Posts for tag: pelvis
The boomerang-shaped sacroiliac joints are found just below the waist on either side of the spine. These joints connect the two pelvic (iliac) bones, and are surrounded by a complex set of ligaments that allow them to move freely, and which support the joints themselves. The purpose of these joints is to transmit forces from the upper body to the lower legs.
The sacroiliac joints can become sprained or inflamed, as the result of injury or trauma (such as from falls or auto accidents), or due to repetitive micro-trauma (such as prolonged bending or lifting), which causes strain to the surrounding muscles and ligaments, and over time can produce microscopic tears and scar tissue. Pregnant women are often at risk for this condition, because the hormones released to increase the laxity of the pelvic muscles can leave them more vulnerable to injury. When this occurs, the resulting condition is called sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The body reacts to the pain of this condition by causing the muscles in the area to tighten up even further, resulting in muscle spasms and even more pain.
Symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction include pain on one or both sides of the pelvis, often radiating to the buttocks and upper legs. The pain is often perceived as better after walking for some time, and worse after sitting or performing activities that involve bending over. Unlike many other lower back conditions, there is rarely a feeling of numbness, "pins and needles," or loss of strength. The pain often seems to recede when lying down, but interestingly enough should not be treated with complete "bed rest," because that will cause the affected ligaments to slacken and become even more weakened from disuse.
Your best option if you have been diagnosed with sacroiliac joint dysfunction or experience a number of the symptoms above is to see your chiropractor. Chiropractic care has been found to be of great benefit, both in terms of relieving immediate pain and also strengthening the muscles and ligaments that cause the condition itself.
The goal of chiropractic care when treating this disorder is to restore a normal balance between the sacrum and the iliac, and to strengthen the muscles that support the sacroiliac joints. Your chiropractor may prescribe a course of spinal adjustments to reposition the joint to its optimal position. This initial phase of the treatment continues until the pain subsides, and is often accompanied by soft tissue massage, ultrasound or electro-stimulation (to relax the tightened muscles and ligaments), or laser therapy. During and after this initial phase of the treatment, your chiropractor may recommend a period of "active rest," meaning alternating periods of rest with beneficial activities such as walking. Gentle exercises may be prescribed, which you can do at home to speed up the healing process and strengthen the affected muscles.
The pain of sacroiliac joint dysfunction can be relieved, and by removing the structural causes of the imbalance through spinal adjustments and other therapies aimed at relaxing the tightened, strained muscles and restoring their proper flexibility and mobility, within a short time you can return to a normal state of health.
Anatomy of the Sacroiliac Joint
The sacroiliac joint is a planar (sliding) synovial joint in the bony pelvis, formed by the meeting of the sacrum (at the base of the spine) and upper part of the hip (ilium). Two such joints are found in the human body on either side of the sacrum and they move as a unit, such that movement on one side will produce movement on the other side. The bones connect at their respective auricular surfaces on the outside of the sacrum and inside of the ilium, with a raised area of bone known as the sacral tzygoteuberosity that is connected to the hip bones. The alignment of bones against each other provides support for the joint, and this is greatly enhanced by the presence of several especially strong ligaments.
Although allowing for some degree of tilting movement (between approximately 2 and 18 degrees), the primary role of the sacroiliac joint is to support the weight of the spinal column and upper torso and act as a spinal shock absorber. Anything other than anterior to posterior (back and forth) movement is prohibited by the presence of strong ligaments between the sacrum and ilium, but sacral flexion (bending) and extension (straightening) is possible. The sacrum and ilium may also tilt in opposing directions, as occurs during walking.
The space between the sacrum and ilium tends to become smaller with age, restricting what motion there is, with the bones even occasionally fusing together. Joint flexibility is, however, enhanced in pregnancy as a result of elevated levels of the hormone relaxin, which loosens the ligaments of the pelvis in preparation for childbirth.
The auricular (‘ear shaped’) surfaces of the sacrum and ilium are rough and lined with cartilage. The sacral auricular surface supports hyaline cartilage, whereas fibrocartilage lines the iliac auricular surface. Only the lower half of the joint has a synovial cavity, with the upper half being held in place by the interosseous ligaments and the thick posterior and thinner anterior sacroiliac ligaments. The interosseous ligaments are very strong, and the bone will often fracture before these will tear. Thick posterior and thinner anterior sacroiliac ligaments also support the sacroiliac joint, and the sacrospinous and sacrotuberous ligaments further connect the sacrum to the hip bone. The entire joint is contained and supported by a fibrous articular capsule.
Lumbar back support products are designed to help prevent neck and back pain, which can lead to pain in other parts of the body as well. Many of these products are pillows or cushions that offer additional support when you are seated for long periods of time.
The lumbar region of the spine is usually referred to as the lower back. It is the area just above your tailbone and below the thoracic (middle back) region. The lumbar area includes your spine and all the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding your spine. If your ligaments are pulled or torn, you will experience a lumbar sprain or strain, which can lead to muscle spasms and significant pain in your lower back.
What can cause lumbar sprains and strains? Poor posture, poor lifting technique, obesity, and other health-related factors can contribute. In fact, sitting for long periods without lumbar support can itself aggravate lumbar pain. Finally, one of the greatest contributors to back pain is using the wrong type of chair for your body. Surfaces that are too hard or too soft do not encourage proper posture and do not provide adequate support for your back.
Usually all that is required to relieve lower back pain is sufficient rest, but most of us are unable to rest for long enough to overcome lumbar problems. So preventing these problems with a good lumbar support is essential, especially if you spend significant amounts of time sitting down.
The first step to choosing the right lumbar support is to ensure that it fits perfectly in the chair you spend the most time in. An even better option is to choose an ergonomically designed chair that includes a built-in lumbar support, or an individual lumbar support that is specifically designed to be used with your chair. “One size fits all” lumbar support products rarely provide any benefits and should be avoided.
Make sure you test the product in the store before you buy it. If you can, sit with the lumbar support for at least 15 minutes to see if it feels good or aggravates back pain. The best lumbar supports are adjustable, so you can fit it to the chair’s height. Ergonomic chairs with lumbar supports included usually allow you to adjust the height and width of the support. Adjustable separate supports are particularly useful if you use more than one chair throughout the day.Coming soon.