What is the SI Joint?
The SI joint is formed by the sacrum and the ilium where they meet on either side of the lower back, with the purpose of connecting the spine to the pelvis. This small joint is one of the most durable parts of the human body, and it is responsible for a big job.
The sacroiliac joint extends when you stand and flexes when you sit. This joint moves in conjunction with your hip joints but can move independently in situations where the hips are locked into one position such as when slightly bent forward, like when you are vacuuming or mopping and when sitting.
Sacroiliac joint pain usually crops up as lower back pain or pain in the legs or buttocks.
Weakness in these areas may also be present. The typical culprits in causing the sacroiliac joint to exhibit pain are traumatic injuries such as falls in which you land on your behind or hip, but more commonly develops slowly over a long period of time, going unnoticed for months or even years.
Sacroiliac joint pain is often misdiagnosed as disc herniations, muscle spasms or sprains because the pain pattern mimics these conditions. Doctors may rule out other medical conditions before settling on a diagnosis that includes a sacroiliac joint problem.
If you have suffered an injury, have degenerative disease of your spine or hips joints or otherwise damaged the sacroiliac joint, there are treatments available to help restore motion of the SI joints, manage pain, promote healing, and lessen the chances of recurrence. Here are three helpful guidelines to assist in effectively handling sacroiliac joint pain.
First, seek out a Chiropractor.
Chiropractic treatment, known as adjustments, not only provides great options for pain relief but also helps promote the healing process of this joint. A chiropractor is specifically trained to guide you through several phases of care. Chiropractors don’t focus just on pain relief but are primarily interested in helping you fix the problem. You see, the pain may greatly improve after just a few treatments even if the joint motion isn’t restored. Chiropractors know, stopping care the moment pain relief is felt simply sets you up for relapse.
Chiropractors also very well trained in rehabilitation of the spine. This approach will help loosen the muscles surrounding the joint as well as strengthen them. This will decrease the risk of the pain and problem returning down the road.
Add Soft Tissue Therapies.
Deep Tissue therapy is often used in conjunction with Chiropractic for this condition. Combining deep tissue therapies, such as electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound therapy or trigger point therapy with Chiropractic treatments is a two-pronged approach that can speed healing.
Muscle tightness around the joint is a common cause of discomfort local pain and referred pain. Deep therapeutic massage or trigger point therapy serves to loosen and relax the lower back, buttocks, and leg areas, offering relief from pain.
Additionally, avoid prolonged sitting.
Sitting, especially in a recliner type chair and definitely avoid slouching. You’ve heard the saying “sitting is the new smoking“? Never has that been truer than where SI syndrome is concerned. If sitting is a no-no, the movement, and stretching, is a definite YES for this condition.
In some cases, especially in older individuals who do have hip joint involvement, doctors may choose to refer for an injection to the area to aid in the pain relief. Obviously, the injection won’t fix the problem but may give the patient relief temporarily while your Chiropractic care helps to correct the root cause.
Surgery is rarely a viable option.
If you show symptoms of sacroiliac pain, it’s important to see a Doctor of Chiropractic so he or she can perform tests to correctly diagnose your condition. It could very well be another type of lower back problem. So quit suffering and give us a call!
Dr. Hoch (pronounced Hoke), is a 1988 Graduate of Peotone High School and a 1990 Graduate of Joliet Junior College. She received both her B.S. in Human Biology (1991) and her Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) (1993) from The National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, IL. She also received her graduate and post-graduate certifications in Acupuncture from NCC. This article is copyrighted and may not be copied or duplicated in any manner including printed or electronic media, regardless of whether for a fee or gratis without the prior written permission of Dr. Hoch.