Sacroiliac Joint Pain And How Chiropractic Treatment Can Help
The sacroiliac (SI) joints act as the connection between the lower and upper body, connecting the pelvis to the lower part of the spine. Due to pressure from the upper body, these joints are under constant strain, which may manifest as lower back or buttock pain. This pain is referred to as sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and may result from the improper alignment of the joints or strain on the surrounding ligaments and muscles.
Symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction
The SI joints support pelvic movement and adsorb the pressure of the upper body. With time, these joints may lose their structural integrity, or become misaligned resulting in discomfort.
Pain that radiates from the top of the pelvis, and that tends to be more intense when you bend backwards, indicates inflammation in the SI joints, while pain that tends to be more intense when you bend forward is a likely indicator of damaged or strained ligaments. SI dysfunction is often a result of too much strenuous activity such as walking or running, or due to old age as the joints lose their structural integrity. Patients with conditions such as inflammatory arthritis or skeletal deformity may also be vulnerable to this condition.
Chiropractic care and SI dysfunction
If you suffer from lower back pain, it is important that you get chiropractic assessment. A chiropractor will use spinal adjustments to align the SI joints and massage the surrounding area so as to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation.
The first phase of chiropractic treatment is usually spinal manipulation, where the top knee is bent and gradually raised forward towards the chest while the patient is lying on their back. The bottom shoulder is then stretched forward, allowing for the spine and pelvic region to stretch.
By pulling tension on the upper shoulder backwards and the knee forward, chiropractors can effectively put tension on the sacroiliac joints, reducing stiffness in the ligaments and muscles surrounding the joint and increasing range of motion. This manipulation of the spine often causes a popping sound as the joint is releases.
The next phase of the treatment involves spinal mobilization which calls for slow, gentle thrusts into the lower back and pelvic area. Chiropractors apply various hand movements to mobilize the affected joint and stimulate healing in torn muscles and ligaments. Should the practitioner notice any serious pelvic instability, he may recommend that you wear an 'SI belt' to help stabilize the joints.
These chiropractic adjustments, coupled with various stretching exercises, can provide a viable treatment for sacroiliac joint pain and help restore movement and stability of the lower back and pelvic area.