Sacroiliac (SI) joint pain or lower back pain is a frequent condition seen in our office at West End Chiropractic and Wellness . SI join pain is commonly felt in the low back and buttocks. Today will discuss the anatomy of SI joint pain and how the traditional medical thought process of SI joint pain (aging, genetics) is not always correct when diagnosing it and how understanding bio-mechanical patterns can lead to fixing this issue for many individuals.
What is sacroiliac joint pain?
The SI joints are located between the iliac bones and the sacrum, connecting the spine to the hips. The two joints provide support and stability, and play a major role in absorbing impact when walking and lifting. From the back, the SI joints are located below the waist where two dimples are visible.
Strong ligaments and muscles support the SI joints. There is a very small amount of motion in the joint for normal body flexibility. As we age our bones can become arthritic and ligaments can stiffen leading to pain in some cases. The SI joint is a synovial joint filled with fluid. This type of joint has free nerve endings that can cause chronic pain if the joint degenerates or does not move properly (will come back to this as its important!)
Trauma not included, a majority of time Sacroiliac joint pain is caused by either inflammation, lack of motion (aka stiffness) and degeneration of the joint (arthritis).
What are the symptoms?
The signs and symptoms of SI pain start in the lower back and buttock, and may radiate to the lower hip, groin or upper thigh. While the pain is usually one sided, it can occur on both sides. Patients may also experience numbness or tingling in the leg or a feeling of weakness in the leg.
Symptoms may worsen with sitting, standing, sleeping, walking or climbing stairs. Often the SI joint is painful sitting or sleeping on the affected side. Some people have difficulty riding in a car or standing, sitting or walking too long. Pain can be worse with transitional movements (going from sit to stand), standing on one leg or doing chores around the house in which the body is moving positions.
How does SI joint pain start?
As we discussed prior, there can be a variety of causes for SI joint pain. If you take a visit to your local MD most often the diagnosis given will be as a result of trauma, or an auto immune issues (think rheumatoid arthritis) and sometimes from severe degeneration. All these issues can cause SI joint pain….but for the majority of people who suffer from SI joint pain it ultimately comes down to how their body moves. For most of us, our body do not move correctly. When our bodies move incorrectly over time it will lead to inflammation, lack of range of motion (we came back to it) and ultimately pain!
Yes, you read that correct your SI joint pain or lower back pain can be from how your body is moving or rather not moving correctly!
What movement pattern do I need to understand?
Lets back up for a moment and take a look at how the spine and pelvis move together (SI joints). When you move, when you walk, when you perform chores around the house your body moves in a rotational pattern. In fact our pelvis twists with every single motion we do.
The hips and pelvis along with the legs and spine move in a three dimensional pattern. With our bodies in such complex patterns it requires multiple muscles, ligaments and bones to work and engage in certain order and manner.
When muscles, ligaments and bones work in a certain order we refer to it as a movement pattern. When we lack mobility or engagement of the muscles in rotation around the pelvis and low back (SI joints) we are having issues with our anterior or posterior sling patterns. This causes more load to be placed on the spine and SI joints, possibly leading to injury.
So to summarize, if you are suffering with low back or SI joint pain you may have a bio-mechanical pattern issue, specifically from the anterior and posterior sling patterns. By addressing these patterns we have been able to help thousands of patients get out of SI joint pain and avoid traditional medical treatments such as medicine and injections.
To learn more call West End Chiropractic and Wellness to see how we can help you or schedule a consultation for a full assessment to determine if your SI joint pain is the result of a sling pattern issue at (952) 500-8477