Unilateral Hip Rotation Range of Motion Asymmetry in Patients With Sacroiliac Joint Regional Pain

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Abstract

Study Design.

A cross-sectional study was used to determine whether limited range of motion in the hip was present in 100 patients-one group with unspecified low back pain and another group with signs suggesting sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Objectives.

To determine whether a characteristic pattern of range of motion in the hip is related to low back pain in patients and to determine whether such a pattern is associated with and without signs of sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Summary of Background Data.

The sacroiliac joint is often considered a potential site of low back pain. Problems with the sacroiliac joint, as well as with the low back, have often been related to reduced or asymmetric range of motion in the hip. The correlation between sacroiliac joint dysfunction and hip range of motion, however, has not been thoroughly evaluated with reliable tests in a population of patients with low back pain.

Methods.

Passive hip internal and external rotation goniometric measurements were taken by a blinded examiner, while a separate examiner evaluated the patient for signs of sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Patients with sacroiliac joint dysfunction were further classified as having a left or a right posteriorly tilted innominate.

Results.

The patients with low back pain but without evidence of sacroiliac joint dysfunction had significantly greater external hip rotation than internal rotation bilaterally, whereas those with evidence of sacroiliac joint dysfunction had significantly more external hip rotation than internal rotation unilaterally, specifically on the side of the posterior innominate.

Conclusions.

Clinicians should consider evaluating for unilateral asymmetry in range of motion in the hip in patients with low back pain. The presence of such asymmetry in patients with low back pain may help identify those with sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

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