What is Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction?
The Sacroiliac Joints (SIJ) are large joints at the bottom of the spine that connect the sacrum and ilium (pelvic bones). Dysfunction of these joints commonly causes low back pain. The pain caused by dysfunction can range from mild to debilitating. Symptoms of SIJ dysfunction include low back and buttock pain which may radiate down the back of the thighs (but not generally below the knee). The pain is often described as sharp and stabbing and is generally worse with movement. The most common trigger for SIJ dysfunction is minor trauma (generally caused by bending or lifting). Due to ligament laxity caused by hormonal changes, pregnant women often suffer from this condition.
How is Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Diagnosed?
Generally, SIJ dysfunction is diagnosed based on your history and physical examination findings. X-rays, MRI and CT are not generally helpful determining the diagnosis of SIJ dysfunction. However, your provider may order these tests in order to rule out other conditions. Anesthetic blocks are also used at some facilities to diagnose SIJ dysfunction. With this procedure, a pain blocking medicine is injected into the SIJ; if pain is decreased, the SI joint is believed to be the pain generator. This method is not utilized at Lehigh Valley Chiropractic.
What are the Options for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction?
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is a condition commonly treated at Lehigh Valley Chiropractic. Depending on the cause and type of dysfunction, treatments may include bracing, cryotherapy, myofascial release, SIJ manipulation/mobilization and therapeutic exercise. Many patients can attest to the positive pain relieving results of chiropractic care in the treatment of this disorder. We strongly recommend that patients undergo a course of treatment at Lehigh Valley Chiropractic prior to investigating more invasive treatments. Surgery is rarely (if ever) recommended for this disorder. For some patients SIJ injections provide pain relief and may decrease inflammation. We encourage you to weigh the risks and the benefits of treatment types before making a decision. Chiropractic is an evidence based conservative approach that may be the answer you have been looking for.
- Hendler N, Kozikowski JG, Morrison C, Sethuraman G. Diagnosis and management of sacroiliac joint disease.J Neuromusc Syst. 1995; 3:169-174.
- Gatterman MI, Cooperstein R, Lantz C, Perle SM, Schneider MJ. Rating specific chiropractic technique procedures for common low back conditions. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2001 Sep; 24 (7): 449-56.
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