SI Joint Pain: How Chiropractic & Spinal Decompression Can Help Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Do you feel a dull pain in your lower back each time you get up from sitting at your desk? Or maybe it hurts near the end of your spine when you are bending to pick things up. Contrary to what many people think, low back pain is not a normal symptom or side effect that you should ignore.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, low back pain is experienced by about 80 percent of adults at some point in their lifetimes and affects much of their physical activities as well as day to day mobility. On top of that, treatments to relieve low back pain is costing Americans hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.
Many factors and lifestyle habits can contribute to low back pain. However, it should not become or accepted as a usual, normal part of your daily life. Low back pain lasting for extensive periods over several weeks to months may signal a much bigger problem than you think. In many cases, consistent low back pain is a sign that you could be experiencing sacroiliac joint problems and pain.
What is the Sacroiliac Joint?
A key source of low back pain can be attributed to the sacroiliac joint, commonly referred to as the SI joint. The SI joint can be easily located behind the dimples in a person’s lower back on each side of your spine. The SI joint is where your sacrum connects to your pelvis.
These joints are held together by cartilage and supported by muscles and ligaments and are filled with fluid. They help absorb shock or impact while providing stability and support to your back for daily movements and functionality.
SI joints require very minimal range of motion in order to support your body when you ware walking, lifting, or running, and to cater to your body’s flexibility. However, SI joints are susceptible to degeneration and misalignment, and the free nerve endings in the SI joints can result in chronic pain at this stage. Any swelling to the cartilage surrounding the SI joints can also cause these joints to hurt and misalign.
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Do You Have SI Joint Pain?
The key symptom of SI joint pain is a dull or sharp pain that is mostly felt in the low back region and/or the buttocks. This pain can even radiate into the upper thighs or even the mid-back region and may or may not occur on both sides of the spine depending on which side is affected. Occasionally, there is numbness or a tingling sensation in the upper legs and surrounding areas of the body.
Often, those who sit or remain in one position for extended periods of time or participate in more strenuous or consistent activities tend to experience pain that is intensified and worsens over time. Even something as simple as sleeping in the same position or sitting on the couch for a long movie can aggravate the pain and worsen affected regions.
Many daily activities become more difficult as time goes by. Mobility and functionality are greatly affected. Lifestyle habits that you typically enjoy are reduced and your movement becomes more restricted and constrained. Many who used to lead active lifestyles may find that they can no longer enjoy long hikes, high contact sports, or many intense activities that require lots of movement and flexibility.
No matter how healthy the lifestyle of a person, SI joint pain can affect anyone especially in their early 30s all through their senior years. In many cases, SI joint pain can even affect younger patients and cause many problems to their active young adult life.
If you are experiencing some of these symptoms for an extended time lasting longer than just a few weeks, you might have sacroiliac joint problems and it is best to consult a trained health care professional or chiropractor. SI joint pain is more common than most people think, and it is always best to get it evaluated and diagnosed early.
What Causes Sacroiliac Joint Pain?
There are several factors that can cause SI joint pain. Sacroiliitis is what is known as the inflammation of one or both of your SI joints. This inflammation can cause pain in the low back, hips, buttocks, and even the groin area. Sacroiliitis can be a result of one or more factors including trauma or impact to the joints from an injury such as an accident or fall, infection, and pregnancy.
Over time, wear and tear of the ligaments supporting the joints can also cause SI joint pain. Ligaments that are too tight or loose can occur from accidents and injuries that result in impact on the spine and SI joints.
Sometimes, a misalignment in the SI joints can also cause SI joint pain. Misaligned SI joints can be a result of many poor, debilitating conditions like non-supportive footwear when one leg is weaker than the other, or arthritis and other medical conditions.
In many cases, being overweight also adds extra stress to SI joints and the supporting muscles and ligaments. This can wear out the supporting tissue and joints quicker and cause chronic pain, or aggravate misaligned joints and worsen symptoms.
Diagnosing Sacroiliac Joint Problems
A trained medical health care professional can assist in finding the source of your SI joint pain and problems through a comprehensive evaluation. The evaluation will consist of questions about your medical history and any past injuries, locating the problem areas and pain, followed by a physical examination of the affected areas.
At times, x-rays, MRIs, or scans might be necessary to further evaluate the affected region. While these may not always be necessary with every patient, they do show signs of injuries that might have occurred and if they have healed properly. This is extremely useful when there is a past medical history of trauma or impact to the SI joints, low back, or hips.
Based on the diagnosis and confirmation of SI joint pain, treatment options can be recommended to help provide relief for pain. When chiropractic treatment plans are introduced, not only does a patient get treated for pain relief but it also helps to correct the problems causing the pain. Good chiropractic treatment plans can also help improve stability and mobility and provide long-term solutions to help you gain back the lifestyle you want or used to have.
