Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction is when the sacrum does not articulate properly with a part of the hip called the ilium. These two bone come together to form the dimples present at the base of your spine called the sacroiliac joints, or SI joints. The main movement of the joint is a shearing movement, which means a sliding movement between the two parallel edges, also known as joint facets.
Dysfunction: Sacroiliac joint dysfunction means that the sacroiliac joint is not working the way it is intended to. Each joint works to move the weight from the upper body to the lower body. It allows little motion due to the strong tendons and ligaments that support the SI joints. When that movement is limited or altered in the way that either the ileum or the sacrum is not in the actual position, stuck, inflamed, fixated, or there is extra movement, it is called SI joint dysfunction.
Causes of SI Joint Pain
One of the significant factors that leads to sacroiliac joint pain is being overweight, because it increases the amount of stress on that joint. However, other reasons include weak Gluteus muscles, causing anisomelia, also known as pelvic un-leveling or a functional short leg, where one leg becomes shorter than the other. This causes a development in abnormal gait (walking) patterns, and overtime, causes inflammation, SI joint dysfunction, and pain. SI joint pain can also be due to a trauma from a foot, hip, or knee injury that causes a permanent anatomical short leg. Another cause is an SI Joint sprain/strain, where the muscles and ligaments are stretched passed their normal range of motion causing damage, inflammation, and pain to the joint.
Symptoms can vary from person to person depending on the mechanism of injury and the situation. SI joint pain is present in the low back or buttocks, and can be widespread. The pain can transfer from the back and buttocks to the leg and front of the thigh but not past the knee. The pain can vary in severity and can be accompanied by residual muscle spasms or neurological/radicular symptoms.
Chiropractic Treatment for SI Joint Dysfunction
Chiropractic treatment is the best source of treatment for this particular condition. The chiropractor will rely on patient medical history, physical examination, and medical imaging including X-Rays and an MRI if needed to determine the best form of treatment for the patient. Chiropractors can help in restoring the movement in the SI joint through manual manipulation to the affected region. It is common to see immediate relief in severity and symptoms, but follow up visits are recommended to completely correct the acute condition. The doctor will typically perform myofascial release and specific stretches to the affected area along with the adjustments. Once the acute pain has been decreased it is important that the patient focus on corrective strengthening exercises to prevent the SI joint dysfunction from re-injury or slowly returning.
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