Can’t Sit? Could be your SI Joint Giving You Back Pain!
Have you ever tried to stand from your chair and feel a pain right in your lower back, almost to the buttocks or near the tailbone area?
Are you having a difficult time sitting or rolling on your sitting bones while you sit?
Trying to sleep with your knees bent and your lower back hurts? So you straighten them only to feel the same pain, so you switch positions to your side only to feel temporary relief?
These are signs that your SI Joint is acting up. So what’s the SI Joint and why is it hurting? Let’s find out…
What is the SI Joint?
The sacroiliac joint, or SI Joint connects the hip bones to the sacrum and its main function is to absorb shock between the upper body, the pelvis, and legs. You have two of them, on the right and left of the sacrum.
Causes of SI Joint Dysfunction
The SI joint typically has limited motion because it is supported by a ligaments that surround it. When there is a dysfunction in the SI joint, there can be too much or too little movement. Too much movement can cause the pelvis to become unstable and you can feel pain radiating from the lower back to the groin area. Too little movement causes pain radiating from the lower back to the buttocks and back to the leg. This is similar to sciatica pain.
Symptoms of SI Joint Dysfunction
You may be feeling the following symptoms if you have an SI Joint Dysfunction:
- Lower Back Pain: which can range from a dull ache to severe pain
- Increased Pain: when you’re lying down, or transitioning from a sitting to standing position pain may increase
- Sciatic Like Pain: pain that spreads from the buttocks, to the back of your thigh, and leg
- Tailbone Pain: your tailbone may hurt, especially when rolling on your sitting bones or transitioning from a sitting to standing position, if you’re doing a downward dog and feel a pull and dull ache on your tailbone
- Stiffness: when you walk do you feel one leg’s reach is shorter than the other? You may feel stiffness when sitting or bending at the waist. Or do you overcompensate with one side by slightly lifting one of your hips as you do certain movements
- Instability: a feeling of being off balance when you stand with one leg or that your leg may “give out” as you step on it. A quick test of your balance can help you determine this. If you stand in one leg, and feel like you’re not in your hip pocket and after a few seconds you feel other muscles in your leg burn, it is because those muscles are trying to do the added work of keeping you balanced and your SI joint is not working properly.
If you’ve pretty much checked off all these symptoms, it is time to seek a solution to your problem. There is no need to live with pain that hinders your ability to lead an active lifestyle! Reach out to us so we can understand your symptoms and treat the root cause of your problem.
Yes, but…Why do I have an SI Joint Dysfunction?
There are several factors that could cause SI Joint Dysfunction. As always, it is important to remember that everyone is different and what may be the underlying root cause of the problem for one person, may not be the case for the next. Nevertheless, I know you’re seeking answers. So here’s a list of the most common causes of an SI Joint Dysfunction:
- Pelvis is Tilted: When there is a muscle imbalance, and a group of muscle becomes stronger while other weaken, your pelvis may be pulled forward or tipped and rotated in certain directions causing you stress in your SI Joint. This stress causes you lower back pain, sciatica like pain, stiffness, and instability.
- Pregnant or a Postpartum Woman: As a woman’s body readies itself to give birth, it is releasing a hormone that relaxes the ligaments and SI joint to relax causing hypermobility. Ligaments may remain loose after childbirth which causes SI joint pain.
- Repeated Stress on the SI Joint: Either you are inactive and are sitting for most of your day or you’re adding pressure on your SI joint by doing repeated activities which can include running, squatting, heavy-lifting with a muscle imbalance which causes instability and stress on your SI joint.
- Injury or Trauma: You may have fallen, been in a car accident, or had hip or spine surgery.
- Sacroiliitis: Inflammation of one or both of the SI joints.
- Arthritis: Inflammation of one or more joints, causing pain and stiffness that can worsen with age
If you’re checking off one or more of these causes, I know you’re wondering what can be done to treat your problem. Well, physical therapy can treat the underlying root cause of your SI Joint Dysfunction.
How can Physical Therapy Treat SI Joint Dysfunction?
Doctors will often times tell you to rest, or provide you with pain medication. Unfortunately, those treatment options relieve your pain for about four hours at a time. After which, you’ll start feeling your pain again. This time it may feel worse, because now you’ve added increased stiffness due to resting so much. Many patients, not knowing what to do will return to the doctor with increased pain on their SI Joint. Unfortunately, this is when the doctor may suggest injections or surgery.
Neither of these options will solve the underlying root cause of your SI Joint Dysfunction. Pain medications, injections, and surgery will only alleviate the pain temporarily because your body is still not in its correct position and your muscles are weak causing instability on the ligaments that support your SI Joint.
This is where, YOU! The educated patient will see results! Because by understanding that the underlying root cause of your problem, you will also understand that physical therapy is the best way to treat SI Joint Dysfunction!
At Advanced Physical Therapy Specialists, we don’t just treat the symptoms, but we identify the root cause of your pain and provide treatment that heals the underlying cause of the problem and prevents recurrences and flareups.
Treatment may include various types of physical and manual therapies and exercises, nerve mobilization, joint mobilization, myofascial release, as well as functional retraining. We also tailor a home exercise program consisting of no more than 2 – 3 exercises at a time that will address your individual muscle imbalance. We specialize in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy (OMPT) which involves hands-on techniques for restoring mobility, reducing muscle tension, and restoring your natural movement without pain.
Our goal at Advanced Physical Therapy Specialists is to return you to the active, pain-free lifestyle you deserve. You shouldn’t feel pain or discomfort doing something as simple as sitting! SI Joint Dysfunction is not something that you have to live with for the rest of your life.
To read more Si Joint Dysfunction and lower back pain, check out our free guide “7 Quick and Easy Ways to Ease Back Pain and Stiffness.”
If you are experiencing SI Joint pain or lower back pain, call us at (305) 433-1172 and let us help. We will pinpoint and treat the root cause of your problem and help you live an active and pain free lifestyle.