The Sacroiliac joint is the connection of bones that joins the spine to the pelvis. The sacrum, which is a triangular shaped bone that sits at the lower part of the spine, is connected to the right and left ilium bones. 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.
However, sometimes the movement forces on the Sacroiliac joint can damage the joint and the ligaments, fracture the bones in the joint, or cause damage in nerves that radiate from the joint into the hips and legs. Automobile accidents can cause extreme strain on the joint and could lead to damage. Many people pay close attention to pain in the upper spine during car accidents, the so-called whiplash injury, but car accidents can lead to lower back injuries as well, and can cause problems with the Sacroiliac joint.
Even a car accident as minor as a fender bender can stretch out the ligaments that comprise the Sacroiliac joint, causing swelling, inflammation and pain in the lower back, down the hips and buttocks area. A car accident can also dislocate the Sacroiliac joint. The rapid stops involved in car accidents can displace the bones in the joint, causing ligaments to strain. Even minor trauma to the joint can result in a variety of pain symptoms and limitations to mobility, including:
- – Difficulty standing up from a seated position, turning over in bed, tying shoes, and pain getting in and out of a car.
- – ching in the lower back after sitting or driving for long periods.
- – Numbness and tingling in the legs.
- – Pain in the buttock, hips and lower back area. This pain can range from aches to sharper pains that make movement difficult.
- – Pain that can radiate out into the groin.
Car accidents can even fracture the Sacroiliac joint. Combined with the above symptoms, a fracture of the Sacroiliac joint can result in the following painful symptoms:
- – A grinding sensation in the joint
- – Difficulty or inability bearing weight.
- – Pain will increase greatly with activity.
Injury to the Sacroiliac joint as a result of a car accident can be treated in a number of ways:
- – Physical therapy can help restore ligament strength.
- – If physical therapy fails, cortisone injections may be necessary.
- – Some injuries may respond to tissue massages on the back.
- – Milder injuries can respond to ice and cold therapy/compress therapy.
- – Electrotherapy treatment in a physical therapy setting can relieve pain.
- – Reducing pressure on the sacrum by sitting on chairs or pillows.
- – Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory painkillers are helpful, but in more severe injuries, steroids may be used, as well as narcotic painkillers
- – For the most severe injuries to the Sacroiliac joint in a car accident, surgery may be needed.
Written By: Updated: June 30,2011
12 thoughts on “Sacroiliac Joint Pain Caused by Auto Accidents”
I know the feeling of a sacroliac psin after car accident ?
I was sitting at a red light with over 10 cars in front of me who were also stopped. Out of no where a car crashed into me so hard, made me hit the guy about 6′ in front of me and then he hit me again. I was screaming and didn’t understand what was happening to me . I had instant pain in my S.I. Joint on one side but my entire low back hurt and my neck took quite a beating going back and forth with all the hits. I was very disoriented and within an hour I had a severe headache for 1 1/2 days. It is over 2 months now and with physical therapy , massage therapy, heating pads with electrical stimulation, along with neck stretching and legs moved to stretch out my low back. I am having a bit less pain in my herniated discs in my cervical spine but my low back bulging discs ,severe low back spasms, and S.I.Joint pain is still bad and I am still unstable with my S.I. joint since it moves and it is not supposed to move. One of my doctors said it is the worst ligaments in the body to heal from lack of blood supply to that area of the body and we can not immobilize that area because of standing ,sitting, & walking. He said it takes some 5 months to heal but others never are the same.
I know what your experienceing, I had just gotten on the Freeway, I wasn’t even going the speed limit. All of an sudden I was rear ended by a 22 year old man. When I get on the freeway, I always look in all my mirrors to see if anyone is coming behind.me. There was no one in sight , There were cars on the west side of Rt. 306 which is where I merged on the freeway. On impact, he moved my car. I couldn’t raise my arms and I had pins & needles stabbing me in my lower back. I was paralized, I couldn’t get out of the car. I hurt so bad I had tears in my eyes. I was put on a hard board and a brace on my neck. Taken to the hospital emergencey room where I laid for 7 hours waiting for Xrays. I then went to the doctor for my shoulders, both had all 4 muscles torn from the rotator cuff and the rotator cuff was torn from front to back and my bicep was torn . I had surgery on my right shoulder 2 years ago and I still can’t raise my arm to do my hair. and I still have pain in my arms I also have spinal stenosis of the lower back. I had surgery a year ago. I now have had bad pain when I sit down, A bone in my lower back pokes out when I sit and causes severe pain.. I have been in constant pain since the accident. the back surgery was horrible as the anesthestis gave me a antibolic that I was allergic too. after I told him “My allergeries are on my chart, You need to check my chart”. And he didn’t. I also had a sprained neck from the seat belt and had to go to therapy in water. I had the sciatic nerve problems that were taken care of in surgery. My life has been like a vegetable, I can’t lift, I hurt when I bend over. The accident triggered my Vertigo and I can’t bend over, look up, and when I get up I get dizzy and lose my balance. I have a hard time sleeping, no matter how I lay i’m in pain.
