Three-dimensional movements of the sacroiliac joint: a systematic review of the literature and assessment of clinical utility

J Man Manip Ther. 2008;16(1):25-38. doi: 10.1179/106698108790818639.


The high frequency of static and dynamic palpation methods used during evaluation of SIJ problems in clinical practice demands an understanding of the factual quantity of movement at the SIJ. The objective of this systematic literature review was to synthesize three-dimensional (3-D) motion of the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) during various functional static postures and movements and to determine the clinical utility of movement during examination. A computer-based search was performed by means of OVID, which included Medline (February 1966 to April 2007) and CINAHL (February 1982 to April 2007) using the key words Pelvis, Kinematics, Imaging, Three-dimensional, and Stereophotogrammetric. Articles included in-vivo or in-vitro studies that investigated human SIJs with 3-D analysis. Three-dimensional analyses conducted using mathematical modeling, computerized modeling, and/or skin markers were not included because of concerns of transferability and validity. Studies that failed to report standard error of measurement (SEM) or defined tabulated values for translations or rotations using the Cartesian coordinate system were not considered for this study. Studies included for review were analyzed by the SBC biomechanical checklist to measure the quality of procedural design. Seven manuscripts were eligible for inclusion in this study. Rotation ranged between -1.1 to 2.2 degrees along the X-axis, -0.8 to 4.0 degrees along the Y-axis, and -0.5 to 8.0 degrees along the Z-axis. Translation ranged between -0.3 to 8.0 millimeters (mm) along the X-axis, -0.2 to 7.0 mm along the Y-axis, -0.3 to 6.0 mm along the Z-axis. Motion of the SIJ is limited to minute amounts of rotation and of translation suggesting that clinical methods utilizing palpation for diagnosing SIJ pathology may have limited clinical utility.

Keywords: Cartesian Coordinate System; Pelvic Kinematics; Roentgen Stereophotogrammetric Analysis; Sacroiliac Joint; Systematic Review.