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Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

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Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is a condition in which the joint becomes locked, and subluxated or dislocated partially. It can be caused by excess movement or hypermobility and limited movement or hypomobility within the joint. It causes discomfort in the buttocks and lower back due to one or both of the joints is inflamed or becomes irritated and eventually becomes severe.

The sacroiliac joint functions as a cushion and shock absorbing structures found below the lower back area of the spine and above the coccyx or the tailbone. Each joint is found on either side of the spine and carry the weight of the upper body. The joints attach the sacrum with the pelvis and surrounded by ligaments.

Symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction

  • Low back pain that can be dull or aching which can be mild to severe.
  • Pain can be felt in one or both sides of the lower back
  • Pain in the buttocks, groin and the hips
  • Limited range of movements of the hips, lower back, pelvis and groin.]
  • Stiffness
    Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

    Low back pain that can be dull or aching which can be mild to severe.

  • Sciatic-like pain in the buttocks and at the back of thighs which can be stabbing, hot and sharp.
  • Numbness and tingling sensation
  • Severe pain in the sacroiliac joint when running, climbing stairs or jogging and putting weight on one side of the body.
  • Instability of the lower back or pelvis

Risk factors

  • Pregnant women are susceptible to this condition due to increase in weight and hormonal changes causing ligaments to relax and changes in the pelvis during childbirth. After childbirth the ligaments remains loose and instability of the sacroiliac will persist.
  • Scoliosis which gives uneven pressure on one side of the pelvis and increase risk of pain.
  • Surgery on the lower back can move pressure placed to the sacroiliac joint.
  • Performing activities that causes repetitive stress on the joint such repetitive heavy lifting and playing contact sports.
  • Unconditioned pelvic and low back muscles
  • Prolonged periods of standing or sitting

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest for at least 1-2 days. Avoid activities that cause pain and delay the healing.
  • Apply ice or heat on the affected area. Place ice cubes in plastic bag and wrap it using a towel before placing to the area. The cold temperature lessens the pain, the discomforts and the inflammation. Heat can be in the form of a heat pack or bottle filled with hot water. Place a towel between the skin and heat pack to prevent burns. Heat lessens the stiffness and tension or spasms of the muscles.
  • Use the given over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen and anti-inflammatory medications such as naproxen and ibuprofen to reduce the discomfort and inflammation.
  • Wear the prescribed pelvic brace which is wrapped around the waist for stability of the area. It also lessens the inflammation and the pain.
  • Seek the help of the physical therapist for some rehabilitation exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles and joints to prevent recurrence of the sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
  • Injections of anti-inflammatory medication such as corticosteroid to alleviate the pain and inflammation.
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