Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

DDD causes SI joint pain?

I am suffering from SI joint pain so severe that I can't stand erect at times. I am confused, however, because I saw a pain management doctor who told me my problem was degenerated discs in my lumbar spine. He then gave me a steroid shot in my spine and, lo and behold, the pain in my SI joint disappeared for about a month. How is it that degenerated discs can manifest solely as SI joint pain? Do I treat myself for DDD or SI joint dysfunction??


  • From what I'm told, disc problems, particular in the L4/L5 and L5/S1 regions, often present as pain that is often mistaken for SI joint pain. Very very similar.

    If you spend some time reading through this forum, a lot of people will tell you the "gold standard" for diagnosing SI joint problems is an SI joint block. Maybe you'll want to talk to your doctor about that?

    I wonder, when you first went to this doctor, were you explicit with him about what you believed the pain/problem to be?
  • Since the sacroiliac joint connects the sacrum (the triangular-shaped bone at the base of the spine) to the spine, disc degeneration in the lumbar or low back area can result in SI joint pain. This pain comes in the form of muscle spasms or tightness, inflammation or swelling, or nerve impingement or restriction from pressure due to the damaged disc. Episodes of pain can be intermittent, or persistent and chronic.
    Newton Watson
  • The whole concept of referred pain is an interesting topic. All structures emanating from the lumbar spine and along the pelvis vary in there innervation from the central nervous system. However we have noticed some similarities in the 2 structures and some differences from a subjective standpoint. Typically disc mediated pain can refer into the lower limbs. The back pain can be central in nature and triggered the fastest with prolonged sitting and relieved with standing and walking. However SIJ pain is painful in intensity with sitting standing or walking and relieved with taking stress off the affected side. Physical exam alone is not sensitive enough towards making a definitive diagnosis of disc mediated pain over SIJ pain however the SIJ provocation tests may be useful as a physical exam tool. If your typical symptoms are increased with a couple of the SIJ provocative tests, you may want to have a diagnostic SIJ injection under xray guidance to evaluate the amount of pain reduction perceived within the 1st 1-6 hours post injection depending on the type of anesthetic used during the injection. If positive on 2 separate occasions who may consider a pelvic stabilization program with a therapeutic SIJ injection to see if this provides you with more relief than the steroid shot you received in the low back. Hope this helps.
    Amish R Patel DO, MPH
  • Hey all- I'm having similar issues. I sent this as a message to Dr. Patel, but I would love to hear insight from anyone else going through the same thing.

    I'm a 40 year old in very good shape, been a runner and gym rat for most of my life. I started having some very minor neurological symptoms (weakness on the outside of my foot), and after a battery of tests, found out I had:
    DDD, foraminal stenosis, Grade 1 spondylolithesis, and a pars defect, all at L5/S1. (I have more damage at other levels, but L5/S1 has the most extensive damage that manifest in noticeable symptoms).

    Around the same time, I began having pain in the right SI joint area -- my ilium slipped forward and feels "stuck". I've gone to chiropractors to get it "unstuck" -- the manual adjustment is pretty reliable, but I have stopped going because I don't want to cause further damage to my back.

    My surgeon has told me he thinks I'm a good candidate for fusion. However, I am reluctant because I know many people who have fusion at L5/S1 develop problems with their SI joints later -- and I already have problems.

    I have a very general question: is there a real, physical relationship between those vertebrae and the sacrum/SI joints? I have gone to a pain management doctor to get injections at l5/s1, and he's told me that because the disc there is so battered, there is almost no space between the vertebrae, and they're almost fused. I know that sometimes DDD manifests with pain that is often mistaken for SI joint problems, but like I said, my pelvis actually comes out of alignment.

    I would like to think that clearing up my disc issues might solve some of the SI joint problems, but I'm afraid to proceed.

    Any light you can shed on this subject will be greatly appreciated!
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.