Sacroiliac Joint and Hip Pain
Low back pain is one of those maladies that has a number of causative factors. Anything from a muscle strains to urinary tract infections (UTI) to cancer can cause pain in the low back. This fact is what makes lower back pain so difficult to treat. The many causes often lead doctors astray, and the solution may be right in their back pocket.
One common cause of low back pain is a subluxation
of the sacroiliac joints (SIJs). These large joints are named after the bones they articulate (connect)—the sacrum (tailbone) and the ilium (inominate bone) of the pelvis—and is responsible for movement of the hips. Walking, running, swimming, and bending forward are just some of the movements occurring at the sacroiliac joints. The SIJs essentially flex the hip—something we do every day
If you remember our discussion on subluxations, then you’ll recall that this disorder is a joint that has become fixated. Fixated or stuck joints cause a number of problems, primarily lack of movement, inflammation, muscle spasms, and irritated nerves. Because of the size of the SIJs, inflammation at these joints are very painful; and worse, the nerve roots of the sacrum help supply the sciatic nerve, so sciatica might be an unwelcome accompaniment. Although both SIJs can become subluxated—it’s rare—it’s usually one or the other, left or right.
Typical symptoms of low back pain caused by SIJ subluxations are pain in the low back, right above the buttock where the back pockets are. If you feel that area now, you will feel a hard bony ball. That’s normal—it’s called the PSIS (posterior superior iliac spine), and it is just atop the sacroiliac joint. When subluxated, you’ll feel a burning pain just beneath the PSIS. You will also feel stuck—in other words, when you sit down, you’ll feel a pull in the area. You’ll also feel that same type of pull when you bend forward.
Depending on which way the pelvis has moved (that is in which position it has become stuck)—rotated either forward or backward—will determine some of the other symptoms. For instance, forward rotation can lead to pain radiating around to the front of the hip or groin. It might also cause a deep sort of frontal pain in the hip area. Backward rotation can lead to sciatica—a sharp, electrical pain down the back of the leg to the ankle or foot. Trust me, either subluxation can be excruciating.
The only way to correct this low back malady is with a chiropractic adjustment. Opening the joint with an adjustment allows the joint’s natural lubricants to re-permeate the space, bringing back normal motion and decreasing the concomitant muscle spasms. Over time—hours to days—the inflammation and nerve irritation should diminish. An ice pack over the area can help enormously.
The reason this simple cause of low back pain eludes so many doctors is that the symptoms of sacroiliac subluxation mimic many other possible causes. Groin pain, sciatica, and unrelenting pain in the buttocks leads many doctors to diagnose the problem as a herniated disc. This is a shame since it usually prevents the patient from finding the definitive solution—a chiropractic adjustment —and may set them on a mind trip that they have a chronic, and untreatable, problem.
So here is my suggestion: If you are feeling some of the symptoms I’ve mentioned above, go see a chiropractor first. Any chiropractor worth his weight in bones will be able to determine if you have a simple sacroiliac subluxation, or whether it’s something else altogether. Either way, a chiropractor will have the best chance of fixing your low back problem.