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Sacroiliac Sprain

Sacroiliac Sprain is primarily a mechanical disorder of the joints of the pelvis and is characterized by the dull ache and pain in the hips, pelvis, tail bone and lower back that may or may not radiate down the legs or into the buttocks. Pain is usually increased when moving from sitting to standing and aggravated by stomach sleeping or hyperextension movements.

Note the large surface area on the left as it bears all of the upper body weight. Often pain in the leg above the knee can be caused by this mechanical condition. Left untreated, the symptoms will likely subside but the irritation will continue and cause further damage and insult with the next episode of pain.

DISCUSSION: The sacroiliac sprain is very common in today's population. The increasing amount of time spent in car seats and at the desk in front of the computer lend to increased dysfunction of the SI joints. Proper sitting and standing techniques help reduce the frequency and intensity of pain. This is often mistaken for discogenic low back pain. If left untreated, this common problem can give rise to disc problems that are far more difficult to treat and tend to progress to radicular pain in the legs. When treated properly, the mechanical dysfunction is restored and the muscular components strengthened to prevent regular recurrence. There are occasions when the SI joint irritation can cause radicular symptoms.

Ligaments surrounding the SI joint are strong and plentiful. They carry the entire weight of the upper body and They can get stretched and cause chronic dysfunction. Sometimes the swelling of the stretched ligaments causes irritation to the prirformis muscle and the sciatic nerve. This can cause leg pain and mimic posterior joint syndrome, disc syndrome and sciatica. It is important to correctly diagnose the sprain of the SI joints as the treatment is different than that of disc or posterior joint. This is the essence of the sprain and the ligaments must be rested in order to heal.

TREATMENT This is a simple condition that occurs quite often in present day society. A course of manipulation relieves the compression and restores normal spinal alignment. In as little as two weeks of treatment, normal alignment can be achieved. Many times, however, it takes several months of life style changes, exercises and follow-up manipulation to insure the mechanical change is realized on a permanent basis.

LIFE STYLE CHANGES: Long periods of sitting should be interrupted by standing and stretching. Do not sleep or lie on your stomach and avoid activities that hyper extend the lower back. Note the large surface area of the joint in the cross section view to the right. Unlike any of other joints of the body, the SI joint has large surface area and a very dynamic combination of planes of motion. Walking, climbing stairs or even moving from sitting to standing are all complicated functions of the SI joint complex. When injured, all of these motions must be altered in order for the symptoms to subside. Specific adjustment of these joints is critical when they are injured or inflamed in order to restore normal alignment and function.

SUPPLEMENTATION: Glucoseamine Sulphate and Trace Minerals: Have proven effective in long-term prevention of deterioration of joint tissues. This may help reduce the mechanical breakdown associated with sacroiliac sprain.

HOME REMEDIES AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Utilize moist heat packs on a daily basis during the first phase of treatment. This will help relax tight muscle fibers and bring blood to the region. Hot tubs and baths provide temporary relief. Exercises should be specific and in a particular order. They should be simple and aimed at stabilization at first. Seek advice from your chiropractic physician on when to do these exercises and how often. When performed correctly, rehabilitation exercises can be the key to avoiding multiple episodes of low back pain and maintaining the function of the low back muscles and joints.

MAINTENANCE: Regular spinal adjustments are important to reduce the symptoms of sacroiliac sprain. Patients who receive monthly spinal manipulation and therapy report fewer complications with sacroiliac sprain. It is important that you follow your physician's advice about the frequency of treatment for your particular condition. Follow our wellness recomendations for absolute health.

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