The sacroiliac joints refer to the important linkage system found between the pelvis and the lower spine. They are formed by the connection of the sacrum or tailbone and the right and left sides of the ilia or pelvic bones.
Normally, the sacroiliac joints are only allowed a few degrees of movement since they offer a stiff link between the pelvic bones. When these joints adopt a stressed or abnormal position, either because of trauma or excessive uncontrolled motion, a person experiences sacroiliac joint pain.
Pain in the lower back, hips, buttocks, and the sciatic area would be the result if normal movement and control of the sacroiliac joints are not maintained or regained. And most commonly, people experience hypermobility (or instability) more than hypomobility (or stiffness) as the cause of their sacroiliac pain.
How can you identify sacroiliac dysfunctions like hypermobility?
Some of the symptoms are:
- Lower back, groin, hip, sciatic and buttock pain
- Pain when sitting cross-legged or lying on your side for prolonged periods
- Pain that is often worse when standing and walking, and reduced when lying down (this can vary among patients)
- Increased pain during sexual intercourse and menstruation among women
- Pain when climbing stairs or hills, bending forward, or getting up from a seated position
How can sacroiliac dysfunction be diagnosed and treated?
Because the symptoms of sacroiliac dysfunction are quite similar to (and tend to mimic) those of other typical back conditions, there are a number of methods that health professionals can turn to in order to make sure of the diagnosis. One of the most recommended would be MRI as it can show signs of sacroiliac joint inflammation, as well as eliminate other possible pathogens (x-rays would not work quite as well in this case).
Patients can also turn to musculoskeletal physiotherapists who can perform a thorough examination of the body.
To manage sacroiliac joint pain, therapists can recommend ice therapy, exercises that can ease pressure on inflamed areas, and medication, such as a course of anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen.
Likewise, physical therapists can make use of acupuncture, electrotherapy, soft tissue massage, deloading taping strategies, sacroiliac joint belts, and mobility aids like crutches and canes to help relieve some of the load from the affected body area.
In order to restore the correct sacroiliac joint alignment NYC physical therapists can put together a hip core and lower abdominal stability program that will facilitate the essential affected muscles that work to stabilize and control the sacroiliac joints.
By assessing the patient’s unique hip muscle recruitment pattern (through studying said patterns in a recommended order: deep, intermediate, and superficial muscle firing patterns), the therapist can the devise a treatment plan made up of the right exercises for the patient’s specific needs.