Sacroiliac Joint Injury

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Approximately 22% of low back pain is due to a sacroiliac joint (SIJ) injury. The SIJ is a pivotal link between the legs and the spine, and a malfunctioning joint can result in severe pain. Sacroiliac disorders occur when the body fails to transmit weight from the legs to the trunk efficiently. While the SIJ only moves a very small amount (2mm), several core muscles and sling muscles work together to allow both stabilisation of the SIJ as well as mobility depending on what is required. As such coordination of the low back and pelvic muscles is vital for a healthy SIJ.

Management Advice

The process of standing up from a sitting or reclining posture can be painful. Guidance from your practitioner should be sought to reduce the amount of discomfort you might feel. For some SIJ injuries, any independent movement of the legs i.e. lunges, getting in/out of a car, or stair climbing can be aggravating. It is best to avoid pain where possible during the acute phase of injury, while light activity and movement such as walking will help with recovery and healing rates.

Prognosis

A SIJ problem may be an acute episode (lasting a few weeks), or a chronic and recurrent injury (lasting longer than 6 months). SIJ dysfunction has been shown to reduce gluteal muscle activity and responds well to spinal manipulation in combination with rehabilitation exercises.

Remember this is a process. You have lost normal coordination in your back and completing an exercise program to rehabilitate your back over the next 3 months is the best way to prevent a relapse at a later stage.