Low back pain – is it the sacroiliac joints?

Up until 1930’s low back pain was frequently diagnosed as a sacroiliac problem. Now, the sacroiliac joints are largely ignored.

Spine and Pelvis seen from behind, showing Sacroiliac Joints

Many people who have low back pain may be sent for x-ray or MRI of the lumber spine. Often nothing is found from these investigations, or “wear and tear” is the diagnosis. Unfortunately this leaves the person still with pain and frequently the only solution is painkillers and anti-inflammatories.

In recent studies Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1995 Jan 1;20(1):31-7.Pain Physician. 2012 May;15(3):E305-44. it has been estimated that around 20% of people with low back pain actually have sacroiliac pain

Although sacroiliac joints provide only a small amount of movement, when they stop working they can cause a lot of pain.

Any change in the way you move on your foot or leg will put a stain through the sacroiliac joint. Therefore a twisted ankle or knee may affect the sacroiliac joint. Falling onto your buttocks may also knock the sacroiliac joints out of alignment.

As an Osteopath I recognise that the sacroiliac joints can cause stiffness and pain, usually on one side. They may also cause symptoms down the leg. I not only work to free up the sacroiliac joints, I also try to find the source of the original strain and help to ease that.

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