I understand both of you. .. I got rear ended 4 years ago and I have prolotherapy in sacroliac ligament
My god. .it is a very long process ? … I’m in pain everyday
I am googling stuff on back pain too. I was rear-ended and my lower back INSTANTLY hurt. I don’t know why I remember that so vividly but I do. I am the same as Chris. The person hit me without braking,
But I too had neck injury and severe headaches for over a month. Seems the headaches are gone, at least the daily ones. But when I get headaches now they are HORRIBLE. I never had headaches bad enough to take advil. I don’t take pills, ever. But now I have to when I get a headache cause it hurts so bad.
Oh I had internal bruising from the seatbelt too. not fun.
I have other issues, knee, shoulder and BACK.
The back was the main reason I am on here. They are working on my knee, 2 surgeries and one more to go. Next will be my back.
Everyone keeps asking if my legs hurt from the back but they do NOT. The only way I can describe, being a woman, is it feels like back labor. It’s the lower mid-back in constant 24/7 pain very tight like a knot and it feels like someone is pulling that knot tighter on the right and left of my back.
But now, since they are focusing on my knee and letting my back do with muscle relaxers it seems to be getting much worse. Its still localized to the mid-lower back and side to side of that area with the middle part being worst and each side less. But now instead of a “tightness” in the mid-lower back it feels like a ripping. It does not matter if I sit, stand, stretch, take muscle relaxer.. it hurts no matter what. The only time I don’t feel it is when I am sleeping. I hope its not getting worse.
Has anyone has these symptoms? If so, did you get a diganosis? treatment? did it work?
I am scared to find out what it is actually. I worked up the nerve to have the knee worked on but I am so afraid of the back because of all the nerves there.
Thank you for posting. We believe education is key to dealing with back pain and we would suggest you get yourself a copy of our book the “7 Day Back Pain Cure”. The book discusses back pain issues, muscle imbalances, sciatica and related pains, various treatment options you can consider, pain relief suggestions, action plans and other helpful information for when dealing with pain.
Do please read more details and information about the 7 Day Back Pain Cure book via the link below
We also suggest you seek medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional to discuss your symptoms.
Our Best Wishes
Admin (The Healthy Back Institute)
I was in car wreck 5 months ago and still dealing with SI joint pain go to therapy twice a week but not much better. Will this ever heal or is it permanent
I was also in a car accident 2.5 years ago, they are saying I might have damage to my SI joints. I have done PT, chiro, massage, Acupuncture and now pain management and cannot seem to get relief at all. I hope this isn’t the case for you! But it does suck. I have been told my damage might be permanent since its been so long and the pain hasn’t gotten much better after all this time. Stick to your exercises and try massage! I hope this gives you some insight and helps some. Everyone is different though! Good luck
Thank you for your comment. We would like to help and suggest as a good starting point that you get a copy of our 7 Day Back Pain Cure Book.
Our book covers back pain and related issues, pain relief suggestions and treatments to consider, along with other useful information that may be helpful to you.
Please see the link below to learn more details about the book :-
Thank you, Our Best Wishes
Admin(The Healthy Back Institute)
1. There is no way for anyone to know your prognosis from this blog but I can give you some suggestions to make you are taking the most correct actions possible.
2. You must ask your therapist, about the current state of your muscle Imbalances and any postural dysfunctions (or abnormal pisition of your pelvis or curavature of your spine)
3. If you do not understand (muscle Imbalances and any postural dysfunctions) please get this book and read it.
4. Please also understand that our bodies take time to heal, (in most cases longer than we think or want)
5. Be sure to be assessed for Trigger Points and Myofascial Restriction
6. Please understand that (Everything Matter) in the context of recovery Nutrition, Physical and the Mind (including your thoughts feelings and emotions about your situation)
i understand what you people are saying my hip low back still hurt after 6 years ago when i was rear ended I still have bad pain I mean it hurts so bad that just want to cry..
Thank you for taking the time to leave your comment. We would like to help and suggest that you get a copy of our 7 Day Back Pain Cure Book.
Our book covers back pain and related issues, pain relief suggestions and treatments you can consider along with other information that may be helpful to you.
Please see the link below to learn more details about the book:-
Thank you, Our Best Wishes
Admin(The Healthy Back Institute)