Friday, December 13, 2013

My hip hurts... No my butt hurts... SI? What is my SI?

Patients come into my office for a variety of issues; however the most common is the hip… I mean butt…I mean SI.  So what is the SI?  The sacroiliac joint (SI joint) is the joint that connects your sacrum (tailbone) and ilium (hip bone).  It can be a source of many pain symptoms in the low back, buttocks, and upper legs.  My patients describe it as a toothache sensation, sharp pain or dull ache, and affect many activities of daily life such as sitting or standing extended periods of time. 
When the SI joint becomes damaged, or its support muscles and ligaments become loose or injured, such as an injury or pregnancy, the chronic pain can become exhausting and debilitating if severe enough.   So what can be done about it?

Chiropractic care to restore normal joint motion is essential in decreasing the inflammation and muscle spasm that is causing the pain.  Incorrect muscle memory from years of improper posture, excess sitting, and lack of exercise limit the long-term effectiveness of adjustments though.  Proper exercises to strengthen core muscles and hip stabilizers can give long relief resulting from muscle imbalance, and these exercises should begin shortly after restoring normal joint motion through adjustments.  And the more exercises you do at home, the faster you recover and the less you have to come to the office.
My goal is to have my patients feeling relief within two weeks, and to have them recovered and enjoying life again in less than 30 days.  That is possible with adhering to recommended office treatments and active participation at home.  Then, after education and learning how to listen to the body, they will know when their body is out of alignment long before the pain, the last sign of dysfunction, prevents them from enjoying life.