Low Back Pain – Sacro-iliac Joint

Sacro-iliac joint (SIJ) pain can be uncomfortable when standing or sitting, but also relieved by either posture. One of the keys to understanding whether your pain is in fact coming from the SIJ, is what happens when you begin to walk.

If, after a few steps, walking becomes hindered by pain in the lower back, coupled with referred pain down the back of the leg or into the groin region, relieved by sitting down, may indicate an SIJ problem.

You have 2 SIJ’s. One on each side of the lower back, located near the two bony prominences at the base of your spine. These can normally be felt by placing your hands on this area. Local tenderness or pain on light touching may guide your decision as to wheher you have SIJ pain – in fact, Osteopaths use palpation (pressure) of the SIJ as a diagnosis tool, such that provocation of tenderness or pain around the area, indicates SIJ dysfunction.

Symptoms of SIJ pain include:

Pain located either to the left or right of your lower back.

The pain can range from an ache to a sharp pain which can restrict movement.

The pain may radiate out into your buttocks and low back and will often radiate to the front into the groin.

Occasionally it is responsible for pain in the testicles among males.

Occasionally there may be referred pain into the lower limb which can be mistaken for sciatica.

Classic symptoms are difficulty turning over in bed, struggling to put on shoes and socks and pain getting your legs in and out of the car.

Stiffness in the lower back when getting up after sitting for long periods and when getting up from bed in the morning.

Aching to one side of your lower back when driving long distances. There may be tenderness on palpating the ligaments which surround the joint.

Osteopaths then use soft and deep tissue/massage techniques to ‘loosen’ up tight lumbar (low back) and gluteal muscles; stretching the strong SIJ ligaments holding the pelvis, low back and sacrum together; and gentle manipulative techniques to reduce the joint restriction that often causes pain in this area.

Our Osteopaths in Lilydale will assess your gait (walking) to determine if that is a factor in developing low back pain, as well as exercise and rehabilitation measures that may include strengthening, stabilising or stretching the low back, buttock and SIJ region. Your foot posture may also be an issue, which would be aided the addition of Posture Control Insoles to your shoes.

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