The sacroiliac (SI) joint is located where the sacrum (the triangular bone at the bottom of the spine) meets the ilium (part of the pelvis). It’s an essential component that absorbs shock between the upper body and the pelvis and legs. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction, also known as SI joint pain or sacroiliitis, refers to pain in the sacroiliac joint region caused by abnormal motion in the SI joint – either too much motion (hypermobile) or too little motion (hypomobile).
- Trauma: A sudden impact, such as a fall or a car accident, can cause damage to the SI joint.
- Pregnancy: The body releases hormones during pregnancy that allow the ligaments to relax in preparation for childbirth, which can lead to increased movement in the SI joint.
- Biomechanical Problems: An altered walking pattern, even as subtle as wearing a lift in one shoe, can lead to SI joint dysfunction.
- Inflammatory Joint Disease: Conditions like ankylosing spondylitis or psoriatic arthritis can cause inflammation in the SI joint.
- Prior Lumbar Surgeries: Surgeries, especially those that fuse a segment of the lumbar spine, can put additional stress on the SI joint.
- Leg Length Discrepancy: One leg being longer than the other can affect the SI joint.
- Infections: Rare but can cause sacroiliac joint pain.
- Pain: This is the most common symptom. Pain can be felt in the lower back, buttocks, or even the thigh, usually on one side.
- Stiffness: There might be a feeling of reduced range of motion in the pelvis, especially in the morning.
- Instability: The pelvis might feel like it’s going to give out.
- Pain with certain movements: Such as climbing stairs, standing up, or bearing weight on one leg.
- Radiating pain: Sometimes the pain can radiate down the leg or even up the spine.
Myotherapy and SI Joint Dysfunction
Myotherapy is a form of physical therapy that focuses on the treatment and management of musculoskeletal pain, including conditions affecting the muscles, ligaments, and joints. Here’s how Myotherapy can help:
- Manual Techniques: Myotherapists use various techniques like massage, trigger point therapy, and joint mobilisation to release tightness and relieve pain.
- Dry Needling: Similar to acupuncture, this technique can release muscle knots or trigger points, reducing pain.
- Stretching and Exercise: Myotherapists can recommend specific stretches and exercises to restore balance and strength around the SI joint.
- Postural Advice: Poor posture can exacerbate SI joint dysfunction. A Myotherapist can provide advice and exercises to improve posture.
- Heat/Ice Therapy: Myotherapists might suggest alternating between heat and ice therapy to manage inflammation and promote healing.
- Taping: To provide stability and support to the SI joint.
In conclusion, sacroiliac joint dysfunction can be debilitating, but with appropriate intervention, including treatments like Myotherapy, individuals can manage their symptoms and lead a more pain-free life.