The Sacroiliac (SI) joint is where the sacrum and the iliac bones join in the pelvis. The SI joint are a very common cause of low back and/or leg pain, and may account for up to half of all LBP cases. The SI Joints are weight bearing joints support the spine and are prone to stress and inflammation causing localised pain and discomfort in the lower back and/or buttock. Sometimes even referring into the leg and groin.
There are many different terms for sacroiliac joint problems, known as
• SI joint dysfunction
• SI joint syndrome
• SI joint strain
• And SI joint inflammation.
SI Joint Dysfunction Causes
• Degenerative arthritis
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can be caused by degenerative arthritis. Normally, the SI joints have a cartilage layer covering the bone. This cartilage allows movement and also absorbs shock between the bones. When this cartilage is damaged or worn away, the bones begin to rub on each other, and degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) occurs.
Women may experience SI joint dysfunction due to the hormonal effects of pregnancy as well as the childbirth mechanism. During pregnancy, hormones are released in the woman’s body that allows ligaments to relax and this relaxation of the ligaments holding the SI joints together allow increased motion in the joints and can lead to increased stresses.
• Repeated Stress Injuries & Biomechanical Dysfunction
Any condition that increases the stress on the SI Joints, including running, lifting with poor posture, repeated bending, siting for long periods with poor posture, altered biomechanics of the knee and foot including over pronation and flat feet, muscular imbalances and poor core stability.
• Inflammatory Arthritis
Sign and Symptoms
The most common symptom of SI joint dysfunction is,
• Mild-to-severe low back pain
• Pain in the buttocks
• Pain that seems deep in the pelvis
• Pain in the hip
• Pain that radiates down the leg on the affected side
• In s sprain, pain may be sharp & stabbing
• Stiffness of the lower back especially if sitting for long periods
• Certain activities may increase the pain, such as walking, twisting, or bending, weight bearing activities, moving from siting to standing
• May have Leg Length Inequality. The length of one leg may be different than the other (shorter or longer) because either or both a functional (muscle/posture) or structural (bone/cartilage) abnormality.
There are number of risk factors which increased sacroiliac joint dysfunction this includes,
• Muscular Imbalances
• Poor Core Stability
• Repeated Bending or twisting the back
• Improper lifting
• Poor Sitting Posture
• Sitting and Driving for long periods
• Inflammatory conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis or psoriatic arthritis
Initially: Apply Ice to the area to help control inflammation and decrease pain. 20 minutes on 1 hour off repeated 3-4 times.
Full Chiropractic Assessment:
This will help determine the likely origin of you pain and discomfort. You will receive a full Orthopaedic, Neurological and biomechanics assessment. Depending on the findings you will likely receive a combination of the following:
• Chiropractic Adjustments to realign the spine and pelvis.
• Soft Tissue Techniques including Massage, Trigger Point Therapy, Active Release Techniques and Acupuncture to relax surrounding musculature, release tension, help realign pelvis and reduce pain and discomfort.
• Stretching Exercises for the muscles surrounding of the lower back and hip
• Core Stability and Corrective Exercises
• Mobility Exercises to help the function of the SI Joints.
• Lifestyle and Exercise Advice.