What is the Sacroiliac Joint and why is it important?
The Sacroiliac Joint, or SIJ, is a connection from the tailbone (sacrum) to the pelvic bone (ilium). This is a VERY stable joint, surrounded by strong ligaments that hold it in place.
There is a misconception, however, that the SIJ does not move at all and therefore cannot cause back pain. Research shows that the SIJ does indeed have the ability to move and can produce back pain. In fact, the SIJ is reported to be the pain generator in between 18 and 25% of people with back pain. The difficulty comes in the diagnosis of this pathology.
Fortunately, there are a number of rigorously reviewed studies that have examined the best methods to diagnose SIJ pathology. There are simple clinical tests that can be performed to try to elicit pain from this joint. When these tests are positive, there is a strong indication that the SIJ is generating the pain.
Why is this important to know?
Understanding and determining the pain generator during a low back examination is important for several reasons. First, it gives patients piece of mind and awareness of what structure is causing the pain in their back. Second, it helps to guide treatment options and considerations. Pain from the SIJ can be specifically targeted with physical therapy, bracing, injections, or even minimally invasive surgery.
At Elite, we are well trained in the simple tests that help to identify whether or not the SIJ is the source of pain. Please think of Elite the next time you or someone you know is having difficulty with low back pain – we can help!
I spent three years looking for relief from horrible pain as a result of a serious injury to my back. I tried everything you can think of – from traditional to nontraditional pain-relief modalities – with dozens of different types of practitioners but no one could even begin to get to the root of the problem. I spent tens of thousands of dollars in the process, and I was on the brink of quitting my job when I found my Manual Physical Therapist who practices at Elite Physical Therapy.
Not only was my therapist able to identify the problem, but she put together a plan of physical therapy that eventually left me with very little pain – and with the ability to not only do my demanding job, but to commute over an hour a day. I worked hard at the things she instructed me to do – she was caring, kind, and always patient when I asked her to repeat exercise instructions. I can say, without a doubt, she is the most analytical health care professional I've ever met. When others gave up or told me to "live with it," she offered hope and gave me my life back. I am a living testament that you can be in horrible, debilitating pain and live through it. Based on my experience with my physical therapist and other therapists at Elite Physical Therapy, I am convinced this is one of the best facilities in the country, and I consider myself lucky to have found such a place in Kansas City.
Julie D. – Overland Park, KS
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