Back pain may seem like a simple problem. In fact, there is a bunch of different places where things can go wrong in your back…and every one causes a different type of pain and requires a different approach to treatment. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is just one of the possible causes of low back pain. In fact, this disorder has been a source of debate between physicians for centuries.
This joint is just a small area in the back that connects the pelvis (also known as the “iliac crest”) to the bottom of the spine, a triangular shaped bone called the “sacrum.” Hence, you get the name, “Sacr-o-iliac.” This joint is very small and is located very close to the intervertebral discs in the back. This is why it can often be very challenging for doctors to tell whether a herniated disc or the sacroiliac joint is to blame for a patient’s pain.
The sacroiliac (SI) joint has a crucial role in the spine. Its main job is to make sure that forces exerted on the upper body are transmitted to legs and hips. This ensures even distribution of weight and reduces the strain on fragile lumbar discs.
Its ability to absorb the shock from walking or sudden motion makes it crucial to the structure of the body. In fact, this may be the most important thing this joint does. This shock absorption also ensures a person’s ability to walk properly, without jarring and uneven steps. It also reduces damage to the rest of the back.
As with many types of pain, an injury is usually to blame. If there is excessive strain on the SI joint from a sudden jarring, then the joint’s mobility can be altered and pain can follow. If you were to fall flat on your buttocks or if you were playing sports or somehow got knocked in the side of the pelvis, you could also begin to experience pain in your sacroiliac joint. Sometimes, car accidents or similar experiences can also affect this joint. While the joint is not directly affected by these injuries, the surrounding ligaments are.
People diagnosed with sacroiliac joint dysfunction are lucky, because they do have a wide range of alternative
treatments available to them. These can be used as a primary treatment or they can complement SI joint
injections. One of the most popular options is chiropractic therapy. Chiropractic medicine uses a series of spinal manipulation techniques to adjust your bones and joints. It’s mostly painless and can help correct the positioning of bones. It also has a profound effect on the nervous system.
A number of clinical trials have proven that chiropractics can be extremely beneficial in the treatment of lower back pain.
Another good option for this joint dysfunction is physical therapy. Physical therapy is a form of guided exercise that helps target specific joints and the surrounding tissues to build strength and mobility. It’s a proven form of rehabilitation that is often covered by insurance. This type of therapy can be very painful at first, as it specifically focuses on the areas that are damaged. Over time, the exercises become easier and long-lasting, and even permanent pain relief can occur.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can also try water therapy. Water therapy or hydrotherapy uses physical-
therapy moves beneath the water. The water eases the strain on joints, while also providing extra resistance. It’s a great way to soothe muscles, while conditioning them at the same time.
Remember that you should keep your joints in good shape. If you decide to stop an alternative therapy because you feel better, be certain to continue doing a gentle stretching exercise like yoga to strengthen your core muscles (including your back). Try not to over-exert or strain yourself. As soon as you feel pain, go back to the therapy you found worked best for you.