The sacroiliac joints (SIJ) play an important role in our lower back yet they can sometimes be the cause of lower back pain. These strong joints connect the pelvic bones to the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine) and help to transmit force from our trunk into our legs. By design, the SIJ permits very little movement so we have a rigid platform from which to function, meaning much of the movement from the pelvic region comes from our hips or lumbar spine.
What causes SIJ pain?
SIJ pain is thought to arise when normal motion is altered and the joint undergoes excessive stress. Dysfunction can arise from either too much movement (hypermobility) or too little movement (hypomobility) within the joint, which can cause surrounding tissues (muscles and ligaments) to compensate and contribute to the pain. An altered walking pattern can gradually stress the SIJ joint and over time cause pain. The osteopaths at Inner Balance Health Clinics help identify issues that might place more stress on your SIJ, such as leg length discrepancies, poor lumbar movement, or lower leg pain poor posture or altered use.
What does pain from the SIJ feel like?
SIJ pain can be felt as an ache or sharp pain on one side of the lower back, or a band like pain across the top of the buttocks region. Pain can also refer to the hips, buttocks groin or down the back of the thigh. Particular movements can aggravate the pain, such as standing from a seated position, rolling over in bed, prolonged sitting or walking uphill.
Why is SIJ pain often associated with pregnancy?
During pregnancy, the body releases hormones that relax ligaments in preparation for childbirth. Relaxation of ligaments supporting the SIJ contributes to greater stress on the joint, particularly when combined with alterations to weight distribution and walking patterns. If you or someone you know is pregnant and has low back pain, a visit to our Mill Park osteopaths or naturopaths might help alleviate symptoms.
Other helpful tips if you experience SIJ pain:
- Moderate activity like swimming, walking or riding a stationary bike can help
- When sitting, avoid crossing your legs or leaning to one side
- When standing, aim to keep the weight balanced between both legs
- Bend at the knees, not just the waist, when picking things up
- Place a pillow under your knees if you sleep on your back, or between your knees if you’re a side sleeper.
Osteopathy Awareness Week
As many of you are already aware from our last newsletter and our Facebook posts, it was recently Osteopathy Awareness Week worldwide. If you haven’t visited our Facebook page recently you may like to take a look at the podcasts we have recently posted on a broad range of topics relating to the many benefits of osteopathy. Click on our links here and here for two podcasts relevant to sacroiliac joint and low back pain. Click here to visit our Facebook page.
Inner Balance Recipe
No-bake protein bars
- ¼ cup organic quick-cook rolled oats
- 4 scoops raw cacao protein powder (vegan protein)
- 1 cup organic nut butter (peanut works well, but any is ok)
- ¼ cup organic pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup organic dates, chopped into small pieces
- 1½ cups organic coconut cream (or 1½ cups coconut milk powder and ¾ cup warm water)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 30 grams of dark chocolate (Tip: Use a bar with 70 to 80 percent cacao for more health benefits)
- Pour the coconut cream into a large mixing bowl. If you’re using coconut powder and warm water, whip the powder until smooth.
- Add the oats to the bowl. Let sit for 20 minutes.
- Stir in nut butter, dates, salt, pumpkin seeds, and protein powder (1 scoop at a time). Mix thoroughly, about 5 minutes.
- Spread the mixture evenly into a glass pan or baking dish lined with parchment paper.
- Use a sharp knife to slice the dark cacao into thin shavings. Spread evenly on top of the bars.
- Refrigerate overnight and cut into bars to serve.
Yours In Optimum Health
Dr. Dina Culcasi
Clinic Manager, Owner & Osteopath
The advice/information contained in our communications is intended to be of a general nature and should under no circumstances be substituted for medical advice from your health care provider. We strongly recommend you seek individual medical advice should you require it.