The pain in your pelvis can be due to overloading one of your sacroiliac (SI) joints. Simple activities like gardening, shoveling, and jogging can aggravate your SI joint because of rotation or repetitive movements. When the joint becomes irritated, it can cause the nerves to become irritated as well, resulting in pain.
The Sacroiliac (SI) joint is a big joint found at the bottom of the spine. This joint provides stability by connecting the bottom of the spine or sacrum with your pelvis. It plays a major role in absorbing impact when lifting something or walking. From the back, two SI joints are where the hip (iliac) bones meet the sacrum or where the dimples are visible. SI joint pain is commonly felt in the lower back. It can usually be felt in the buttock area down at the back of the thigh.
What is sacroiliac joint pain?
Sacroiliac (SI) joint pain is commonly felt in the low back and buttock. It is commonly produced by damage or distress to joints that connect the spine and pelvis. Sacroiliac pain can ridicule other conditions like a herniated disc or hip concern. Hence, it is important that your condition is diagnosed correctly to ascertain the root of the pain. Pain medication, physical therapy, stretching, and joint injections are among the first to manage the symptoms. But in some cases, surgery is recommended to stop the painful motion.
The SI joints are supported by strong ligaments and muscles. There is a small amount of motion in the joint for the normal flexibility of your body. As people age, the bones become arthritic, and ligaments stiffen. Once the cartilage shrinks, the bones rub together, resulting in pain. The SI joint is a synovial joint with free nerve endings that can induce persistent pain in the event the joint degenerates or moves unevenly.
Sacroiliac joint pain comes in mild to severe. It depends on the extent and cause of injury. It may occur suddenly and sometimes heals in just a few days to weeks. Chronic SI joints can last for more than three months and may get worse with certain activities. Other terms for SI joint pain are SI joint syndrome, SI joint dysfunction, and SI joint inflammation.
SI Joint Pain Diagnosis
Since SI joint pain can occur like other conditions, its diagnosis can be difficult and often delayed. Delayed diagnosis happens when patients accept back pain as part of their life and don’t seek help. The symptoms are similar wherein the pain is usually assumed as a problem in the lower back, such as a herniated disc or lumbar spinal stenosis.
There are various tests to find whether the SI joint is the source of pain. Your doctor may ask you to stand or move in different positions to determine where you feel pain. He may manipulate your joints or feel tenderness over your SI joint.
Diagnosis techniques vary and may include the following:
- Clinical assessment of moves that separate the SI joint to reproduce pain
- Anesthetic injection block – when the pain is gone, the doctor can conclude that the SI joint is the source of pain
- Eliminating other causes using diagnostic imaging
Having your SI joint pain correctly diagnosed and treated enables you to know what to do the next time it occurs.
What treatments are available?
Nonsurgical treatments, such as physical therapy, stretching exercises, and chiropractic manipulation, help many patients. Other patients may need oral anti-inflammatory medications or topical patches, salves, creams, or mechanical bracing.
Joint injections. Doctors use steroids to reduce swelling and inflammation of the nerves. It is an invasive method wherein a corticosteroid and an analgesic-numbing agent are injected into the painful joint. Its effects can be temporary but helpful and can be made up to three times a year.
Nerve ablations. Injection on nerves and joints are called “blocks.” Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure that utilizes electric current to destroy the nerve fibers that carry pain signals in the joint.
Surgery. Physicians may advise minimally invasive SI joint fusion surgery if a patient doesn’t find relief in nonsurgical treatments and joint injections. The physician will place titanium implants or metal through an incision to stabilize the joint and increase bone growth. The surgery could take about an hour, and the patient may go home the same day or the day after. The patient cannot bear the full weight on the operated side for the whole week and, instead, must use crutches for support.
Chiropractic treatment. There are various procedures that chiropractors in Dallas, TX apply in treating SI joint pain, which is also thought to be the first course of treatment. It aims to employ a procedure that works on the patient and would yield the best result. A chiropractor uses different approaches and adopts several manipulations to manage the patient’s SI joint pain.
Chiropractic adjustment starts from a patient lying down on their side, followed by:
The top knee is flexed or bent toward the patient’s chest.
The bottom shoulder is moved forward to make a stretch in the low back and pelvic region.
The chiropractor applies pressure to the sacroiliac joint while the patient’s upper shoulder is pushed backward to create tension, and the knee is tractioned towards the floor.
Once the slack is removed from the lumbar spine, the pre-manipulation position is adjusted to be comfortable.
The Bottom Line
If you are experiencing pain in your pelvic area, hips, feet, lower back, or groin, visit ChiroRehab in Dallas, TX for assessment and treatment. Sacroiliitis is not life-threatening, but it may lead to severe disease if an infection causes it. If you find any signs of infection, such as having fever or confusion, go to the emergency room as soon as possible.
Treatment is highly individualized for SI joint pain, wherein what works for others may not work on you.
Ask an expert regarding your back pain when issues change or progress. Consult your doctor about the pain and inflammatory medications, which may cause damage to your organ after long-term use.
Call Dr. Paul Grindstaff to help you manage your pain issues.