Many people are surprised to learn that there truly is a sacroiliac joint. In fact, there are two, found on either side of the tailbone. The sacroiliac joints are at the junction of the tailbone (sacrum) and the two surrounding bones of the pelvis, (the ilia). These joints are secured by groups of thick ligaments.
The sacroiliac joint is strong and stable, and the ligaments which hold it together are designed to allow slight movement. However, if the joint is pushed too far, it can move out of place. A displaced sacroiliac joint usually responds to gentle, hands-on Osteopathic manipulation.
In some cases the joint is so badly injured that the ligaments can be torn microscopically. If they do not adequately heal, then the ligaments remain weakened and stretched. Once this occurs, the joint tends to move out of place frequently, often as the result of only a mild straining force.
A weakened sacroiliac joint causes pain with specific body positions and movements. Walking can be uncomfortable, and going down stairs is even worse. Changing from a seated position to an upright stance can also be painful. Other indicators of sacroiliac impairment include pain when sitting on a floor, or in a chair with legs crossed.
Sacroiliac joint disorder is suspected when a patient presents with these symptoms, and confirmed after a thorough physical examination. If Osteopathic manipulation does not result in lasting relief, then Prolotherapy is employed.
In prolotherapy, the ligaments are injected with irritating solutions, (not steroids). These irritants bring immune cells such as fibroblasts to rebuild collagen and lay down a new collagen matrix over the weakened, damaged ligaments. The naturally rebuilt ligaments restore strength and stability to the sacroiliac joint.
We have had excellent results in applying Prolotherapy to sacroiliac joints, with a full return to function being the usual result. If you suffer from recurring pain in the lower back and buttock areas, please bring this to my attention at a future visit.