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What Is The Sacroiliac?


The sacroiliac plays the vital role of shifting upper body weight to the lower body via the spine.  The sacroiliac is what joins the spine to the pelvis. A joint known as the sacrum is joined to the pelvis bone by the sacroiliac.


The Vital Role Of The Sacroiliac In The Body


The sacroiliac, also known as the (SI) joint is protected by soft tissue like all joints in the body. This joint is covered and lubricated by synovial membrane. While small I size, the SI joint is reinforced by ligaments extending from the joint capsule. These ligaments ensure bones stay in the right place and further reinforcement is provided by fibrocartilage that act as shock absorbers.


Why Is The SI Joint So Inflexible?


The SI joint does not possess a great deal of flexibility, this is to keep joints in place and prevent dislocation. Another vital role played by this joint is the limitation of impact transfer from the spine to the pelvis


What Is SI Joint Pain?


Pain in the sacroiliac joint region is more commonly known as SI joint pain or sacroiliitis. It is often experienced in the hamstrings or buttocks. This pain is caused by actions like falling hard on the foot or buttocks or repeated bad posture which causes dysfunction. For women, pregnancy can cause changes to these joints which leads to pain and dysfunction.


The Signs Of Dysfunction-What They Are And How To Recognise Them


Recognisable signs of dysfunction are pain on one side of the lower back around the upper part of the buttock. This pain can often exacerbate by spreading to other regions in the body such as the groin, lower thighs or lower buttocks. Any number of activities can either lead to or aggravate SI joint pain. Running, descending and ascending stairs, heavy lifting or even something as seemingly insignificant as getting out of a chair can cause pain in this joint.


Joint Hypermobility


Joint hypermobility is the name given to a hereditary condition where joints move beyond the normally expected range. So long as an individual with hypermobility has sufficient muscle strength to compensate and withstand this condition, it should not cause any harm and can even be advantageous. It has been observed in recent times that an increasing number of young people are being referred for physiotherapy due to weak muscles and painful joints. Hypermobile people who suffer adverse effects of the condition do so as a result of weaker connective tissues. This means hypermobile people need to have muscles twice as strong to stabilise joints and function in a regular manner. This results in fatigue and pain due to twice the energy being spent on seemingly simple tasks in comparison to able bodied people. A hypermobile person will find it particularly difficult to play sports and exercise.


Experts attribute hypermobility in young people to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and poor facilities in schools that contribute to bad posture. Experts recommend exercise from an early age to counteract the risk of children becoming hypermobile.


Types Of Treatment For SI Joint Pain


If you are experiencing a ‘dull’ ache at the base of the spine which becomes more sever when climbing stairs, getting up from a seated position, lifting, bending or sitting down, you may have be suffering from Si joint pain. The first thing you need to do is rest and minimise the activities that cause the pain. You should also seek appropriate treatment according to your condition. After diagnosis is made there are a number of treatments available to help improve and heal the condition. Some solutions to SI joint pain include


Joint Mobilisation

Joint Manipulation

Neural Mobilisation

Activity Modification Advice

Exercise Programs

Spinal And Pelvic Realignment

Clinical Pilates

Ice/Heat Treatment

Deep Tissue Massage

Dry Needling /acupuncture



Other Treatments For Si Joint Pain


Other treatments include a pregnancy belt for women, Joint supports, passive mobilisations prescribed by a physiotherapist, pool exercise with a ‘buoyancy belt’ and painkiller treatment. With such a range of treatments available, it is important to avoid self treating. It is natural to feel confused and you are liable to experience frustration and anxiety when you try to heal through a process of elimination. Consult a specialist as soon as possible if you are experiencing SI joint pain symptoms. A registered osteopath can identify the key pain points and the best course of action to provide the relief, comfort and support you need to heal.