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



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.

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Correspondence to L. H. Visser.

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

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Visser, L.H., Woudenberg, N.P., de Bont, J. et al. Treatment of the sacroiliac joint in patients with leg pain: a randomized-controlled trial. Eur Spine J 22, 2310–2317 (2013).

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  • Sacroiliac joint
  • Treatment
  • Manual therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Injection