3 Tests to Tell You if Your Back Pain is Caused by SI

3 Tests to Tell You if Your Back Pain is Caused by SI

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Are you grappling with persistent back pain? Do not worry, you are not alone. Back pain is a common complaint that can stem from various underlying issues. One possible culprit could be Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction. This article dives into the specifics of SI joint-related back pain, providing you with 3 tests to tell you if your back pain is caused by SI.

With a focus on empowering you with accurate information, we will guide you through these tests and equip you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about your health.

The Importance of SI Joint Dysfunction

The SI joint is situated at the junction of the sacrum and ilium bones in the pelvis. It is a pivotal yet often overlooked component of our musculoskeletal system. It plays a crucial role in supporting the upper body and facilitating smooth movement, especially during activities that involve the lower back and hips.

However, when this joint experiences dysfunction, it can lead to a range of issues, including discomfort, pain, and limited mobility. Identifying SI joint dysfunction early on is of paramount importance, as it can significantly impact your overall well-being and quality of life.

3 Tests to Tell You if Your Back Pain is Caused by SI

Understanding the specific tests used to determine if your back pain originates from SI joint problems is vital for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.

Let’s delve into the details of these 3 tests to tell you if your back pain is caused by SI:

The Pelvic Compression Test: A Key Diagnostic Tool

The Pelvic Compression Test is a fundamental diagnostic technique that focuses on assessing the state of the SI joint. By applying controlled pressure to the pelvis, healthcare professionals can gather valuable insights into the health of this joint and its potential contribution to your back pain. To perform this test:

  • Lie Down: Begin by lying on your back on a stable surface.
  • Bend Your Knees: Keep your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.
  • Application of Pressure: A healthcare provider will gently apply pressure to both sides of your pelvis.

Interpretation: Any discomfort or pain experienced near the SI joint during this test could be indicative of SI joint dysfunction.

The Thigh Thrust Test: A Dynamic Assessment

The Thigh Thrust Test is a dynamic evaluation that focuses on the movement of the SI joint and its potential correlation with your back pain. To conduct this test:

  • Lie on Your Side: Begin by lying on your side, with the affected side facing upwards.
  • Bend Your Non-Painful Leg: Keep the leg that isn’t causing pain bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Elevate the Painful Leg: Gently raise your painful leg slightly higher than the other leg.
  • Application of Pressure: A healthcare provider will apply controlled pressure to elevate your leg further.

Interpretation: Pain near the SI joint while performing this maneuver could suggest SI joint dysfunction as a contributing factor to your back pain.

The FABER Test: Evaluating Hip and SI Joint Involvement

The FABER Test, short for “Flexion, Abduction, External Rotation,” is a specialized assessment designed to explore hip mobility and potential SI joint-related pain. To execute this test:

  • Lie Down: Lie flat on your back on a suitable surface.
  • Cross Your Leg: Cross your affected leg over the opposite knee, forming a figure-four shape.
  • Gentle Pressure: Apply gentle downward pressure on the crossed knee using your hand.

Interpretation: If you experience discomfort or pain around the SI joint region during the FABER Test, it may indicate the presence of SI joint dysfunction.

The Clinical Accuracy of These Tests

As informative as these tests are, it is important to note that they are not infallible. Pain perception varies from person to person, and a definitive diagnosis of SI joint dysfunction requires the expertise of a medical professional specializing in musculoskeletal issues. Consulting such a specialist is crucial for obtaining a precise assessment and pursuing appropriate treatment avenues.

Understanding SI Joint Dysfunction Symptoms

In addition to the diagnostic tests mentioned above, recognizing the symptoms associated with SI joint dysfunction can provide valuable insights into the underlying issue. Common symptoms include:

  • Lower Back Pain: Dull, aching pain in the lower back, sometimes extending to the hips and thighs.
  • Pelvic Discomfort: Feelings of discomfort or pain in the pelvic area, often concentrated on one side.
  • Aggravation with Movement: Pain that intensifies during activities such as walking, climbing stairs, or standing for prolonged periods.

Should you experience these symptoms, especially in conjunction with positive results from the diagnostic tests, seeking medical evaluation is essential for an accurate diagnosis.

The Role of Imaging in Diagnosis

While clinical tests serve as integral tools, medical imaging also plays a significant role in diagnosing SI joint dysfunction. X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) scans may be recommended to visualize the SI joint and its adjacent structures, aiding medical professionals in forming an informed diagnosis.


The exploration of the 3 tests to tell you if your back pain is caused by SI has equipped you with valuable tools for self-assessment. The Pelvic Compression Test, Thigh Thrust Test, and FABER Test provide windows into the realm of SI joint dysfunction.

While these tests provide essential information, remember that a definitive diagnosis demands the expertise of a healthcare professional.

By taking proactive steps and seeking expert guidance, you are on your way to finding relief from back pain and reclaiming your well-being.

Please share your thoughts and points of view in the comments section below. If you found this article informative and gained insights into the 3 tests to tell you if your back pain is caused by SI, please consider sharing it with your friends and family.

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