Sacroiliac dysfunction is pain or discomfort that originates in the lower back and upper hip area of the body areas that are engaged in a variety of active and sedentary functions. When you sleep, walk, sit, exercise, or put on clothes you could engage and stress the sacroiliac area. Therefore, pain in this area can be severely debilitating. You can try to keep off a foot that is experiencing pain but sacroiliac pain is practically unavoidable.
What Is the Sacroiliac Joint?
The sacroiliac joint is the connection of the sacrum, or lowest part of the spine, with the pelvis ( specifically at the ilium ), the upper and largest area of the pelvis. As with all joints, the sacroiliac joint is held together by ligaments, connective tissue that keeps bones in place. Though most joints allow for bone movement ( as in the knees ) the sacroiliac joint is essentially immovable.
How Is Sacroiliac Dysfunction Caused?
Dysfunction or pain in the sacroiliac may be due to partial dislocation of this vital joint, also known as subluxation. When this happens, the bones are moved slightly out of place and the firm ligaments that hold them together are placed under severe stress. This stress will cause inflammation and swelling of the ligaments, which then creates pressure on the bundle of nerves in your sacroiliac region. Your brain registers this nerve pressure as pain, which results in a range of sensations, from slight discomfort to excruciating pain.
Subluxation can occur due to trauma to the area, such as falling on your back or being hit in the back, twisting the back too far, excessive jumping, years of sitting incorrectly, a sedentary lifestyle, or athletic injury. Essentially, sacroiliac dysfunction can occur due to progressive degeneration (slow stress on the area) or acute trauma (a sudden injury to the area).
However, there is a third common cause. Sacroiliac dysfunction can occur as a side effect of other conditions or diseases, including arthritis. It may even be hereditary.
What Are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of sacroiliac dysfunction are numerous, and include:
– Lower back pain or discomfort
– Pain radiating into the buttocks
– Pain in the hamstrings, or back of the thighs
– Pain while sitting or sleeping in certain positions
– Pain during or after exercise
– Testicular pain in men
– Lower back numbness
– A cold sensation in the lower part of your body
– Back stiffness, especially after remaining in one position for a long time
– Weakness, especially a reduced inability to lift or move heavy objects
– Inability to run or walk for even short periods of time
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, then you may suffer from sacroiliac dysfunction. Keep in mind that, as discussed earlier, the onset of this condition can be gradual or may occur without you knowing it.