sacroiliitis

Sacroiliitis, Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Dysfunction in the sacroiliac joint, or SI joint, is thought to cause low back and/or leg pain. The leg pain can be particularly difficult, and may feel similar to sciatica or pain caused by a lumbar disc herniation.

 Where is SI Joint and Why Does it Hurt?      Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

There are two Sacroiliac (SI) joints in your body, located on either side of the triangle-shaped bone at the bottom of the spine where it connects to your pelvis. The SI joints are a shock absorber for your spine and provide stability for your body as you run, walk, or jump. Interestingly enough, the SI joints usually don’t move more than 2 – 4 millimeters themselves. But each one contains many nerve endings that can cause significant pain if the joint is damaged or loses its ability to move properly. Everyday wear and tear, arthritis, or a single injury can damage these joints, changing their normal movement and creating chronic and sometimes debilitating SI joint pain that often, generally feels like low back pain.

Causes:

While it is not clear how the pain is caused, it is thought that an alteration in the normal joint motion may be the culprit that causes sacroiliac pain. This source of pain can be caused by either:

  • Too much movement (hypermobility or instability): The pain is typically felt in the lower back and/or hip and may radiate into groin area.
  • Too little movement (hypomobility or fixation): The pain is typically felt on one side of the low back or buttocks, and can radiate down the leg. The pain usually remains above the knee, but at times pain can extend to the ankle or foot.

Sacroiliitis (inflammation at SI Joint), Osteoarthritis, SI Joint Injury, Altered Walking Pattern, Infection, Prior Lumbar Fusion and Pregnancy are known to trigger SI Joint Dysfunction.

Symptoms of SI Joint Pain & Diagnosis

Some common symptoms for SI Joint Dysfunction are:

  • Low back pain: Usually a dull ache on one side of your lower back that may extend into the thigh.
  • Buttock Pain: Pain can range from an ache to a sharp stabbing pain that extends down one or both legs.
  • Low Back Pain While Climbing Stairs: Activities that require the pelvis to twist may produce SI joint pain.
  • Difficulty Sitting or Lying on One Side: Often experienced as an ache on one side that causes you to shift weight to one side to relieve the pain in the other.

It is important that a medical expert diagnose the cause of your lower back pain.  Though the symptoms may be similar, however the treatment will greatly depend upon the underlying cause.

Treatment for SI Joint Dysfunction:

Treatments for sacroiliac joint dysfunction (SI joint pain) are usually conservative (meaning non-surgical) and focus on trying to restore normal motion in the joint.

Typical treatments for sacroiliac joint dysfunction include:

  • RICE :  R.I.C.E. treatment that typically includes use of ice or cold packs, applied in 15 to 20 minute intervals as needed to reduce inflammation in the area, along with rest is recommended to ease symptoms. Depending on the duration of sharp, intense pain, ice can be continued anywhere between 2 days to 2 weeks. Once the inflammation is less, gradual return to normal activities may be advisable. Read more: RICE
    SI Joint belt
  • Medicines: Your doctor may prescribe pain medications as well as anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the swelling that is usually contributing to the pain.
  • Supports, braces and Belts: When the SI joint is “hypermobile” or too loose, an “orthotic” or SI brace about the size of a rather wide waist-belt can be wrapped around the waist and pulled snugly to stabilize the area. This can sometimes be very helpful at times when the joint is inflamed or painful. When it calms down, the support can be weaned away.
  • Physiotherapy and Exercise :

Controlled, gradual physical therapy is an evidence based technique found helpful to strengthen the muscles around the sacroiliac joint and appropriately increase range of motion. Supervised gentle exercise will help increase the flow of blood to the area, which in turn stimulates a healing response.

Contact a ReLivaTM Expert to get a customized SI joint pain treatment programs designed for your specific concerns. It may include stabilization training, stretching exercises and heat/ice therapy to compliment other treatment aspects prescribed by your doctor.

 

Coping with Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Adding exercise and physical therapy to your sacroiliac joint dysfunction treatment plan can significantly help you manage SI joint pain symptoms. There are numerous gentle exercises and stretches you can do to help decrease pain caused by SI joint dysfunction.

Contact a ReLiva Expert to design overall exercise plan for SI joint dysfunction, incorporating the 3 main types of exercise—aerobic, strengthening, and flexibility exercises—into your workout routine.

