CHRONIC SACROILLIAC PROBLEMS,
The Sacroilliac Joint is just that ---- an articulation between the Sacrum (tailbone) and the Illiacus or Illium (the bone you put your hands on when you put your hands on your "hips"). The SI Joint looks like an earthquake fault-line on either side of the Sacrum. Here are two pictures of Pelvis / Sacroilliac Joints and a corresponding x-ray.
Pictured below are the ligaments that cover the SI Joints. Understand that the huge ligament at the lower portion of the sacrum (the Sacro-Tuberous Ligament ---- it runs from the Sacrum to the Ischial Tuberosity or "butt bone") is so strong that in over 50% of the population, there are actually large muscle groups that anchor themselves to it --- namely the long head of the hamstring muscle (pictured below in red). This means that chronic hamstring problems can contribute to chronic pelvis or Sacroilliac problems, and vicea versa.
Depending on whose research you read, the Sacroilliac Joints have about 3-7 degrees of movement in them. The bottom line is that anything which causes the Sacroilliac Joints to move either too much or too little tends to cause an irritation / inflammation of the joint called "Sacroilliitis". People who are experiencing mechanical dysfunctions of the SI Joint will typically have a range of symptoms that include low back pain, buttock pain, and PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME. Over a decade of experience with our Tissue Remodeling Treatment has taught me that huge numbers of cases of chronic SI pain are really a problem with the Piriformis Muscle.
Bear in mind that because PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME and Saroilliac Problems can look so similar to each other (they both cause SCIATICA as well), they are frequently mistaken for DISC HERNIATIONS or DEGENERATIVE DISCS. Part of this confusion is created by the fact that if you were to shoot MRI's of the adult population --- 50-75% of these MRI's will show these two problems ---- even though they have zero pain or symptoms (HERE). This is what has led the great sports surgeon James Andrews of Birmingham Alabama to proclaim, "If you want an excuse to do surgery, just do an MRI." And he was actually talking about ROTATOR CUFF PROBLEMS when he said that --- the number one most common problem we treat with our Tissue Remodeling.
Although there are plenty of people whose SI problem creates a sharp and severe type of pain, a far more common scenario is having a dull, nagging ache in the area of the buttock and PSIS. In my experience, the majority of these cases are actually relieved with activity and movement (walking, stretching, horseback riding, etc) ----- while sitting or lying down often seems to trigger it and make it worse. As is the case with virtually any Joint Dysfunction, the longer it goes on, the greater the chances of wearing the joint and developing JOINT DEGENERATION. Loss of normal joint function causes deterioration, and deterioration causes loss of normal joint function.
Just like PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME that we dealt with in the last blog article, Sacroilliac problems DO NOT respond to Spinal Decompression Therapy. I bring this up because SI problems are frequently mistaken for various Spinal Disc Issues and then treated with Corticosteroids by MD's, or Spinal Decompression Therapy by chiropractors.
The medical community's "Gold Standard" for diagnosing a Sacroilliac Problem is to put either one or two injections into the Sacroilliac Joint (often guided in under a CT scan) and see if it relieves the pain. If so, you can officially say that you have an SI problem. At Schierling Chiropractic, LLC, we rely on Physical / Neurological Examination Findings, Patient History, as well as imaging (SIDE NOTE: I will warn you that hundreds of scientific studies have conclusively shown that with these types of problems, Diagnostic Imaging does not correlate well to patient symptoms, and I would have to concur).
(All X-Rays on this Page are by Nevit Dilmen and were found on Wikimedia)
Not sure what is going on with your hip / back / buttock / leg? Why not visit Dr. Schierling? Chronic Sacroilliac problems and associated PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME are just two of dozens of reasons that he will not begin a DISC PROTOCOL without first making the DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE A GOOD CANDIDATE TO DO SO. If there is a better way to deal with your particular problem, he will tell you. If you take a look at our corresponding VIDEO TESTIMONIAL PAGE, you quickly notice that many people who have been struggling for decades with Chronic SI / Piriformis issues, get relief quickly ----- once the problem is addressed in a logical manner. Call (417) 934 6337 today to set up a Free, No-Obligation consult with Dr. Schierling.