The sacroiliac joint is in between the crests of the iliac bones of the pelvis and the sacrum (the bone in the lower part of the spine). This articulation lies below your belt. The sacroiliac joint moves when you walk. Its normal function rests on the muscles and on the ligaments that cross the joint.
Part of the complexity of this joint lies in its dual role. One part of the joint is lubricated, and another part is fibrous.
This dual role gives a semi-rigidity to the sacroiliac joint, which is essential to its dual function of support and movement. Sacroiliac joints are responsible for supporting the entire weight of the body and for transferring weight and forces to the legs.
When one of the two sacroiliac joints presents a dysfunction, pain occurs most often while walking or when you stand up. Physical therapists at State of the Art Physical Therapy in Valley Stream, NY, will help relieve the pain with specialized treatment.
Causes of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
The following are some causes of sacroiliac joint dysfunction:
- Fall on the buttocks
- Following a difficult delivery
- After a lumbar sprain
- After an excessive effort
- After prolonged work in a crouching position
- After repetitive movements involving the lumbar and pelvis area
- Activities that include bending, or lifting heavy loads (e.g., golf or shoveling)
- An imbalance of the hip and pelvis muscles because one leg is either shorter or longer than the other
Symptoms of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Pain is on one side at the lower back. It can radiate to the buttock, behind the thigh, to the groin, sometimes to the front of the thigh. The pain usually does not go down below the knee. Physical therapists at State of the Art Physical Therapy in Valley Stream, NY, will be able to identify the symptoms and explain the appropriate treatment plan.
Different characteristics accompany this pain:
- Difficulty leaning or rotating the lower back
- Pain after an extended sitting period
- Muscle stiffness in the lower back, in a hip or a leg
- Feeling unbalanced
Treatment of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Self-treatment in the first few days involves the application of cold compresses such as ice or refrigerator bags not exceeding 10 to 15 minutes. After 48 to 72 hours, hot compresses can be very helpful, or you can alternate hot and cold. A physical therapist at State of the Art Physical Therapy in Valley Stream, NY, would usually suggest 3 to 4 applications a day.
Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be helpful in relieving pain.
Physical therapists at State of the Art Physical Therapy in Valley Stream, NY, can be very useful in providing a therapeutic program for the mobilization of the sacroiliac joint.
In addition to stretching the hamstring and quadriceps muscles, physical therapists at State of the Art Physical Therapy in Valley Stream, NY, use flexion/extension exercises while lying on the back to treat this dysfunction. These activities are followed by a flexion of the knees towards the shoulders.