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Chiropractic Care for Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Man suffering from pain in lower back

Chiropractic Care Can Relieve the Pain of Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Do you have pain in your lower back and hips due to sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction? The condition can make walking, standing, or sitting painful and keep you from doing the things you need to do. Fortunately, chiropractic treatment offers an effective way to manage SI pain.

What Is Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction?

Your sacroiliac (SI) joints connect your pelvis to the sacrum. The sacrum is a triangular-shaped bone located just below the lowest set of vertebrae in your spine. The pelvis, a bowl-shaped bony structure, contains the bowel, bladder, and reproductive organs.

One SI joint is located on either side of the upper part of the pelvis. Stretchy bands of tissue called ligaments hold the bones of the SI joint together. In addition to supporting the joint, the ligaments also prevent the joint from moving too much.

SI pain occurs when the joint is either too tight or moves too much. Movement issues may misalign the joint and cause inflammation in the tissues that support the joint. Pain can also happen if the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones wears away due to injuries or the natural effects of aging.

The disorder causes hip or back pain that may only occur on one side. Pain can be dull or sharp and may extend into the groin or legs in some cases. Pain may worsen when you bend or twist, stand, or walk after sitting for a while or climb stairs. You might experience stiffness, limited range of motion, or notice that your leg buckles sometimes when you stand.

What Causes Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction?

You may be more likely to develop SI pain if:

  • You're Obese or Overweight. Excess weight may strain the SI joint causing the disorder.
  • You're Pregnant or Recently Had a Child. During pregnancy, your body produces relaxin, a hormone that loosens the ligaments in your pelvis. Loosening the ligaments prepares your body for childbirth but may increase your risk of sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
  • You Have a Gait Problem. An imbalance between the left and right sides of your body may stress the SI joint and lead to sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The disorder can be related to a change in the way you walk, which is called your gait. A gait change might occur due to knee or hip pain, wearing a boot after an accident or surgery, weight gain, or pregnancy. It can also happen if one of your legs is shorter than the others.
  • You Don't Move Enough. The muscles that support your SI joints can tighten if you're inactive. Tight muscles may pull a joint out of alignment, causing pain. If your job requires sitting for long periods, you may be at increased risk of developing sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
  • You Had an Injury: Falls and other injuries can also affect the alignment of your sacroiliac joint.
  • You Have a Chronic Condition or Had Surgery. Arthritis, autoimmune disorders, or back or hip surgery may increase your risk of SI problems.

How Do Chiropractors Treat Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction?

Chiropractic treatment is aimed at:

  • Improving the alignment of your SI joint
  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Strengthening and stretching the muscles and tissues that support your pelvis

Realigning your SI joint is a priority. Your chiropractor may use either of these methods to restore the normal alignment to your joint and reduce pressure and inflammation:

  • Spinal Manipulation: This treatment involves using quick, hands-on movement to realign your SI joint. A handheld device may be used to deliver quick thrusts.
  • Spinal Mobilization: Spinal mobilization also realigns joints but uses slower movements.

Treatment plans vary depending on the severity of your condition but may include these therapies in addition to spinal manipulation or mobilization:

  • Ultrasound Therapy. The therapy reaches deep into your tissues, warming tight muscles and ligaments.
  • Flexion-Distraction. Your chiropractor uses a moving table to stretch your spine and pelvis.
  • Exercises and Stretches. Several exercises and stretches will keep your SI joint limber and strengthen the muscles that support it.
  • Massage. Massage loosens tight muscles, improves blood flow, and reduces pain.
  • Heat Therapy. Applying heat can ease pain and help keep muscles from tightening while you're recovering.
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). TENS therapy blocks painful nerve impulses with a gentle electrical current.
  • Orthotics. Orthotics are prescription shoe inserts that balance and support your feet and can improve gait issues.
  • Sacroiliac Belt. Your chiropractor may give you a special belt that supports your joint and reduces your pain.

Don't let sacroiliac joint dysfunction take over your life. Contact our office to schedule your chiropractic appointment.

