These joints are part of the pelvis are the most commonly known pelvic joints to cause pain. They function to dissipate physical forces that travel through the body. Generally speaking, it is anatomically low in its natural range of movement, especially when you compare it to the neighbours — the hip joints! Hence the main role of the pelvis is to produce stability and dissipate force loads. Whereas the hip joints are allowing you to move with more freedom.
The surfaces of the sacroiliac joints are initially smooth and flat, however, as you age they tend to become more rough and friction begins to settle in. This will limit movement even more. Over time the joints fuse naturally together. However there is no set date or age for when this definitively will happen in each individual.
There are many many muscles and ligaments which insert and are attached onto the sacroiliac joints – hence pure evolution just shows how important this joint is.
When things go wrong?
When the sacroiliac joint is irritated (for the various reasons we’ll come onto), the person experiencing the pain usually points straight to the area. However a referred pain can also occur to the groin, leg, hip, bum and also sometimes to the lower part of the leg/ foot which can sometimes mimic sciatica.
A lot of the time, Pain is rarely just focal in one spot. This is because pain fibres when travelling back to the spinal cord, travel up and down 2 levels before going up to the Brain. So the Brain 🧠 interprets pain with a bunch of further mixed messages, that causes the person to experience pain in other areas too, even though the main problem areas are the SI joints. This can occur alongside further peripheral (in the limbs) nerves being trapped.
You need to know that you body is a big-bag-full-of-stuff, that stuff has to go somewhere. So with postural changes and poor repetitive movements, things can get pushed and squished in certain positions. This is where they eventually become “trapped”. More commonly with sacroiliac Joint pain – Iliohypogastric and genitofemoral nerves become trapped which radiate pain into the groin and sometimes testicles too.
People experiencing this type of pain will complain of these problems in their daily life👇:
-Painful sit to standing up
-painful whilst walking up stairs
-Points to small bumps on lower back as most tender spots
-referred pain into the hip/groin/testicles/leg/lower leg and sometimes foot
-pain worsens with certain bending motions (i.e. when put socks, shoes/ trousers on in morning)
-walking on uneven surfaces (step off curb)
-avoiding behaviours with fear of worsening pain or thinking they are “damaging” their back
-difficulty sleeping when twisting and turning in bed
Causes found in most individuals
-Sitting more often (especially during this lockdown 🦠)
-low levels of physical activity / weekend warriors
-leg length discrepancies (in the normal population there are maximum normal leg length differences of around 20mm – this doesn’t mean that this is the problem)
-weakness or muscle de-conditioning / disuse (USE it or LOSE it)
-tight / unstretched muscles
-Stressful periods in life – WIDE variety!! (This is one of the most common things to set it off)
-Recently pregnant mothers
-Overweight or obese
-minor pelvic rotations
-poor flexility around the joints where the spine meets the pelvis – you can check this by trying to do a pelvic tilt or rock
Some sources such as Vizniack state that SI joint pain contributes to 50% of all causes of lower back pain.
Knowing that Low Back Pain is the #1 cause of Disability 🌍 worldwide, it is important to know this condition.
Chiropractors are effective in diagnosing and treating Lower Back Pain. We use manual therapy and our rehabilitation knowledge to help sort back pain. Time lengths for recovery vary between individuals.
Rehab as mentioned here is key to prevent things from re-occuring. As there is a 70% chance that back pain will re-occur in 1 year. This is huge, as preventing things from happening will help you work and live your best life being present for what you want to do and not worrying about back pain stopping you from your planned events. The National Institute of Health in the USA states that 1 in 5 will develop long term problems from their back pain episode.
3 top tips
1-Do not panic / worry, this will get better although it can take a few weeks to months to fully recover, although slow incremental improvements are expected. Seeing a professional can help speed this up and possibly even stop things from getting worse.
2- Switch to sitting on a harder chair and try and get more vertical if you are standing up all day long.
3-try ad avoid sitting on sofa’s for any long periods of time – you’ll regret trying to get back up.
Call in and book in with a chiropractor for more advice and treatment planing.
From the Preston Chiropractor Team
Getting You Back in Action & Enjoying Your Life Again
Serving the people of Preston and surrounding areas including Southport and Lytham St Annes