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What is Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction?

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction or sacroiliac joint pain is one of the common causes of low back pain. The sacrum is the triangular-shaped bone at the bottom of the spine, below the lumbar spine. The sacroiliac joint is a large joint in the body, formed by the connection of the sacrum and the right and left iliac (pelvic) bones. The sacroiliac joint acts as a shock-absorbing structure. They have a small amount of movement and transmit all the forces of the upper body to the lower body.

Causes of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

The causes of sacroiliac joint dysfunction include:

  • Traumatic injuries caused when there is a sudden impact
  • Biomechanical problems such as twisted pelvis, leg length discrepancies or muscle imbalances
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy
  • Inflammatory joint conditions such as arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis

Symptoms of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

The most common symptom of sacroiliac joint dysfunction is pain. You may experience pain in the lower back, thigh, groin or buttocks that radiates down the leg. The pain is typically worse with standing and walking and is relieved on resting. Other symptoms include limping, fever, psoriasis, eye inflammation and limited range of motion.

Diagnosis of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Proper diagnosis is essential because the symptoms mimic other common conditions, including sciatica, herniated discs or other low back pain problems. Sacroiliac joint pain is diagnosed by reviewing your medical history and performing a physical examination. Imaging studies such as X-rays, MRI, CT scan and bone scan may be needed to determine the extent of joint damage.

Treatment of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

SI joint dysfunction may be treated by chiropractic care which typically involves manual adjustments and other therapeutic techniques aimed at alleviating pain and restoring function in the affected joint.

Manual adjustment techniques are used to manipulate and realign the SI joint. These adjustments aim to reduce joint dysfunction, improve mobility, and relieve pain.

Soft tissue therapies like massage, myofascial release, or trigger point therapy help address muscle tension and imbalances around the SI joint. This can help reduce pain and improve joint function.

Specific exercises and stretches may be recommended to strengthen the muscles around the SI joint and improve stability. These exercises are an essential part of long-term management and prevention of recurrent SI joint dysfunction.

Chiropractors often provide guidance on maintaining proper posture and making lifestyle modifications to reduce the likelihood of aggravating the SI joint. This may include advice on ergonomic changes at work or during physical activities.