Diagnosing SI Joint Dysfunction
SI Joint Dysfunction symptoms can mimic those of other low back problems, making it difficult for physicians to diagnose. But some simple tests may be effective in getting to the bottom of what’s causing the pain.
The most common symptom of SI joint dysfunction is pain, which is also a symptom of other conditions that can affect the lower part of the spine. This can make finding a definitive diagnosis difficult. Therefore, effective treatment requires the clinical knowledge, training and experience to recognize pain symptoms that may be caused by the SI joint, and then apply certain tests to arrive at a clear diagnosis.
Before performing specific diagnostic tests, your physician will discuss with you and review at length your medical history. Among the questions asked and factors discussed may be:
Identification of SI Joint Dysfunction Risk Factors
After discussing your medical history with you, your physician will conduct a thorough physical examination. During this exam, if SI joint dysfunction is suspected, diagnostic tests may include:
Review of any previous diagnostic imaging (MRI, CT, X-rays)
These are simple diagnostic aids that healthcare providers use to isolate the pain, determining whether it is (or isn’t) coming from the SI joint.
SI Joint Injection
This is a crucial step in arriving at a definitive SI joint dysfunction diagnosis. If following the injection your pain is significantly decreased, then it is likely that the SI joint is a cause of, or major contributor to, the pain being experienced. But if the pain does not decrease following the injection, then the SI Joint is ruled out as the cause of the low back pain. Many physicians will repeat diagnostic injections in order to be completely sure of the diagnosis.
If you are experiencing low back pain and wondering if a problem with your SI joint is to blame, visit our Find a Doctor page to locate an expert healthcare professional in your area, trained in SI Joint Dysfunction diagnosis and treatment.
Ref 1. Fortin JD, F. F. (1997, July 26). The Fortin finger test: an indicator of sacroiliac pain. Retrieved February 2, 2015, from PubMed.gov