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Waking up with Pain-is it SI Joint?

Hi everyone,
     I've been having SI joint problems consistently for almost 2 years. The pain is getting better, much better than the excruciating pain I had 2 years ago, but it still limits me from a lot of activities such as bending, sitting, and standing. The one things though that doesn't seem to be improving is my pain while sleeping. Throughout the night I wake up with pain on the side I have been sleeping on and have to switch sides. And in the morning I wake up in a lot of pain on the side that I wake up on. It's a strong sore ache on the outer thigh up to the mid torso. I'm a side sleeper, but when I wake up on my back it is not as bad, but still aches in the lower back. This pain goes away in an hour or so after taking a hot shower and putting ice on. Has anyone else had this same problem from  their SI joints? I'm trying to see if this is normal or if I need to try a new matress. I have tried stiff foam, soft foam, spring mattress, futon, and memory foam. Thanks


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,720
    hello julsm

    please click on the link for useful information


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I am in tears every morning when I wake up because of SI Joint pain. I literally feel like my pelvis is broken in two! I even have a memory foam mattress, which I guess helps. I think it is normal unfortunately : (. Have you been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis? 

    Retrolisthesis C4 of C5 and C5 of C6
    Spondylolthesis C5/C6
    Disc protrusions with Annular Tears C3/C4, C4/C5, and C5/C6
    Disc Material Compressing Spinal Cord C3/C4
    Severe Forminal Stenosis C5/C6
    Ankylosing Spondylitis 
    Annular Tears L3/L4 and L5/S1
    Enlarged Facet Joints/Facet Anthrosis L3/L4/L5
    PLIF with Rods, Cage, and Pedicle Screws-L4/L5
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  • Thanks Jillybean for responding, so sorry you are going through this also. I have not been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. The doctor just called it Sacroiliac Joint Pain and I haven't found a cause or way to heal it fully. Do you have Ankylosing Spondynitis? What are the main symptoms you have associated with it? Do you sleep with a sacroiliac belt? My symptoms are constant stiffness in legs and lower back, jabbing pain in SI Joint area, burning down lower buttocks to feet, pain with bending, sitting, and standing. And waking up is the worse of course. Thanks, I appreciate to know any advice or experiences.
  • SooveritSooverit Finger Lakes region of NYPosts: 460
    I have the same experience with sleeping/waking. I haven't given much thought to my mattress...hmmm.

    I do try to sleep with a pillow between my knees or under them. That helps a little in funding a comfortable position. Another position I use when I have a lot of discomfort, is to lie on my stomach with a thin pillow under my pelvis, then I bring the knee on the bad side up as far as I can (kinda like froggy), while the other I extend straight back. This position can be very relieving for me. Maybe try it.

    I also wake up early enough to lay on my heating pad (under SI) for 10-15 minutes before I get up. That seems to loosen things up and increase blood flow to the area. I use a moist heat pad. Ahhh. It's great. 

    SI joint problems suck! Sorry :/
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,419
    Make sure you have been formally diagnosed with an SI Joint problem.  Once that is done, your doctor should be able to arrange for an SI Joint injection (containing steroids) .   One injection can calm down the inflammation to potentially eliminate the problem for good.

    I had a SI joint problem that at first I thought was my hips, since I have had both hips totally replaced.  My hip specialist told me it wasn't me hips (after X-rays) but felt it could be bursitis.   Because of the spinal problems I was having with Stenosis, new MRI and decompression surgery, when I was at the orthopedic doctor, the PA examined my SI joint, moved them around a bit and she said that it was clear I did have a SI joint problem.  I had one injection and that cleared up the problem.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    I have severe SI pain if I sleep on my sides and, if I sleep on my back my lumbar and neck hurt.  When I'm really tired and I just fall into bed I sleep like the dead and when I awaken I find myself in the strangest position.  I'm on my back with both my knees bent but my feet to the bed.  Sometimes I find that I've wedged pillows around me in this position.  It seems to alleviate the world of hurt but I have NO idea how I get there!  (Yes, I'm on a strong cocktail of medications!- everything medically prescribed with no cheating at all!)

    The other thing that helped me was a memory foam mattress and bunches of pillows in different shapes, sizes and lofts.  Other than the dog and cats who are sworn to secrecy I have no bed partners so I will stack up pillows in any and every way I can to feel comfy.  Having my hips under me is too painful so I find ways to just partially sleep on my side by propping pillows under me.  Sometimes patches that create heat help when they're applied to my hips.- sometimes they help better on my thighs.

    Keep trying things.  Even maybe a hammock?  I know people who only sleep in recliners.  But it's very important that you find a pain free way to sleep.  The first step in lessening pain is to get enough sleep!

    I hope you have  a good night!

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 645
    Since my new PT has told me my lower lumbar fascia is too tight I've been researching more about it. In reading it does seem like it's something that gets overlooked. Spine-Heath has some info on it...Myofasical therapy 
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