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Can Chiropractic care help with sacroiliac joint dysfunction?

November 9th, 2021 by
Category: Back pain Dr. Jefferson Gutierrez Pelvic pain

pelvis infographic showing sacroiliac joint, sacrum and ilium

In this blog post, we are going to talk about sacroiliac joint dysfunction (SJD) and whether Chiropractic care can help! But first of all,

What is the sacroiliac joint? 

The sacroiliac joint has two joints where the pelvis connects with the sacrum, which is the bone where the spine stacks on top of. This joint helps support the structure of the trunk and also absorbs the forces that are translated from the lower extremities.

What is sacroiliac joint dysfunction and how is it diagnosed? 

Sacroiliac dysfunction is a term that describes the joint that is restricted from its normal function/movement which can lead to lower back pain. This can be diagnosed with various tests, such as – 

  • Palpating the joint, which involves feeling the joint with our hands, as well as going through motion palpation of the joint by adding pressure to the joint to go through its movement.
  • Specific orthopaedic tests, such as a SJD stress test can also be performed
  • SJD can also be diagnosed with x-rays

What are the symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction?

Symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction can include:

  • Lower back pain or discomfort
  • Stiffness in the lower back
  • Pain radiating to the buttock, hips, knees and ankles
  • A sciatica type of pain

What causes sacroiliac joint dysfunction?

There a number of things that may cause SJD, including:

Can Chiropractic help with sacroiliac joint dysfunction?

Chiropractic care may be able to help with sacroiliac joint dysfunction, as Chiropractors are able to assess the joint and perform adjustments with various techniques to help improve function and mobility.

How?

When someone comes in experiencing lower back pain, Chiropractors first do a thorough history examination. This involves questions such as, ‘where exactly do you feel the pain?’, ‘how long has the pain been there?’, ‘how did it start?’ and so on. This gives us a better idea of what’s been going on.

We then move on to a physical examination, which involves assessing the posture, palpation of the spine/joints,  motion palpation, range of motion testing, muscle testing and orthopedic tests. Typically in a person with sacroiliac joint dysfunction, it would feel stiff and stuck around the joint when pressure is applied. Sometimes it would also cause them pain as the pressure adds stress to the joint.

Specific orthopedic tests can be done to confirm or rule out any other possible conditions.

Once sacroiliac joint dysfunction has been confirmed, care can begin. Care for SJD can be done in various ways. Spinal/joint manipulation is one technique that can be used to help restore the joint’s movement and function. It is possible that the manipulation or ‘adjustment’ can provide instant relief to the person’s pain, which is dependent on the severity.

In conclusion, sacroiliac joint dysfunction is a common issue in people who experience lower back pain. The onset does not need to come on from an injury, rather from overuse and repetitive strain to the joint which can be either to one or both joints. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is often felt to be causing stiffness in the lower back and radiating pain to the buttock, but Chiropractic care may be able to help.

If you do experience any of the above symptoms, visit your local trusted Chiropractor, Physiotherapist or Osteopath.

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