Sacroiliac Joint Pain

The sacrum is a triangular bone that joins the ilium bones on either side at the sacro-iliac joints. It is held together by the anterior (font) and posterior (back) sacro-iliac ligaments.

 

This joint allows some movement during walking or bending forwards and backwards, so if there is inflammation in this joint, it can be painful to move.

In this simplified diagram looking at the pelvis from the front, the sacrum is the green bone and the ilium is the orange bone either side of the sacrum. The red line illustrates the location of the sacro-iliac joint on the right-hand side of the patient facing you.

 

The sacroiliac joint (SIJ) can become painful as a result of a sudden jarring motion such as stepping off a kerb suddenly, or as a result of repetitive strain. Some patients report that turning to one direction can be painful or walking on a hard surface such as concrete aggravates the sacroiliac joint pain.

Probably the most effective thing you can do for sacro-iliac joint pain is to apply cold hydrotherapy. That means putting something cold on the area of pain for 5 minutes, then removing it for 5 minutes.

 

If you do this three times in quick succession (5 minutes on, 5 minutes off X3) it will cause the capillaries and lymph vessels nearby to contract and remove blood and waste products from that area. Then new blood will come in with nutrients to help this area to heal.

Treatment of the sacroiliac joint itself by an osteopath is relatively straightforward and can be quite effective, especially when combined with cold hydrotherapy. The Osteopath will probably assess the low back, sacro-iliac joint and hips to ensure the correct diagnosis. Also, the muscles and ligaments in the surrounding area as an imbalance in these can contribute to sacroiliac joint pain.

 

The osteopath can mobilise the sacroiliac joint to help it move more efficiently, or perform a High Velocity Thrust (HVT) technique to force it. This may feel sore for a few days afterwards but it should help in the long-term.

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