What is Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction?
Although your sacroiliac joints move only a couple of millimeters, or rotate 1-4 degrees at most, they have a heavy burden to bear. As a weight-bearing joint, and one of the largest joints in your body, your SI joints support the entire weight of your upper body when you stand, walk or perform any other upright activity.
As with most other joints in your body, your SI joints depend on cartilage to act as a cushion, but with steady wear and tear this cartilage can become damaged, allowing your bones to rub together, leading to pain and eventually osteoarthritis, which is one of the leading causes of sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction does not occur overnight, however. It’s actually more often a culmination of many years of imbalances within your body — imbalances that are largely preventable.
What are the Underlying Causes and Symptoms of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction?
If your pelvis is not seated properly in relation to the curvature of the base of your spine, it will become out of balance. This improper tipping or tilting also impacts the connection points of your SI joints, causing uneven wear that can lead to degeneration and arthritis.
Many factors can contribute to this deterioration, including:
- Muscle imbalances, particularly in the muscles of the hips and glutes
- Incorrect walking pattern, which may be caused by an injury or pain in your hip, knee, ankle or foot, or due to a difference in leg length
- Pregnancy, during which hormones relax the ligaments supporting the SI joints, allowing for increased movement of the joints that can lead to imbalance and excess wear
- Obesity, which places additional stress on the SI joints, and may also alter proper walking patterns
- An accident, such as a fall or car accident, which strains the ligaments around the SI joints, allowing for too much movement
Lower back pain, located near the SI joints on one or both sides, along with buttock or groin-area pain are the classic signs of sacroiliac joint dysfunction. But how do you distinguish SI pain from other types of back pain?
Along with lower back pain, the following symptoms may also be present:
- Weakness in one leg or both legs
- Difficulty standing on one leg and raising the other leg (for example, when marching)
- Numbness and tingling in one leg
- Burning pain near the “dimples” in your back
- Difficulty getting up from a seated position or turning over in bed
- Muscle pain in your buttocks, hip or low back, the latter particularly after sitting for too long
- Sciatica, a sharp, shooting pain that spreads from your buttocks down the back of your leg
- Nerve irritation, specifically in your groin area or front of your thighs
Did You Know There are Treatments for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Beyond Drugs and Surgery?
Anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers are often considered first-line treatments for sacroiliac joint dysfunction, as they are with most types of back pain. If these measures do not relieve your symptoms, and your pain is severe enough, surgery to fuse the joint together to eliminate movement may be recommended.
What you need to understand with these types of conventional treatments is that they are focused on symptom relief; they will not address the underlying reasons why your SI joints became painful. If you need quick pain relief, there are natural options available, like Heal-n-Soothe, which contains natural anti-inflammatories combined with proteolytic enzymes to give your body a powerful and proven one-two punch against inflammation and pain. This will give you pain relief without side effects while you work on addressing the causes of your back pain.
As noted above, with sacroiliac joint dysfunction this is often the result of muscle imbalances that can be corrected through non-surgical and drug-free means!
In fact, researchers concluded in The Clinical Journal of Pain:[i]
“Most [sacroiliac joint dysfunction] patients respond to non-operative treatment.”
In developing a treatment plan that addresses the causes of your back pain, you first need to be sure you are in fact dealing with sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and not another type of back condition, such as facet joint syndrome, disc herniation or sciatica. All of these can cause similar symptoms, but each requires a special individualized treatment program.
In the case of sacroiliac joint dysfunction, the first thing you should consider if you suspect it as a source of your pain is find a health care professional who is skilled and experienced in addressing muscle imbalances, such as a physical therapist.
Next, sign up for the Web’s Best Back Pain newsletter using the sign-up link above — here you will receive invaluable tips and techniques for lasting pain relief, including dozens of videos reviewing the latest natural pain treatments and devices so you’ll know what will truly help your pain — and what won’t.
For instance, you can learn the principles of Muscle Balance Therapyâ„¢ to address your back pain and pinpoint what caused your spine and pelvis to get out of proper position in the first place. Through strategic body assessments, your individual muscle imbalances can be identified and a very targeted corrective program designed specifically for you to help restore proper function to the joints can be developed.
If you’re tired of having to go back to the doctor or chiropractor for weeks, months, or even years on end, with no lasting relief, now’s the time to learn about the other options — like Muscle Balance Therapy – that have already given lasting relief to over 240,000 people in 85 countries. Subscribe today using the box in the right-hand corner above; it’s free — and it’s your personal ticket to a new, pain-free life.