Related articles :

Do’s and Don’ts for SI Joint Pain / Pelvis Pain

SI Pain and Pregnancy

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knee pain

Five Ways to check your Knee health

Whether you are walking, running, cycling or exercising; you are likely to be using your knees a lot. While the common sense says that the more you use the joint the more mobile or lubricated it will remain. The better sense says that it will all be worthwhile only if you know how NOT to ruin them instead.

The knee joint is particularly vulnerable to damage and pain because it takes the full weight of your body and any extra force when you run or jump. You’re more likely to experience knee pain as you get older, and people who are overweight or do lots of sports have a higher risk of damaging their knees. And it’s not just athletes who suffer. Knee problems can happen to anyone.

It’s difficult to strike the correct balance between mobility and stability. The knee needs to move back and forth, twist a little, and pivot too. The knee’s ligaments can tear, its tendons can swell up, one may get osteoarthritis, and even everyday wear and tear can ruin a perfectly good set of knees,” says Dr Shreya Sahasrabudhe, the Musculoskeletal specialist at ReLiva.

Ask yourself the following five questions and find out if you’re being nice to your knees.

  1. How much weight are you carrying?

If you’ve ever loaded your car’s trunk with heavy objects or driven with four adult passengers, you may have noticed that the ride wasn’t as smooth. Your car’s shock absorbers probably didn’t soak up the jolts from the bumps and the potholes as well as they would have with a lighter load. Similarly, if you’re carrying too much weight on your body, your knees may also be in for a rough ride.

Every kg of excess weight exerts about 4 kg of extra pressure on the knees. So a person who is 10 kg overweight has 40 kg of extra pressure on his knees; if a person is 100kg overweight, that is 400kg of extra pressure on his knees. So if you think about all the steps you take in a day, you can see why it would lead to premature damage in weight-bearing joints.

  1. Are you exercising?

In case your knee hurts, whether due to an injury or due to a chronic condition like Arthritis – Exercising the knee may seem counterintuitive, but regular exercise can actually lessen — and even relieve — arthritis pain and other symptoms, such as stiffness and swelling.

There are several reasons to exercise with knee arthritis. For example:

  • Exercise maintains the joint’s full range of motion.
  • Exercise strengthens the muscles that support the joint.
  • Strong muscles help the joint absorb shock.

“If all the benefits of exercise could be put into a single pill, it would be the most widely prescribed medicine in the world,” says Dr. Neelam Patel, a Physical therapist specializing in sports injury.

  1. Are you overusing some muscles and joints?

The quadriceps muscles (front of the thigh) and the hamstring muscles (back of the thigh), which straighten and bend the knee respectively, are susceptible to strain (“pulled muscles”).

If your work requires you to frequently sit low or climb up and down stairs or stand, you are more prone to overuse. Initially your may feel fatigued. If this fatigue is not resolved prior to your return to work the next day, or shortly thereafter, microtrauma may occur. Microtrauma is when small soft tissue tearing occurs from overuse. Eventually your muscles and tissues become more traumatized, resulting in pain and loss of use.

  1. Is your body properly aligned?
    body alignment
    Is your Body Properly aligned?

Anyone who’s ever driven and maintained a vehicle is likely to have dealt with an alignment problem. The effects of a minor collision may create a misalignment that’s not immediately obvious. Our bodies are very much like these vehicles, and we may not realize that our own alignment is off until an ankle sprain leads to knee trouble or certain random ache develops into a chronic pain. When we lose proper alignment, we see knee joints begin to break down or wear out. This is due to uneven weight distribution.

  1. Are you wearing the right shoes?high heels for knee

Shoes with very high heels or those that lack the arch and heel support that your feet require, can place added pressure on your knees and throw them out of alignment. This, in turn, can cause pain under and around your knee. Wearing the right shoes when you exercise, go to work and for other daily activities, will help prevent knee discomfort.

Be Good to Your Knees Now

Arthritis of the knee is common, but it is not necessarily a compulsory consequence of aging. Taking care of your knees now will cost you a lot less time and effort than rehabilitating them down the road.

REMEMBER: When in doubt, rest and have your pain checked out. It’s better to spend a little time and money seeing a qualified physiotherapist than to be sidelined for months by an injury that you could have prevented or minimized.

Contributed by Dr Manali Jain (PT), consultant Physiotherapist at ReLiva Physiotherapy & Rehab. She has an avid interest in knee and knee conditions and looks forward to extend her knowledge to put to use for every common man.

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