The sacroiliac joint is located in the lower part of the back and joins the tail bone (sacrum) to one of the pelvic bones (ilium). There are two sacroiliac joints – one on either side of the spine. The sacroiliac joints act to transfer weight from the spine to the pelvis and allow a small amount of movement to occur.
A painful sacroiliac joint is one of the more common causes of mechanical low back pain. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction may occur from excessive forces being applied to the sacroiliac joint. This can be from bending, sitting, lifting, arching or twisting movements of the spine, or, from weight bearing forces associated with running or jumping. Injury to the sacroiliac joint may occur traumatically or due to repetitive or prolonged forces over time.
How Can a Chiropractor Help with Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Chiropractors are experts at locating and correcting problems in the joints of the spine and pelvis, these are called subluxations. Subluxations occur when there is an injury to the joint and the joint becomes misaligned, and stuck out of place. A subluxation also causes interference in the proper function of the nervous system. Chiropractors locate and correct subluxations. This includes sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Chiropractic is non-invasive, safe and extremely effective. Chiropractic addresses the underlying cause of the problem rather than simply trying to mask the symptoms.
Treatment may comprise of:
- Manipulation & Mobilisation
- Exercise focusing on strengthening the core stabiliser muscles of the spine and trunk and on maintaining mobility of the sacroiliac joints
- Soft tissue massage
- Use of a sacroiliac belt or lumbar brace
- Use of a lumbar roll for sitting
- Correction of any leg length discrepancy
- Dry needling
- Activity modification advice
- Biomechanical correction
- Ergonomic advice
- A gradual return to activity program
The recovery time for sacroiliac joint dysfunction may vary from patient to patient depending on compliance with Chiropractic Care. With ideal treatment, patients may be pain free in as little as several days, although typically this may take 2 – 3 weeks. It is important to note, however, that injured tissue takes approximately 6 weeks to restore the majority of its strength in ideal healing conditions. Care must therefore be taken when returning to activity during this period.