Sacroiliac joint dysfunction, otherwise referred to as SI pain, is in reference to one of the leading causes of back pain for most Americans today. Sometimes named sacroiliitis, SI joint inflammation, SI joint syndrome and SI joint strain, this is a very serious ailment that can affect the back and render sufferers immobile for long periods of time, and if not properly assessed and treated, it can lead to permanent health concerns.
What is SI or SJ?
SI or SJD, is an umbrella term given to the pain localized within the sacroiliac joint. This joint is the largest that the spine has, and is found at the base of the vertebrae. A non life threatening ailment, SI is noted as being extremely painful. The condition often makes even the most normal of daily activities, such as sitting, standing, walking, and even sleeping all the more difficult. with a staggering 80 percent of the U.S population having some form of back pain throughout their lives, SI pain is roughly responsible for close to 30 percent of those numbers. (According to the recent numbers from the ACA)
Due to the fact that SI pain is very specific, there are often many patients suffering through the pain of SI joint pain, some as long as a number of years, all without knowing it or having been given a correct diagnosis. Much of this is because sacroiliac joint dysfunction is very difficult to diagnose, and is a little further down on the list of common lower back ailments. Since the SI joints are so close to the hip bones and the lumbar spine, its’ not uncommon for SI joint dysfunction to be diagnosed as a slipped or bulging disc or even a mild case of acute sciatica pain.
Having injured my back a number of times through contact sports, I know a small amount about lower back pain and just how leaving it untreated can severely prolong the pain, damage your overall health, and affect everything from flexibility to simple motor function movement. Knowing the signs, symptoms, causes and remedies that go along with SI pain, can not only help you to avoid unnecessary pain for long periods of time, but it can help you to better enhance your health and the longevity of the bones and muscles within your back and body itself.
Why are the SI joints important?
The SI joints are essential to the stability and proper range of motion and movement in the lower half of the body; the synovial (ball and socket) joints of the pelvis, connect to the lower half of the spine called the sacrum. Then the sacrum connects the ilia pelvic bones on either side to help us walk, balance and move our legs and hips as one. This is often why walking for long increments, particularly with a heavy bag or with poor posture, can start to hurt the lower part of the back, and not the legs as much. These weight-bearing joints move and rotate in a specific way when walking or running, and the SI joints can be damaged, strained and compressed when these parts of he body are overused, or when an exceedingly large amount of pressure is applied with little to know adjustment to the right position, or general rest.
Symptoms of SI
SI pain symptoms include intense lower back pain, with the large majority of the pain residing around the waistline, as well as pain that radiates through the hips and into the lower extremities. Often mis-labeled as disc herniations or facet joints disease SI pain is typically caused by some sort of trauma to the area of the back that the pain resides most in. In more serious cases of SI pain, infection and inflammatory arthritis can be the cause of the issues within the sacroiliac joint as well. Due to the body becoming weaker as we age, those over the age of 45 are at a greater risk for developing some form of SI pain. A healthy diet, as well as regular physical activity and strength training can help to fortify the core as a whole, and decrease the likelihood of any SI pain onset.
Who are susceptible to SI pain?
Those with a history of arthritis or spinal osteoarthritis are also more susceptible for SI pain, as these ailments are both characterized by the wearing down of the SI joint in some way. When the bones, especially those located within the spine, are compromised it can be a leading factor for SI joint health.
Diagnosing SI pain
Knowing the difference between mild back pain, and SI pain can mean the difference between brushing off a major health ailment, and regaining full health and normal spine function. The main symptom of sacroiliac joint dysfunction is low back pain, but this is often brushed off as something non worry some. So, if you experience symptoms such as immense pain even in simple daily activities like climbing the stairs or standing up from your chair, you may want to consult a medical professional immediately.
When seeking medical attention for back pain, to rule out any other form of ailment, specific testing will be carried out in order to pinpoint the location of the SI pain. Diagnostic imaging procedures, like X-rays and an MRI do not do the greatest job at determining SI pain, rather actual physical testing that stresses the joint to gauge the pain and the form of ailment are performed to get a better in depth analysis of the issue.
Chiropractic and SI pain
Chiropractic manipulation and correction of misaligned joints and vertebrae are shown to be a beneficial non invasive method for helping those with SI pain. Along with proper exercises that focus directly on stabilizing the core muscles as well as the base of the spine also help to fortify the affected area and alleviate the pressure and pain associated with SI pain.
A doctor of chiropractic specializes in stabilizing and strengthening the spine, so seeking professional medical attention for SI pain is an intelligent way to help rid yourself of the pain and to ensure that you’re on the right path to recovery while not further damaging your body. Many doctors of chiropractic encourage those with any form of SI pain to use proper lifting techniques and ergonomics during as many daily activities as possible, as pain can be derived from something as simple as an incorrect lift or jerking motion in the wrong direction. Eating healthy and exercising is also important to help keep the body at full strength.
Unfortunately, SI joint dysfunction is not preventable for many people. The destruction of the bone and joints is sadly one of the more unfortunate parts of the natural aging process. However, the severity of the ailment can be drastically reduced by reducing the amount of heavy loads and pressure that are placed on the joints, when this is the case, there is far less chance for cartilage damage, arthritis and joint pressure.
One of the main goals of chiropractic care is to help to restore overall spinal movement, especially in those with SI pain, as it can lower the amount of movement in the hips and legs. Improving overall function, decreasing pain and inflammation and restoring a full bill of health can aid in the speedy improvement of overall health. Many sufferers of SI pain choose chiropractic care because the non invasive remedies and practices aim to treat the specific root causes of the pain itself. Medications typically only cover the pain for short periods of time, which often leads to further issues. Living a life without restriction means a happier, healthier individual.
Here at The Joint, Glendale, our highly qualified, and trained doctors of chiropractic specialize in adjustments, corrections of subluxations, and addressing the many causes for SI pain. Regular treatments, adjustments, and stretches and strengthening exercises, may allow those with SI pain, to eliminate the many triggers of this ailment. Allowing for proper posture, as well as a full range of motion, can help to prevent SI pain from becoming a further, more serious issue, as well as any other spine or limb related ailment.
With no appointments needed, walk-ins welcome, and a staff full of knowledge on precisely how to meet your health needs, our clinic is a great place for you to learn about SI pain and know the right things to do to keep it out of your life for good.