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Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction in Endurance Runners Using Wearable Technology as a Clinical Monitoring Tool: Systematic Review

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posted on 2024-06-06, 06:54 authored by Stuart EvansStuart Evans

Background: In recent years, researchers have delved into the relationship between the anatomy and biomechanics of sacroiliac joint (SIJ) pain and dysfunction in endurance runners to elucidate the connection between lower back pain and the SIJ. However, the majority of SIJ pain and dysfunction cases are diagnosed and managed through a traditional athlete-clinician arrangement, where the athlete must attend regular in-person clinical appointments with various allied health professionals. Wearable sensors (wearables) are increasingly serving as a clinical diagnostic tool to monitor an athlete’s day-to-day activities remotely, thus eliminating the necessity for in-person appointments. Nevertheless, the extent to which wearables are used in a remote setting to manage SIJ dysfunction in endurance runners remains uncertain. Objective: This study aims to conduct a systematic review of the literature to enhance our understanding regarding the use of wearables in both in-person and remote settings for biomechanical-based rehabilitation in SIJ dysfunction among endurance runners. In addressing this issue, the overarching goal was to explore how wearables can contribute to the clinical diagnosis (before, during, and after) of SIJ dysfunction. Methods: Three online databases, including PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar, were searched using various combinations of keywords. Initially, a total of 4097 articles were identified. After removing duplicates and screening articles based on inclusion and exclusion criteria, 45 articles were analyzed. Subsequently, 21 articles were included in this study. The quality of the investigation was assessed using the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews. Results: Among the 21 studies included in this review, more than half of the investigations were literature reviews focusing on wearable sensors in the diagnosis and treatment of SIJ pain, wearable movement sensors for rehabilitation, or a combination of both for SIJ gait analysis in an intelligent health care setting. As many as 4 (19%) studies were case reports, and only 1 study could be classified as fully experimental. One paper was classified as being at the “pre” stage of SIJ dysfunction, while 6 (29%) were identified as being at the “at” stage of classification. Significantly fewer studies attempted to capture or classify actual SIJ injuries, and no study directly addressed the injury recovery stage. Conclusions: SIJ dysfunction remains underdiagnosed and undertreated in endurance runners. Moreover, there is a lack of clear diagnostic or treatment pathways using wearables remotely, despite the availability of validated technology. Further research of higher quality is recommended to investigate SIJ dysfunction in endurance runners and explore the use of wearables for rehabilitation in remote settings.


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JMIR Biomedical Engineering



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JMIR Publications Inc.



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© Stuart Evans. Originally published in JMIR Biomedical Engineering (, 20.05.2024. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Biomedical Engineering, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.