What is the sacroiliac joint?
The sacroiliac joint, or SIJ, is the joint that connects the lower part of the spine, known as the sacrum, to the part of the pelvis known as the ilia. The sacroiliac joint is a small but strong joint, supported by strong ligaments that allows load to be transmitted from the upper body to the lower body. It doesn’t have much motion and acts as a shock absorber.
What causes sacroiliac dysfunction?
Pain is often caused by either too much movement (hypermobility) or too little movement (hypomobility) of the sacroiliac joint, which causes a dysfunction of the joint. Hypermobility and hypomobility often coexist and may be the result of injury, whether it be by direct trauma such as a fall, or misjudging a step, or even sleeping in an awkward position. One side of the sacroiliac joint will become fixated whilst the other moves more freely. It can be caused by repetitive overload, trauma, inflammation, hormonal laxity or may be hereditary. Sacroiliac pain is particularly common during pregnancy as the ligaments supporting the sacroiliac joint become more lax and there is an increased load being placed on the joint, causing a dysfunction.
Symptoms of sacroiliac dysfunction
- Low back, hip, groin, buttock pain
- Pain that radiates down the back of the leg
- Generally pain is worsened standing and walking and improves when lying down on your back
- Pain when sitting cross legged
- Pain when lying on your side for prolonged period, especially when lying on your side in bed
- Pain when climbing stairs or hills
- Pain when moving from a seated position to standing
How can sacroiliac joint dysfunctions be treated?
Our osteopaths and myotherapists at Beyond use specific orthopedic tests to differentiate sacroiliac joint dysfunction to lower back, hip or groin pain. Our practitioners will then use different techniques, such as soft tissue, articulation and manipulation to treat the dysfunction as well as other dysfunctions and muscle tightness that may have manifested and be contributing to the pain. After pain has subsided, we consider different management approaches to prevent future injuries, which may be prescribed exercises by one of our Clinical Pilates instructors.