A common test for SI joint pain diagnosis is to have a patient lay down on his or her back and cross one foot to the opposite knee. When pressure is applied on the foot, a patient is able to feel the stress exerted on the SI joint on that particular side. This test is known as the flexion, abduction and external rotation test, also commonly known as FABER.
Chiropractic Care Treatment for SI Joint Pain
A skilled and experienced chiropractor can employ a variety of treatment options to help patients suffering from SI joint pain. The techniques administered help to alleviate pain and can also treat problem areas, align SI joints, and provide long-term care and relief for patients.
The goal of chiropractic care for treatment of SI joint pain is to provide a non-invasive, viable approach to help restore mobility and proper function to the SI joints. Chiropractic care is also targeted at enhancing the lives of those struggling or suffering from SI joint pain by introducing treatment techniques that can help soothe and release pressure from the affected area and reduce SI joint pain without the use of medication or surgery.
Chiropractors typically use a combination of techniques to effectively treat SI joint pain and in the affected areas. Chiropractic care is best and most effective when administered by a trained professional, and is done on a regular basis for a certain period of time.
Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression
Decompression therapy is a proven chiropractic treatment option that is effective for low back pain caused by SI joint problems. It is a non-invasive alternative to many other treatment options and is drug-free and practically painless. Many patients even doze off during treatment sessions!
Non-surgical spinal decompression aids in naturally contracting and stretching the affect areas, creating space between SI joints and the pelvis to relieve pressure and stress on the affect joints, muscles, and ligaments.
This decompression technique is widely used by athletes, active sportsmen, and many who are struggling with SI joint pain. Patients who have chosen this treatment option claim to have almost immediate pain relief during sessions and vouch for the long-term benefits of continuing decompression treatment. Many do not experience any discomfort during treatment sessions and can quickly continue their day after their session.
Spinal decompression requires no surgery or downtime on a patient’s lifestyle. It takes place entirely in a chiropractor’s office under the care of a trained and licensed chiropractor. Chiropractors who have administered this treatment plan are able to successfully help patients overcome the inconvenience and torture experienced from SI joint pain and problems.
A typical spinal decompression treatment lasts from about 30 to 45 minutes and is administered on a weekly basis for approximately four to eight weeks depending on the severity of the problem.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care and Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression
One of the key treatment techniques employed by chiropractors Is chiropractic manipulation or spinal adjustments. This procedure consists of applied pressure accompanied by thrusting techniques to the affect SI joint and areas. This helps reduce stiffness in the muscles and ligaments supporting the SI joints and improve mobility to the joints.
Chiropractic adjustments are a simple yet effective technique that is non-invasive and helps to relieve the SI joints of added stress and pressure that may be building up in the affected area.
Electrical stimulation treatment provides a targeted and repeated stimulation of the muscles surrounding the SI joints that can help provide pain relief for patients. Electric stimulation is used to send impulses deep into the joints and connective tissue. It stimulates and relaxes the connective tissue, enabling it to stretch more and relieve tension and pressure. At the same time, it reduces pain in the affected area with consistent and regular treatments.
Manual therapy a great way to add more movement to misaligned SI joints. It not only provides a quick pain relief option for patients, but it also has long-term effects that enable patients to continue daily activities and live normal healthier lifestyles.
Trained and experienced chiropractors are able to locate specific areas and joints that require manual therapy and can quickly and skillfully help with little or zero pain and discomfort on the patient.
Massages and Additional Treatment Options
Experienced chiropractors know that completing any treatment option with a gentle massage or combining various options can produce long-lasting, beneficial effects that help relieve pain and treat SI joint problems. Massage therapy is an effective addition to help soothe sore muscles and joints while stretching and strengthening affected areas in your body.
Another treatment option that can complement your treatment plan includes hot or cold therapy. At times, both hot and cold therapy can be administered to promote blood circulation and increase flexibility and reduce stiffness in the SI joints and surrounding areas.
Physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and other dietary or exercise recommendations may also be provided by a chiropractor depending on the diagnosis and intensity of pain. These additional treatment options help restore and enhance your lifestyle by providing extra benefits that make chiropractic care treatment more effective and sustainable in the long run.
Chiropractic care and non-surgical spinal decompression treatments have been used and proven to effectively treat patients with SI joint pain without the use of medication or surgery. Chiropractors work to administer gentle yet effective treatments that target SI joints and the problem areas around the joints in the low back and buttocks areas to provide patients with pain relief and continued improvement to their health and lifestyle.
If you are experiencing low back pain or know someone who does, it is best to speak to a trained, experienced health care professional today. A good chiropractor can help diagnose and trace the cause of the pain and problem, as well as provide you with relieving treatment that can guide you or someone else back to the pain-free lifestyle you long to have.
Having SI Joint Pain doesn’t mean you are doomed to a life of pain.
Let CORE Chiropractic help you get back on track with personalized chiropractic care, spinal decompression and a custom treatment plan. Call today for your consultation, or schedule an appointment.