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Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Physiotherapy
Sacroiliac joint (SIJ) dysfunction refers to a painful and uncomfortable of a combination of lower back pain and pelvic pain condition that
can result from joint stiffness (hypomobility) or slackness
(hypermobility) at the sacroiliac joints in the pelvis.
can affect both men and women of all ages, but tends to be more common in
females. Symptoms typically are present on 1 side of the back, and
affect 10% to 25% of patients with complaints of low back pain.
Our senior physiotherapists will design individualized treatment programs to address SIJ
dysfunction based on the specific cause of each person's condition, and
What is Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction?
The sacroiliac joint is a joint between the sacrum and the ilium, or
The 2 sides of the sacroiliac joint normally work together but if one side becomes stiff, they will not move together and this causes
pain or muscle stiffness in the area. Pain is often made worse with
walking and bending activities.
It is also possible that one side may
become too loose (lax) as well, resulting in SIJ dysfunction. This may
occur during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy due to hormonal changes
that cause the ligaments to become more lax.
SIJ dysfunction can occur
with injury, such as
- when a person falls and lands on 1 side of the body
and alters the position of the joint
- or when an athlete overtrains
Muscle imbalances and hip problems, such as hypermobility or dysplasia,
may also lead to SIJ dysfunction.
Sacroiliac pain is also related to
some types of arthritis, such as ankylosing spondylitis which is an inflammatory
process most often affecting the lower back, which may cause the
vertebrae to fuse.
How Does Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Feel like?
Patients with SIJ dysfunction may experience:
- Pain that may be sharp, stabbing or dull, localized to 1 side of the pelvis/low back, groin, or tailbone
- Pain that may radiate down to the knee
- Pain with movements, such as standing up from a sitting position, turning in bed, or bending/twisting
- Muscle tightness and tenderness in the hip/buttock region
- Pain with walking, standing, and prolonged sitting
- Pain that is worse when standing and walking, and eases when sitting or lying down
How Is It Diagnosed?
When you see our senior physiotherapists, we will ask you questions about your current condition, such as:
- When did the pain start?
- What happened to cause the pain to start?
- Did you experience a fall or injury?
- Have you experienced similar symptoms in the past?
- Where is the pain located?
- What specific movements/activities cause your pain?
- Are you pregnant, or have you recently given birth?
We will then conduct a physical evaluation.
- examine the position of your spine, conduct strength
tests of the hip, pelvic, and lower extremity muscles
- and gently
perform movement tests to assess your mobility and flexibility
Specialized tests will be performed to rule out any problems that may
require other medical intervention. If further medical intervention is
required, we may refer you to a orthopedic doctor who
specializes in SIJ dysfunction or other conditions that may be causing
Once SIJ dysfunction has been confirmed, we will
work with you to determine your personalized treatment program.
how our senior physiotherapists can help you
We will design a targeted treatment program
based on your evaluation and your goals for a safe return to sport or
Physiotherapy treatments for sacroiliac joint dysfunctions may include:
Often, manual therapy for SIJ
dysfunction includes soft tissue release or deep tissue massage for tight and sore
muscle groups. Manual therapy and muscle energy techniques (MET) are
used to correct pelvic or SIJ alignment issues.
MET uses your own muscle
contractions to realign the position of the pelvis, and can be a source
of pain relief. Joint mobilizations/manual therapy uses gentle movements
to improve mobility of the
- sacroiliac joint
- and low back
Stretching exercises may be
prescribed to improve the flexibility of tight muscles.
They may also
help to improve movement in the spine and lower extremities, and help
decrease stress at the sacroiliac joint during daily activities.
Strengthening helps to
improve the stability of the sacroiliac and spinal joints, which helps
to reduce ligament strain and decrease pain.These exercises are focused on weak
muscles, including the lower abdominal, pelvic floor, and buttocks
How you move and use your body for
daily work and other activities can contribute to your SIJ dysfunction
and pain. We will teach you how to improve your
movements or body mechanics based on your specific daily activities.
We may also make recommendations to improve activities,
- seated tasks
- standing tasks
- and carrying objects
Heat therapy and cold therapy treatments are often
prescribed to loosen up tight muscles prior to treatment, or to
alleviate pain following exercise.
Electrical stimulation uses
electricity to target nerve fibers that send pain signals to the brain,
and may also be used in conjunction with ice to provide pain relief.
We may also use ultrasound therapy and radio-frequency Indiba physiotherapy to accelerate soft tissue healing of the painful structures in the sacroiliac joints.
We may also recommend
wearing a sacroiliac belt, designed to provide support to the sacroiliac
joints. It is used to provide stability during daily activities as your
strength returns, and flexibility improves. This modality is especially
helpful for pregnant women.
All treatments prescribed by our senior physical therapists will be based on your specific case.
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At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough
assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to
help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.
Follow up sessions are inline to provide
expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific
exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term
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