While figuring out the difference between hip and SI (sacroiliac) joint pain can be extremely confusing, being able to identify which one is the culprit is crucial when you’re looking for relief. Your SI joint connects your tailbone (sacrum) and your pelvis. It’s very fibrous and have a limited range of motion – just a few millimeters. Your hip, on the other hand, is much less stable with a wide range of motion, allowing the leg to move freely in every plane.
While the hip and SI joint are very different in structure and function, they share similar pain patterns, which often makes it difficult to tell one from the other. In fact, it’s common to have SI joint pain mimic low back pain. Bending backward usually aggravates SI joint pain as a result of the compression that happens in the joint as you move. Hip pain is more likely to occur when you walk or if you try to bring your knees to your chest.
Let’s take a closer look at each.
- Low back pain is often characterized by pain that radiates into the buttock or leg and may travel down to the foot.
- SI joint pain usually accompanies difficulties standing, walking, climbing stairs, or getting out of the car.
- Hip pain typically occurs when walking and putting weight on or rotating the leg.
Your Next Steps:
Have you felt discomfort and aren’t exactly sure if it’s your low back, SI joint, or hip? It’s important to find a chiropractor and get a complete evaluation. Why? Our hips tend to wear as we age, and if your doctor is only looking at a hip X-ray to determine a plan of care, you may find yourself getting treatment for a problem that you don’t have. At our practice, we take a holistic approach to our evaluations. Our movement assessments ensure that we can pinpoint your individual challenges, giving you the best opportunity to find a care plan that will help you get out of pain, naturally.
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction. Spine-Health. 2021.