Is Your SI Joint Causing Hip Pain?

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Is Your SI Joint Causing Hip Pain?

Understanding how to distinguish hip pain from Sacroiliac Joint pain, or SI joint pain, is crucial when trying to find relief. The SI joint connects the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine) to the ilium (the large, fan-shaped bone that makes up the pelvis). Despite their differences in structure and function, the hip and SI joints share similar pain patterns, making them difficult to distinguish.

Dysfunction or inflammation in the SI joint can cause pain in the lower back, buttocks, and hip area. The pain may be felt on one or both sides of the hip and can be accompanied by other symptoms, such as stiffness, tenderness, or aching. Sometimes, the pain may be referred down the leg and mistaken for a problem with the hip joint.

Treatment focuses on restoring the range of motion and pain relief. Most people respond well to conservative approaches.


  • Rest, Ice, and Heat
  • Medications: Using anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce the swelling that usually contributes to the patient's pain.
  • Support Brace: A brace can relieve pain if dealing with a sacroiliac joint that is "hypermobile" or too loose.
  • Physical Therapy: Pt can help strengthen the muscles around the sacroiliac joint and appropriately increase the range of motion.
  • Hip Joint Injections or SI Joint Injections: Hip injections or SI joint injections can help lower inflammation and decrease pain. They also can help distinguish between the pain emanating from the hip joint or SI joint.
  • Platelet Rich Plasma: PRP injections can help alleviate painful symptoms, promote healing, and delay surgery.
  • SI Joint Radiofrequency Ablation: The SI joint can be treated with a radiofrequency ablation in some situations. This can diminish the pain for up to 6 months or even longer in some patients.
  • SI Joint Fusion: SI joint surgery can be offered when conservative treatments fail to alleviate pain. Surgery aims to fuse the sacroiliac joint to eliminate abnormal motion.

If you are experiencing hip or SI joint pain, seeing a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment is essential. Dr. Amir Jamali will create a treatment plan that will get you back to an active lifestyle as soon as possible.

AUTHOR: Dr. Amir Jamali, founder of the Joint Preservation Institute, is a board-certified fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon in Northern California specializing in treatments for the knee, hip and shoulder.