Franklin Chiropractor | SI Joint Dysfunction
SI Joint Dysfunction – What is it & What can you do about it Your sacroiliac joint is the mechanical link on each side of your hip that connects your legs to the rest of your body. The joint has a limited but very important degree of mobility. Symptoms develop when one or both of the joints loses normal motion. When a joint becomes “restricted”, a self-perpetuating cycle of discomfort follows. Restriction causes the muscles to become overworked, leading to tightness, compression, inflammation, pain and more restriction. Sacroiliac problems can happen as a result of repetitive strenuous activity or trauma- like a fall onto the buttocks. Other causes of sacroiliac joint problems include, poor posture, having one leg slightly longer than another, having an altered gait, having flat feet or scoliosis, or having pain somewhere else in your legs. Pregnancy is a common trigger for sacroiliac joint problems due to weight gain, gait changes and postural stress. Sacroiliac joint problems often begin as a focal discomfort in your back just below the belt line, slightly to one side of center. Your pain can travel into your buttock or thigh. Symptoms are often worse by standing on the affected side. The pain may become more apparent when you change positions- like exiting a chair, car or bed, or during long car rides. The pain is often relieved by lying down. To assist with your recovery, you should avoid any activity that provokes pain, like standing on the affected leg or prolonged sitting. Our office may suggest a sacroiliac support belt to help stabilize your joint. Our Treatment Here is a brief description of the treatments the Franklin chiropractor may use to help manage your problem. Joint Manipulation -The Franklin chiropractor has found joints in your body that are not moving freely. This can cause tightness and discomfort and can accelerate unwanted degeneration i.e. arthritis. Your Franklin chiropractor will apply a gentle force with their hands, or with hand held instruments, in order to restore motion to any “restricted” joints.
Sometimes a specialized table will be used to assist with these safe and effective “adjustments”. Joint manipulation improves flexibility, relieves pain and helps maintain healthy joints. Therapy Modalities -We may apply electrotherapy modalities that produce light electrical pulses transmitted through electrodes placed over your specific sites of concern. These comfortable modalities work to decrease your pain, limit inflammation and ease muscle spasm. Hot or cold packs are often used in conjunction, to enhance the effect of these modalities. Another available option is therapeutic ultrasound. Ultrasound pushes sound vibrations into tissues. When these vibrations reach your deep tissues, heat develops and unwanted waste products are dispersed. Therapeutic Exercise -Muscle tightness or weakness causes discomfort and alters normal joint function, leading to additional problems. Your Franklin chiropractor will target tight or weak muscles with specific therapeutic stretching and strengthening to help increase tissue flexibility, build strength, and ease pain. Healthy, strong, and flexible muscles may help prevent re-injury. Some Things That You Can DoTo Help YourselfStanding – To avoid extra stress on your spine while standing: Avoid high-heeled shoes or boots Use a footrest If excessive standing can’t be avoided, consider shock absorbent shoes or an anti-fatigue mat. The Franklin Chiropractor also recommends custom made Orthotics Footwear -Improperly supported feet can affect the alignment of all of the structures above. To improve your overall comfort: Choose shoes with good arch support. Avoid going barefoot or wearing shoes that lack support (i.e. flip-flops). The following brands of sandals provide better than average arch support: Naot, Fit Flops, Orthoheels, Abeo, Vionic and Yellow box. Avoid high-heeled shoes or boots (keep heels to a maximum of 1½ inches, especially if you are going to be doing a lot of walking). “Cross-trainer” athletic shoes tend to provide the best all around support and shock absorption for daily activities. Patients with fallen arches should consider adding arch supports or orthotics. Repair or replace shoes with worn soles or heels. Running Shoes -Running shoes need to be replaced every 250 miles. There are three basic options: Motion Control Shoes – Designed for people with low or no arches, these shoes are for runners who strike the ground on the outer edge of their foot. Avoid overly stiff shoes as these decrease you perception of ground strike and lead to new injuries. Stability or Neutral Shoes – Designed for people with normal or average arches and
running mechanics. The shoe contains some cushioning to absorb shock and prevent injuries and some rigidity to avoid pronation. Cushioned Shoes – Designed for people with high arched feet. Their footprint will typically leave a thin band along the foot’s edge. As they run weight is distributed from heel strike to the outer edge of the foot and small toes that bear the brunt of “lift off.”This shoe is more flexible and absorbs the shock created by the lack or rotation (under-pronation) created by their running style. Sleep Posture – Your mattress and the position you sleep in may affect your condition. The Franklin chiropractor recommends a mattress that provides medium or firm support, such as a Temperpedic, or adjustable airbed. Avoid waterbeds, thick pillow tops and soft, sagging mattresses.Always sleep on your back with a pillow either underneath your knees or on your side with a pillow between your knees. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Keep your neck and back covered while sleeping to avoid drafts that could cause potential muscle spasms. Exercise- Aerobic -Aerobic exercise requires your heart and lungs to work harder. Aim to get at least 20-30 minutes of exercise daily, 4-6 times per week to help prevent problems ranging from heart disease to back pain. Start off gradually, and consult your doctor to determine your appropriate level of exercise. Vary your activities to prevent overuse injuries. Examples include – Walking, swimming running, bicycling and low impact aerobics. Work out with a friend for motivation. Make sure that you are still able to talk while exercising (referred to as the “talk test”).