Anatomy of the Sacroiliac Joint
Do you suffer from lower back or buttock pain? This pain may be originating from your sacroiliac joint, also known as the “SI Joint”. Before we discuss what can happen when this joint is dysfunctional, lets learn about this joint and it’s overall function.
Your sacroiliac joint connects the hip bones to the sacrum, which is a triangular shaped bone between the lumbar spine and tailbone. The sacroiliac joint typically does not move much. It’s main purpose is to be a shock absorber between the upper body, pelvis and legs.
Strong ligaments surround the sacroiliac joint providing support to the back and pelvis. This network of soft tissues provide support, absorb pressure, and limit the over extension of the joint. The main muscles that provide support to the sacroiliac joint are the piriformis muscle and the gluteus maximus.
Women may be a higher risk for SI Joint Dysfunction
Young and middle aged women are at a higher risk of living with SI joint dysfunction. Women who are pregnant or have recently given birth are more likely to experience sacroiliac joint pain. Regular visits to your local chiropractor may help prevent or ease the discomfort for expecting or new mothers, experiencing SI joint dysfunction.
What are the Symptoms
If you suffer from lower back and leg pain, you may have sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Sometimes the leg pain associated with the SI Joint can be mistakenly diagnosed as sciatica, since the leg pain is similar in both conditions. Lets examine the symptoms of SI joint dysfunction:
- Lower back pain: Feels dull, aching and can rage from mild to severe. Typically this back pain is only felt on one side, but may present itself on both sides.
- Moving pain: The pain can travel from your hips, buttocks, and or groin. Most patients complain of pain in the upper buttock and upper portion of the backside of the thigh.
- Sciatica “like” pain: As mentioned earlier, sciatica pain is similar in the sense that the pain can radiate down your leg, though rarely extending past the knee. You may also experience numbness and tingling similar to sciatica.
- Stiffness: May experience stiffness and reduced range of motion in the lower back, hips, pelvis and groin. Patients may find it difficult to walk up stairs or bend from the waist.
- Increased pain: Pain in the SI joint increases when running, jogging, or lying on one side.
- Instability: Patients may experience instability in the lower back or pelvis, which may give the feeling that the pelvis will give way while walking or standing.
How Can a Chiropractor Help?
After your chiropractor has examined you and determined that your pain and discomfort stems from the SI joint, he or she may apply spinal manipulations to address this condition. There are two general approaches your chiropractor may take.
- Traditional chiropractic adjustment, also known as spinal manipulation or high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust.
- Gentle, less forceful adjustment, also known as spinal mobilization or low-velocity, low-amplitude thrust.
- As illustrated above, the chiropractic adjustment of the sacroiliac joint is implemented with the patient lying down on his or her side.
- The top knee is bent and raised toward the chest
- The bottom shoulder is positioned forward, creating a stretch on the low back and pelvic area.
- The chiropractor applies pressure to the SI joint while the patients upper shoulder is tractioned backward and the knee is tractioned toward the floor.
- When slack is removed from the lumbar spine, and the pre-manipulation position appears to be comfortable for the patient, the chiropractor applies a high-velocity, low amplitude thrust.
This thrust often results in a audible release. This takes place when oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide escape from the joint when the joint is safely adjusted past its range.
Your chiropractor may recommend a treatment plan for regular visits until the SI joint returns back to normal. He or she may recommend exercises, stretches, and other lifestyle changes to help ensure your recovery. Your Chiropractor may also recommend Cold Laser Therapy or other adjunct therapies, if they feel they are required in your particular case.
If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms listed earlier, it’s important to visit your local chiropractor. Chiropractors are joint specialists and may be the best line of defense for SI joint dysfunction.
If you live in Brick, NJ and you’re in search of an expert chiropractor, the Back and Neck Center of Brick can help! Our office has been treating patients for over 28 years and we are confident we can help you too!
Come see why the Back and Neck Center of Brick has been Voted Best Chiropractors in Ocean County 9 Times in a Row by Readers of the Asbury Park Press! From 2009 – 2017!
Thanks for reading and be well!