Sacroiliac and Groin Pain

Groin pain is most commonly associated with pulled muscles, specifically the adductor muscle. However, some causes of groin pain may have nothing to do with any of the muscles or bones in the groin area. Pain in the groin area may be caused by problems in the Sacroiliac joint in the lower back.

The Sacroiliac joint is the joint that lies between the sacrum, a triangular bone at the base of the spine, and the ilea, two bones on either side of the pelvis. The joint is held together with strong ligaments, and can be subject to strain. There are two of these joints, on either side of the pelvis, and these joints are weight bearing. This important joint supports the entire weight of the body when we are standing upright. The joint is considered immovable because it is held together with strong ligaments, but it is still subject to movement forces. The Sacroiliac joint is designed to help prevent the force of movement from activities like twisting, walking, and running, from impacting the spine.

When the joint is injured, either by ligament strain or fracture, it causes mild to intense lower back pain. However, sometimes the lower back pain located at the site of the Sacroiliac joint can be felt in other places, like the legs or the groin. It is called referred pain when pain occurs away from the site of the original injury. Though there are several theories as to what causes referred pain, the phenomena, while clearly noted in medical literature, is not fully understood.

The groin pain caused by referred pain from a Sacroiliac joint injury can be chronic or acute, as the pain may not always be the same from day to day, as well as manifesting in other places, like the lower back and the legs. Diagnosing pain associated with the Sacroiliac joint is often difficult because the joint is hard to palpate and does not move easily. When a patient presents with groin pain, pulled muscles or hernias are often the first line of inquiry, but when these more common avenues are exhausted, a closer look at the Sacroiliac joint may reveal the cause of pain.

Sacroiliac joint injuries are most often caused by falls or car accidents. Anything that causes the ligaments in the Sacroiliac joint to stretch can cause movement in the joint, resulting in pain. However, there are other causes as well. People born with an abnormally shaped sacrum may experience degeneration in the Sacroiliac joint. Childbirth can also cause problems in the Sacroiliac joint, as labor can over-stretch the ligaments in the Sacroiliac joint. Unusual walking patterns and leg length discrepancies, as well as arthritic diseases can also lead to problems in the Sacroiliac joint.

Groin pain caused by damage to the Sacroiliac joint can be treated in a number of ways. Some pain may respond to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In more severe cases of pain, steroids and narcotic drugs may be used. If the groin pain is chronic, physical therapy may be recommended. The most severe cases may require pain and steroid injections directly into the Sacroiliac joint. Surgery may also be required in the worst cases.


Filed Under: Sacroiliac Joint
Written By:  Updated:
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Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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8 thoughts on “Sacroiliac and Groin Pain”

  1. Jayne says:

    I have been suffering since 2011. Groin, sacrum pelvic and leg pain. I don’t know how much longer I can stand it. Please someone out there help me somehow. I have no life just suffering. I’m 53 and can’t be a Mom, Grandmother, wife or a friend. I’m alone in my bedroom most all the time. No one wants to be around me because om a nobody now. Please help if u know of a way. Thank u for reading this.

    1. Maureen Russell says:

      Ask to be referred to a pain specialist and tell him all your symptoms. Ask if he thinks it could be associated with your sacrum joint and if a ct or mri scan would identify the problem. I have suffered exactly the same symptoms for over 5 years and have only just found out the cause after paying for an mri San priva

    2. Christina says:

      Please look into Mindfulness Based Stress Relief. There are not always physical classes in some areas, but there are free and paid online courses that are still pretty great. Try to stay active and strengthen your stabilization muscles.

      I was in so much pain for so long and afraid to make things worse, I had little to no confidence that this would work. When my doctor started advising epidurals and surgery, I knew I had to try these less invasive treatments first.

      I would conduct a 2 week “test” during which I would do everything right: limit sitting to less than 2 hours (sitting made the pain unbearable) by moving between a standing desk and treadmill desk while working, sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet, MBSR practice, mindfulness meditation at least once a day,stretching and stabilization exercises multiple times throughout the day and seeing a physical therapist (DPT OCS) and doing the prescribed exercises religiously.

      I figured if someone told me they could greatly improve my quality of life in 2 weeks I would do it. I’m now almost 2 weeks in, I felt slightly improvements after only 2 days. I still have some pain but less than I did before. It’s not this huge thing that consumes my life and taints everything I do and every relationship I have – I control it. I may never be pain free, but I’m in a much better place with respect to my mind and my body and I’m grateful for the things I can do now (like pick up my kids and cuddle them). Hope this helps you as much as it did me!

    3. Nancy says:

      Jayne, you don’t need a good book, you need to call a crisis center, and try to find a good neurosurgeon that immediately orders at minimum, an mri. Have you been to a pain specialist? Had si joint injections, ablation? I agree with Maureen. I know the more I laid around, the harder it was to move again. Try sitting up, taking baby steps. Use a walker, cane, or wheel chair if you have to, but get out of your room. You are not a nobody, you are just somebody dealing with chronic pain. Of course we don’t know what tests you have had, or medications you are taking, therapy etc, but manage enough strength, talk to your husband, parents, friend, anyone that will help you get to a doctor that will listen.

      1. Steve says:

        Jayne and Nancy, The book was suggested so that anyone suffering from a condition that is lingering, will have a better understanding of that condition and a better understanding of how to communicate with medical professionals. We believe that part of the issue for people suffering for so long is that, the suffering simply is not educated enough about their options and thus they just do what they are told, and that has proved to be less than optimal for many…

        Please educate your self and seek all available options…


        Steve HBI-Staff

  2. Admin says:

    Hi Jayne,
    Thank you for your comment and question. We would like to help and If you do not already have it, we suggest you get a copy of our back pain book -The 7 Day Back Pain Cure. It has lots of information to understand back pain better along with pain relief methods for you to try. You will also find useful information and education about the back and treatment options you can consider. It has a lot of other useful information you will find helpful as well when dealing with back pain. Please read more about the book and its contents via the link below

    Thank you
    Admin (The Healthy Back Institute)

  3. Linny says:

    Please see a pain specialist. I have S.I. pain and had an injection .The relief was immediate. They are trained for relief of pain. Usually anesthesiologists and care deeply.I font know what your specific problem is but if it is chronic pain they will find out why first.

  4. Katrina McIlroy says:

    Yes I also have had an injection under X-ray to my SI joint, it instantly relieved my lower back pain, groin pain and hip pain. I went through years of severe pain that finally affected my ability to walk , drive and sit. The shot made it possible to have a life again . If you can ask to try this shot for diagnostic and therapeutic reasons, a good doctor can help with this. It sounds like you may need to keep trying to find the right doctor who will facilitate treatments . Don’t give up , keep trying.

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