Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction – or SI Joint Dysfunction – affects about 40% of the population at any given time. Most people are unaware that they are affected by it until it becomes a more serious issue. What is interesting to note is that SI Joint Dysfunction is the root cause of about 80% of all lower back issues.
What is the Sacroiliac Joint?
The Sacroiliac Joint is next to the bottom of the spine, below the lumbar spine and just above the tailbone. It is the small joint between the sacrum and pelvis. Small and very strong, it is reinforced by strong ligaments surrounding it.
Symptoms of SI Joint Dysfunction
- Dull or sharp pain at the joint that can move to buttocks, groin, thigh, etc.
- Lower back pain
- Pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness specifically in the lower extremities
- Pelvis and/or buttock pain
- Hip and/or groin pain
- Leg instability – buckling of the legs
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Disturbed sitting patterns – inability to sit for long periods of time
- Pain transitioning from sitting to standing
Causes of SI Joint Dysfunction
- Thought to be due to an alteration in normal movement
- too much movement – hyper-mobility or instability
- too little movement – hypo-mobility or fixation
- Inflamed joints
- Getting hurt while playing sports or suffering a fall
- Doing regular activities that require pounding of pavement – jogging, running, etc.
- hormones can cause joints to loosen
Treatments for SI Joint Dysfunction
- Ice, Heat, Rest – repeat when necessary
- ice or cold packs, applied in intervals of 15-20 minutes as needed in order to reduce inflammation
- rest is key in reducing irritation and more inflammation
- heat – hot baths or heating pads – can be added only after the highest pain intensity has subsided
- Medications to reduce swelling which is contributing to your pain
- pain relievers such as acetaminophen
- Chirpractic Adjustments
- adjustments may help to relieve pain when the SI Joint is fixated or “stuck”
- Supports/braces can be wrapped around the waist and pulled tightly to stabilize the inflamed area
- Physical Therapy & Exercise is helpful to strengthen the muscles around the SI Joint and increase range of motion
- low impact aerobic exercise will help blood flow to the area
- For more severe cases – Sacroiliac Joint Fusion which takes one or both of the SI Joints and fuses them in order to eliminate abnormal movements
The keys to affective treatment are knowing the symptoms and causes and being able to identify them. SI Joint Dysfunction is a lot more common than most people think. And there are ways in which treatment can help not only to heal, prevent future inflammations.