

It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions.

You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.



Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to

  • accelerate recovery and
  • shorten downtime / recovery period required

It also prevents muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle performance.

Done regularly, it will keeps your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence. Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.


All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).

See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.

At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.

Follow up sessions are inline to provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

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We appreciate you as our valued clients and want you to know that the #1 way we grow as a clinic/brand is through word of mouth referrals from valued patients like yourself.

We do not rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients. When you have the chance, please tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our physio clinics.

book your physio appointment or enquire now

Email questions and your preferred physiotherapy timings to nigel@phoenixrehabgroup.com or

WhatsApp / SMS your name, preferred date, time and enquiries to +6588001830

Clinic Locations: See how to get to us here