Have you ever thought of getting chiropractic treatment for your sacroiliac joint pain (SI)? Our chiropractic team shares how chiropractic care can help you relieve your pain and recover function in your lower back and SI joints.
What Is Sacroiliac Joint Pain?
It is a disorder that affects the sacroiliac joints, also referred to as SI joints. If you look at someone’s back you may be able to see dimples at the base of their spine. These dimples are over the SI joints. This particular spot is where the sacrum and the pelvis meet.
Cartilage is what holds the SI joints together. When the SI joints misalign, there will be swelling in the cartilage that holds the joints. This will stress it, causing your SI joints to become misaligned and painful.
When this happens your doctor will call it sacroiliitis, a result of a chronic SI joint misalignment.
Causes Of SI Joint Pain
There a number of things that can cause sacroiliac joint pain. Overweight people can definitely experience stress on that joint. Having a shorter leg than the other can be another cause. When this is the case, it means that one side has to work harder and carry more weight than the other.
An improper gait can happen after a foot or knee surgery can also be another cause. Sacroiliac joint pain sometimes is a symptom of hip pathology in seniors that can also change the gait. Anything that can affect a gait will definitely affect the SI joint dynamic.
In other cases, a traumatic event, like a fall, can cause the SI joints to misalign.
Sacroiliac Joint Pain Diagnosis
Chiropractors rely on their patient’s medical history, current complaint history, and physical exams for a diagnosis. If the patient has a trauma history or one side of their pelvis is higher than the other, a chiropractor may order an x-ray.
There is a physical test used to diagnose a SI joining disorder, Patrick’s test. This is performed on the patient when they’re lying on their back. One foot crossed over the other knee and depresses the knee to create stress on the SI joint on that side. If there is any pain near the joint, this may suggest the diagnosis. If this test is not positive, then any localized pain in the sacroiliac joint area is also suspicious. Especially if the patient has leg length inequality, trauma history, or change in gait.
Chiropractors use ultrasound as the first SI joint treatment. This will send heat to the inside of the joint. When the connective tissue is warmer it can stretch better and hurt less.
After the ultrasound, we can perform a traditional chiropractic adjustment in the affected area to realign it and relieve the pain. However, if the patient has a leg length issue, treatment needs to go further.
If there is scoliosis or leg length inequality, we can balance the pelvis using customized shoe soles. Custom orthopedic soles can be a great choice if the inequality in leg length is more than 7mm.
Stretching your hamstrings is very important. A tight hamstring can pull on the lower pelvis and misalign the sacroiliac joints. You can combine stretching with lunges to stretch the inner hip as well. This can be a great way to relieve sacroiliac joint pain.
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