European Spine Journal

, Volume 22, Issue 10, pp 2310–2317

Treatment of the sacroiliac joint in patients with leg pain: a randomized-controlled trial


    • Department of NeurologySt. Elisabeth Hospital
  • N. P. Woudenberg
    • Department of NeurologySt. Elisabeth Hospital
  • J. de Bont
    • Department of NeurologySt. Elisabeth Hospital
  • F. van Eijs
    • Department of AnesthesiologySt. Elisabeth Hospital
  • K. Verwer
    • Department of RehabilitationLeypark
  • H. Jenniskens
    • Department of RehabilitationLeypark
  • B. L. Den Oudsten
    • Department of Medical PsychologyCoRPS-Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic Diseases, Tilburg University
    • Department of Education and ResearchSt. Elisabeth Hospital
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00586-013-2833-2

Cite this article as:
Visser, L.H., Woudenberg, N.P., de Bont, J. et al. Eur Spine J (2013) 22: 2310. doi:10.1007/s00586-013-2833-2



The sacroiliac joint (SIJ) may be a cause of sciatica. The aim of this study was to assess which treatment is successful for SIJ-related back and leg pain.


Using a single-blinded randomised trial, we assessed the short-term therapeutic efficacy of physiotherapy, manual therapy, and intra-articular injection with local corticosteroids in the SIJ in 51 patients with SIJ-related leg pain. The effect of the treatment was evaluated after 6 and 12 weeks.


Of the 51 patients, 25 (56 %) were successfully treated. Physiotherapy was successful in 3 out of 15 patients (20 %), manual therapy in 13 of the 18 (72 %), and intra-articular injection in 9 of 18 (50 %) patients (p = 0.01). Manual therapy had a significantly better success rate than physiotherapy (p = 0.003).


In this small single-blinded prospective study, manual therapy appeared to be the choice of treatment for patients with SIJ-related leg pain. A second choice of treatment to be considered is an intra-articular injection.


Sacroiliac joint Treatment Manual therapy Physiotherapy Injection

Supplementary material

586_2013_2833_MOESM1_ESM.tif (218 kb)
This figure shows the five exercises which has to be performed by the patients who were randomized for physiotherapy (TIFF 217 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013