Have you been experiencing lower back discomfort, hip or groin pain and/or tingling or numbness in your lower extremities?
If so, you may be suffering from what is known as sacroiliac joint dysfunction — a common cause of the lower back pain that is experienced by many. But before we move on, we should answer the question you may have at this point: What is sacroiliac joint dysfunction?
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction refers to pain resulting from flawed movement in the small joints at the base of the spine. In this article, we’ll discuss the two causes of this type of discomfort, as well as the relevant symptoms and treatment options.
Hypermobility of the sacroiliac joint, otherwise known as the SI joint, is one of the major causes of this condition. The lower back is not capable of sustaining a wide range of motion or movement, meaning that repetitive activity that places stress in this area can be harmful. Inflammation is the main result of hypermobility in this area, leading to increased nerve sensitivity and pain.
Hypomobility of the SI joint is the second cause of this condition. While too much movement in this area isn’t ideal, a complete lack of mobility can lead to pain as well. Moving around and stretching the lower back throughout the day is necessary to avoid muscle tension and tightness in the area.
A delicate balance needs to take place to avoid SI joint dysfunction — especially as one progresses in age. However, there are many causes of lower back pain — which is why you should ensure you are looking for the specific symptoms of this condition before making any assumptions.
As noted above, some of the most common symptoms of SI joint dysfunction are lower back pain and numbness in the lower extremities. However, it’s also important to make a note if your stability has weakened. Instability in the lower back or pelvis, which may make you more prone to falling, is a prominent symptom of this condition since it impacts the lower spine.
In addition, sciatic-like pain is also a common symptom. This refers to a shooting or sharp pain that starts from the buttocks or lower back and runs down to the knees. If you are trying to diagnose yourself, it’s recommended to start a daily log of the type and severity of pain you feel. This will help you pinpoint the symptoms that may indicate SI joint dysfunction.
Now that you have an understanding of the causes and symptoms of SI joint dysfunction, choosing a treatment option will be that much clearer. If it’s determined that the lower back pain you are experiencing is indeed coming from the sacroiliac joint, then there are multiple remedies.
Rest and diligent application of heat and ice is a popular and effective method for treating this condition. In order to calm down the inflammation in the area, resting throughout the day and rotating between heat and ice packs is essential. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, are recommended to be taken in conjunction with this treatment plan to further reduce the inflammation.
In addition, a chiropractor can help with sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Through manual manipulation, a chiropractor can reduce inflammation and ease pain by realigning the spine, stretching the muscles and restoring flexibility in the area. In fact, there are many chiropractic techniques designed for SI joint dysfunction in addition to traditional adjustments, such as spinal mobilization and adjunctive therapy.
Although sacroiliac joint dysfunction can never fully be cured, many of those with this condition find relief through a number of the above-mentioned treatment methods. Whether it be through pain medication, rest, or chiropractic care, relief from SI joint dysfunction can be long-lasting.
If you are ready to try manual manipulation as part of a more comprehensive treatment approach to your SI joint dysfunction, our team at Emerald Hills Physio & Sport Clinic is ready to help. Give us a call at (587) 855-4831 or go to our website and fill out our contact form today!