Maintaining healthy joints is crucial to preventing injuries from affecting the body. Incorporating physical activities, eating healthy foods, staying hydrated, and getting a routine check-up are ways to ensure that the body is functional, including the joints. The joints in the body act like shock absorbers that soften the impact of any injuries that the body has sustained. However, as the body ages, so do the joints, causing them to become hardened and cause problems in the body. In today’s article, we will look at sacroiliac dysfunction, what issues it affects besides back pain, and how chiropractic care manages sacroiliac dysfunction. We refer patients to certified providers specializing in musculoskeletal therapies to help those with sacroiliac dysfunction. We also guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
What Is Sacroiliac Dysfunction?
Are you experiencing pain in the pelvis? Do your hips seem tighter than usual? Do you feel muscle stiffness when you twist from side to side? Some of these issues are signs that you might be experiencing sacroiliac dysfunction. Around the pelvic region lies the sacroiliac joint, a weight-bearing solid joint connecting the pelvis to the sacrum. It is surrounded by tough ligaments that support the body as it distributes the weight from the upper body to the lower body. However, like all the other joints in the body, any injury or condition can cause this joint to be unstable and succumb to the pain, causing sacroiliac dysfunction. Sacroiliac dysfunction or sacroiliac joint pain is defined as one of the potential causes of axial low back pain. When there are issues affecting the sacroiliac joints, it’s associated with about a quarter of most low back pain cases. This is due to the problems that overlap with pain associated with the low back. Studies reveal that dysfunction in the sacroiliac joint can relate to leg or back pain, making diagnosing the problem difficult. Back pain associated with sacroiliac dysfunction causes the pelvis to be hypermobile, causing the risk of developing radiating groin pain. Leg pain associated with sacroiliac dysfunction causes muscle tension and stiffness to the low back, legs, or buttock region, mimicking sciatica-like symptoms.
What Other Issues Does It Affect?
Many individuals may not realize that when they are experiencing sacroiliac dysfunction, symptoms show that they overlap with lumbar spine pathologies. However, sacroiliac dysfunction can also affect the pelvic region of the body. Studies reveal that when the muscles around the body’s pelvic area become inflamed or irritated, it can cause stiffness in the sacroiliac joints, thus developing the risk of pelvic pain. Pelvic pain is usually defined as non-menstrual pain that causes functional disability to the lower extremities. Around the pelvic region, the lower sacral nerves provide extensive neurologic connections to the structures throughout the pelvic area that maintain normal pelvic organ function. When issues like sacroiliac dysfunction become the risk of pelvic pain, it may potentially involve pelvic symptoms like constipation. Studies reveal that constipation is significantly associated with a high prevalence of pelvic organ prolapse and low urinary tract symptoms. Other issues that sacroiliac dysfunction correlates with are:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Inflammatory issues
- Hip pain
- Pelvic pain
- Low back pain
- Piriformis syndrome
An Overview Of Sacroiliac Joint Pain- Video
Are you experiencing radiating from your lower back down to your leg? How about stiffness in your hips? Are you feeling constipated or have a sense of fullness in your bladder? You may suffer from sacroiliac dysfunction in your pelvic region if you notice these symptoms. The video above explains how to understand sacroiliac joint pain. The sacroiliac joint connects the pelvis and sacrum, surrounded by tough ligaments and muscles that help support the body by distributing weight from the upper body to the lower body. When issues affect the sacroiliac joints can overlap other risk profiles like low back pain, leg pain, and pelvic pain. This can make diagnosing sacroiliac dysfunction difficult because the symptoms are similar to other issues. For example, hip pain is associated with piriformis syndrome while potentially being involved with sciatica. How would hip pain be correlated with piriformis syndrome? The piriformis muscle can become overused and injured and can entrap the sciatic nerve (which runs from the lumbar spine, through the hips, and down to the leg), causing radiating, throbbing pain. Other times referred pain in the low back can affect different areas in the body due to sacroiliac dysfunction. Luckily, there are treatments available to manage sacroiliac dysfunction.
How Chiropractic Care Manages Sacroiliac Dysfunction
When issues of sacroiliac dysfunction become associated with leg or back pain, physicians often misdiagnose it as a soft tissue issue rather than a joint issue. Many doctors might rule out various medical conditions before including sacroiliac dysfunction as part of the diagnosis. Some treatments like massage therapy can help loosen up the tight muscles surrounding the joints relieving the pain and discomfort. At the same time, chiropractic care utilizes spinal manipulation and mobilization to the affected spinal area. Since the sacroiliac joint is an essential part of the musculoskeletal system, chiropractors specialize in this area. Through practical, non-invasive methods, chiropractic care has proven to not only relieve pain in the spine but can also help rehabilitate the spine. Chiropractors are specially trained to guide the individual through several phases of care that help loosen the stiff muscles and strengthen the joints. Chiropractic care will help decrease the pain from returning to the body and let the individual return to their health and wellness journey.
Maintaining healthy joints is crucial to prevent injuries from affecting the body. The sacroiliac joints are part of the musculoskeletal system that connects the pelvic bone to the sacrum. This joint is surrounded by tough ligaments and muscles that support the upper and lower half of the body through weight distribution. When the sacroiliac joint becomes unstable, it can succumb to pain, thus becoming sacroiliac dysfunction. Sacroiliac dysfunction sometimes mimics low back and leg pain, making it difficult to diagnose. Co-morbidities like pelvic pain correlate to sacroiliac dysfunction, causing somato-visceral pain in different body areas. Treatments like chiropractic care can help strengthen the stiff muscles and joints in the body through spinal manipulation and mobilization in practical, non-invasive treatment. Chiropractic care can help rehabilitate the spine while decreasing the pain from returning to the body.
Jonely, Holly, et al. “Chronic Sacroiliac Joint and Pelvic Girdle Dysfunction in a 35-Year-Old Nulliparous Woman Successfully Managed with Multimodal and Multidisciplinary Approach.” The Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, Maney Publishing, Feb. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4459139/.
Raj, Marc A, et al. “Sacroiliac Joint Pain.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 12 Feb. 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470299/.
Singh, Prashant, et al. “Pelvic Floor Symptom Related Distress in Chronic Constipation Correlates with a Diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation and Constipation Severity but Not Pelvic Floor Dyssynergia.” Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 31 Jan. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326213/.
Yeomans, Steven. “Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SI Joint Pain).” Spine, Spine-Health, 7 Feb. 2018, www.spine-health.com/conditions/sacroiliac-joint-dysfunction/sacroiliac-joint-dysfunction-si-joint-pain.
The information herein on "Sacroiliac Dysfunction Causes More Than Back Issues" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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