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Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction and Pain

What is the Sacroiliac Joint?

The Sacroiliac joints connect the sacrum (the wedge shaped bone at the bottom of the spine) to the iliac bones (the two bones that make up the pelvis). These joints support the weight of the body when we are upright, so to provide stability there is only a small amount of movement.

Patients with Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can feel pain in the lower back, buttocks, groin and thighs, however it does not typically radiate below the knee.

What causes Sacroiliac Joint Pain?

There is commonly a history of trauma such as, landing heavily on one buttock or one foot that shears the Sacroiliac joint. Or any condition that alters the normal walking pattern, such as an osteoarthritic knee or a leg length discrepancy places increased stress on the Sacroiliac Joints, that can lead to pain. A repetitive one sided motion such as bowling a cricket ball can also cause the sacroiliac joints to become dysfunctional.

These joints also under go changes in females during pregnancy that can lead to dysfunction and pain (Pelvic girdle Pain (PGP)/ Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD).

What can you do about Sacroiliac Joint Pain?

Avoid doing activities that make the pain worse but keep moving as much as you can within pain free limits. Gentle range of movement exercises may help, such as laying on your back and rolling your knees side to side. Stretching exercises may also help. Use heat (hot water bottle or heat wheat pack) on the affected area for 10 minutes every hour (be sure to protect your skin to avoid a burn). Take some simple over the counter pain relief to start but if this doesn't help then book a visit to see your GP to get some stronger pain relief . If the problem persists or you are having frequent episodes of Sacroiliac joint pain the Blackberry Clinic may be able to help.

What can the Blackberry Clinic do to help?

The first step is diagnosis; our Physiotherapist, Osteopaths and Chiropractors are all trained to pick up subtle abnormalities in the way your sacroiliac joints are positioned and moving. They will then be able to do Manual therapy and possibility manipulation to correct the position of the joints and enable them to move correctly again. You will then be shown specific exercises to stabilize the joints in the correct position and prevent them from becoming dysfunctional again.

Our Musculoskeletal Doctors may also be able to help to with pain relief injections. There is also a technique called Prolotherapy that is used to stabilise chronically unstable Sacroiliac Joints. This link is to a recorded lecture given by Dr Simon Petrides at the annual conference of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMbC43fbIxo it outlines the injection procedures that can help in sacroiliac joint pain.

We can perform these procedures in our state-of-the-art X-ray guided injection theatres on site, for rapid control of your back pain so that you can gain the most out of your rehabilitation.