March 17, 2023
Treatment for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction or sacroiliitis occurs when one or both sacroiliac joints are inflamed.
These joints are situated on each side of the spine between the two pelvic bones, which connect to the sacrum.
This condition can result in severe pain in the buttocks, lower back, groin, and one or both legs. People experiencing this may need sacroiliac joint dysfunction therapy to alleviate pain.
Causes of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Sacroiliitis pain can be triggered by:
- Bearing more weight on one leg than the other
- Prolonged standing or stair-climbing
- Also traumatic injury
Symptoms of Sacroiliitis
Symptoms and signs associated with sacroiliac joint dysfunction include:
- Redness, tenderness, and/or swelling of the joint
- Loss of range of motion of the joint
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Sacroiliac joint dysfunction can be hard to diagnose and is often mistaken for other conditions that cause low back pain.
Diagnosis usually begins with a comprehensive physical examination. By applying pressure on the patient’s hips and legs, the sacroiliac joints can be moved or compressed to verify them as the primary source of pain. The patient’s medical history will also be assessed to exclude certain disorders that could mimic sacroiliitis.
Physicians may also recommend imaging tests such as X-rays and MRI to reveal signs of damage to the sacroiliac joint.
Traditional treatments for this condition include:
- Medications– Depending on your symptoms, your doctor might prescribe pain relievers, TNF inhibitors, and muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine to reduce muscle spasms.
- Joint injections– Corticosteroids may be injected into the joint to minimize inflammation.
- Electrical stimulation– An electrical stimulator is implanted into the sacrum to relieve sacroiliac joint pain.
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There are various invasive treatments available for sacroiliac joint dysfunction, but their efficacy is not guaranteed. Also, injecting steroids can weaken the joint’s bones and tendons, and some medications may carry harmful side-effects.
While the traditional treatments discussed above may help minimize symptoms, they fail to address the root cause of the pain. Through our Superior Method, patients can get long-lasting relief from sacroiliitis.
Pioneered by our own Dr. Andrew Dischinger, this approach addresses the primary pain source to eliminate pain and restore normal motion in the joint.
This treatment may include the following:
Full-body Movement Assessment
Successful healing begins with discovering the root cause of the patient’s pain. In most cases, pain in one area is only a symptom of a larger issue. In a full-body movement assessment, the source of the problem is identified by examining the movement of nearby or connected parts. This allows movement to be restored and the body to complete the healing process.
Hands-on Manual Therapy
The Superior Method employs the help of a trained therapist certified in functional manual reaction. The therapist uses their hands to facilitate proper motion, improving areas of restriction. This is similar to deep tissue massage, but it incorporates movement.
Prescriptive Home Exercise Program
The Superior Method aims to educate patients on how the body moves to safely ease pain and restore function. With our smartphone app called Movement RX, we empower patients with the knowledge and tools needed to attain long-term physical freedom. All of the instructions provided by your physician will also be video-recorded and sent directly to your email or mobile device.
Applied Functional Science
This principles-based method is designed to improve how the mind, body, and spirit work together to facilitate complete healing. All Superior Physical Therapy providers are Fellows of Applied Functional Science through the Gray Institute. This organization is led by the reputable physical therapist, Dr. Gary Gray.
Deep Muscle Stimulation
Mechanical vibrations that penetrate deep into the muscle tissue enable tissue regeneration and improve the lactic cycle, which is one of the most common causes of pain. The procedure also helps boost circulation and lymphatic flow to alleviate pain.
A fast, safe, and virtually pain-free method to reduce pain and address musculoskeletal presentations. In dry needling, trigger points or local contractures are stimulated by monofilament needles.
The McKenzie Method® of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy® (MDT) is a distinguished and internationally researched method of diagnosis and treatment for spinal and extremity musculoskeletal conditions. Created by New Zealand Physiotherapist Robin McKenzie, this system has been used globally for over 60 years. MDT-certified clinicians assess and treat all types of musculoskeletal disorders including complications in the spine, muscles, tendons, and extremity joints.