The sacroiliac joint, or more commonly known as the Si joint, is found in your lower back where the spine meets the pelvis. It’s a small but mighty joint that not only supports weight and helps with movement, but also absorbs shock when you walk or run. However, this means that it can be prone to wear and tear especially if you’re someone who has an active lifestyle.
If you’ve been experiencing pain in your lower back or hips area, there’s a chance that it might be caused by Si joint dysfunction. But fret not! Here, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about treating Si joint pain so you can say goodbye to discomfort for good!
Symptoms of Si Joint Dysfunction
Before we dive into treatment options for Si joint pain relief, let’s first identify the symptoms. Here are some signs that suggest your pain may be coming from your sacroiliac region:
- Pain on either side of the lower back
- Pain in buttocks
- Hip pain
- Groin pain that extends towards thighs
- Difficulty sitting
- Difficulty standing up after sitting down
If these sound familiar to what you’re experiencing now, it’s best to get evaluated by a doctor immediately. They will conduct physical tests and imaging studies such as x-rays, MRIs and bone scans.
Causes of Si Joint Dysfunction
Si Joint dysfunction can occur due to various reasons, such as:
- Pregnancy – Hormonal changes during pregnancy lead to relaxation of muscles and ligaments around the pelvic area which results in increased mobility at the joints.
- Arthritis – Inflammation in joints leads to irritation of nerves causing severe chronic pains.
- Trauma – Accidents or fractures may cause damage leading to inflammation of sacroiliac joints.
Now that we’ve established the common causes of SI joint dysfunction, let’s move on to treatment.
Treatment for Si Joint Pain
There are numerous non-surgical methods that you can do at home to treat Si joint pain. Here are some effective tips:
1. Heat or Ice Therapy
Applying heat or ice packs is one of the simplest yet most effective remedies to relieve pain caused by SI joint dysfunction. This helps diminish inflammation and lessens muscle spasms which can relieve painful symptoms.
- To apply heat therapy, use a hot compress or heating pad on your lower back area for around 15-20 minutes, several times a day.
- For cold therapy, wrap an ice pack or frozen vegetables in a towel before laying it over the affected area for about 15-20 minutes per session
2. Over-the-counter Medications
Taking OTC medications such as acetaminophen , ibuprofen and naproxen sodium can also be another quick fix method since these provide temporary relief from mild pain.
However, please take note that long-term use is not recommended without consulting with your doctor first.
3. Exercise and Stretching
Simple exercise routines done regularly may help improve Si joint function. It strengthens muscles surrounding the pelvic bone supporting the alignment of joints preventing further injury.
Here are some exercises that could benefit you:
-Lie down on an exercise mat with your arms flat beside you and knees folded feet flat on floor keeping them aligned shoulder-width apart
-Raise pelvis slowly towards your navel drawing yourself up towards ceiling contracting abdominal muscles hold position
-Gently return start position
-Kneel down hips stacked above knees
-Droop head downwards relaxing neck and shoulders
-Inhaling arch back expanding torso extend chin toward chest exhaling round your spine arching shoulders forward
-Repeat for at least five sets
Apart from these over-the-counter remedies, medications prescribed by a doctor may also relieve pain. Here are some examples:
4. Prescription Medications
Your physician can prescribe stronger medications that target inflammation such as corticosteroids which treat moderate to severe pain caused by arthritis.
5. Physical Therapy
Seeing a physical therapist can be an excellent option since they will help you identify the root cause of your Si joint dysfunction and create an appropriate treatment plan that includes exercises specifically tailored to your situation.
Surgery is usually the last resort when all other methods have failed to provide relief from chronic low back pain symptoms due to sacroiliac dysfunction completely. It depends on one’s condition; however, surgery options include minimally invasive techniques, i. e. , radiofrequency ablation and others.
Q: Can rest alleviate my Si joint pain?
A: Yes but then again no because too much rest or inactivity weakens muscles surrounding the joints leading to further damage
Q: What alternative medicine/treatment may I try if conservative treatments fail?
A: There are several available alternative medicines before considering having surgery like hydrotherapy, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments etc however it is important first consult with medical professionals.
Si Joint Dysfunction should not be neglected/ignored since it’s incapacitating and considerably affects the quality of life. With early detection coupled with any of the afore mentioned home remedies we’ve outlined here along with prescription medication or surgical intervention prescribed by your Doctor following SI testing total resolution could be achieved right in course!
Say goodbye discomfort once and for all!