Is my pain coming from my low back or my SI joint?
You’ve got a sharp pain right on the bony part of your pelvis on your backside. Or maybe it’s an achy pain in the butt. Literally!
You seem to trigger it…who knows when. Sometimes it hurts when you sit too long at your desk. Or it will flare up when you’re picking the kids toys off the ground. It could be as simple as standing for 10-15 minutes washing the dishes.
If you want this pain to go away, there’s a big question we need to answer first: Is the pain coming from your back or your SI (sacroiliac) joint?
Back or SIJ?
Knowing where the pain is coming from will dictate how you make the pain go away. So let’s figure it out.
For starters, just know that most of the time the low back is to blame.
That said, you are more likely to be experiencing SI joint pain if:
- You fell hard on your bottom (most likely in a big public place in front of a lot of watching people)
- You took an odd step off a curb or something similar that led to a jarring upward force in one of your legs
- You are currently pregnant or have experienced multiple pregnancies
If you don’t fall into that shortlist, it’s far less likely you have SI joint pain, and far more likely your pain is sourced from your low back.
Second thing is pain location. If it is coming from your SI joint, your pain will stay close to the middle of your pelvis. It may radiate across one side of your bottom, but won’t typically shoot pain below your glute.
If the pain is traveling down your leg or is above your glutes or across your low back, it’s most definitely coming from your spine. Most definitely.
The final confirmation is response to treatment. If we treat your low back and the pain gets better, we think it’s your low back. If we treat your SI joint and it gets much better, we think it’s your SI joint. Not too crazy, right?
So how do you get rid of your pain?
Maybe you should just declare that you can no longer sit for work or do chores around the house. Not a bad idea, but it doesn’t have to come to that. And it certainly doesn’t mean you have to suffer through the pain.
You could have tried a few stretches your friends showed you, been to the chiropractor, or even tried traditional physical therapy. Not much real change, just a little temporary relief here and there.
This is the story I’ve heard much of the time.
At this point, there’s a good chance you have convinced yourself that you can just tolerate it. It’s not stopping you from getting everything done, even if it does slow you down and cause you some distress.
And you can’t stop. You have a job to keep at, kids to take care of, to-dos around the house. There’s a long list of priorities above your pain and health. You can’t just take time off to let it heal.
My job is to help others take care of their health and I still feel that way about my own health plenty of times! I get it.
But if you want to be there for your co-workers, friends, and family, we’ve found that life is much more enjoyable and you’re able to take care of others much better when you’re taking care of yourself.
If you think your pain is coming from your low back, check out this article for more information and some ideas for how to treat it.
If you think your pain is coming from your SI joint, check out this article.
When you’re ready to understand your pain and how to take care of it quickly so you can take care of your busy life, we should chat.
You can schedule a free phone consultation with me below to see if I can help. Let’s get YOU taken care of for a change.
What to do if you have back pain