Sources:

SPINE-health: Chiropractic Procedures for the Sacroiliac Joint

Spine Universe: Chiropractic Treats Sacroiliac Joint Pain and Dysfunction

Medline Plus: Sacroiliac Joint Pain – Aftercare, 11/5/18

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  • "Chronic Pain

    Dr. Miller's personable, friendly, gentle, and great office staff helps educate me about lifestyle changes I can make to improve my wellness. I cope with chronic pain and every visit I feel better leaving than when I walked into my appointment."
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    I first started seeing Dr. Miller back in 2004 just after being in a car accident. I had always struggled with neck issues and migraines off and on even before the accident. Dr. Miller was the first chiropractor I had seen since moving to Fort Collins and after the accident I was cautious of going to anyone. From the very first visit, I felt like I'd found a chiropractor who truly cared about my health and well being. I'd never felt so much relief from chiropractic treatment until coming to Aspen Wellness Center. I have never gone to another chiropractor since starting here in 2004. Thank you Dr. Miller for all your help!"
    Nicole P.
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    Dr. Miller is great. He has done wonders on my back or whatever I need done. His professionalism and caring manner towards his patients is next to none. I would not go to any other doctor but him. Thanks Dr. Miller for what you do."
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    Dr. Miller is great! He is friendly, kind, and very knowledgeable. He listens to all concerns and addresses everything. He definitely cares about the full body and health of all body systems, not just the skeletal/muscular. Dr. Miller does not make unnecessary appointments, he schedules them for a time that is just right for the wear and tear of the body. He is flexible and helpful for last minute or emergency visits/treatments."
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  • "Herniated Disc

    I've been seeing Dr. Miller since 2010 for a herniated disc at L5-S1 that diagnosed in 2002. He helped me avoid back surgery for years and when I injured myself and herniated L4-L5, he changed tactics and worked hard to help relieve my sciatic pain. Surgery was inevitable but continuing my treatments with Dr. Miller post-op, I have recovered 100% and am now completely pain free. Dr. Miller tailors his treatments specifically to your needs and pays close attentions to your symptoms, making sure not to do anything that would aggravate your condition. Dr. Miller has been a life saver and has helped me regain and maintain my mobility multiple times over the year when I have flare ups or re-injure myself."
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  • "Sciatic Pain

    I was referred to Dr. Miller by my sister. I had severe pain in my left leg. Dr. Miller was very thorough in helping me understand the causes. He is very kind and compassionate. He recommended several treatments and exercises. In just less than a week I felt better. In addition, he has a great office staff. They are friendly and make you feel welcome and comfortable."
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    Dr. Miller combines gentle and thorough chiropractic care with holistic health and lots of humor. Not only do I feel authentically cared for, but I also have experienced real long term results and improved quality of life."
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    Dr. Miller has kept me out of my orthopedic surgeon and pain management M.D. practices for years! He is gentle, caring and skilled."
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  • "Arthritis and Degeneration

    Over more than 17 years, I've attended sessions with Dr. Vern for back adjustments, arthritis degeneration in many joints, falling injuries and general wellness/nutrition advice. I've experienced amazing pain relief and wellness by working with Dr. Vern and not using prescription drugs to affect changes in my health. Today, at 75, I take NO drugs, and am able to control considerable arthritis pain and degeneration with periodic adjustments, food supplements and Chiropractic methods; laser, muscle stimulation, adjustments and manipulation. The body itself is a great healer when allowed to do its work."
    Martha Maxwell
  • "Dr. Miller is Caring and Professional

    I was so fortunate to find Dr. Miller. He and his staff are always friendly, caring, and professional. His gentle and attentive expertise, so rare in the medical field, makes him a joy to work with. He is committed to helping you find and applying the right chiropractic approach for your needs."
  • "A Chiropractor for the Whole Family

    Our families experience with Dr. Miller has been outstanding!!! We have three children ages 16, 20 and 25 who all go on a monthly basis to stay adjusted. Shannon, the 20 year-old had a injury her junior year that began our journey into chiropractic. We have found that Dr. Miller listens to patients regardless of age. He understands commitments ie: sports, dance, music, that might be contributing to the injury and delay treatment results. He cares about the overall health of the patient and the quality of life current and future. He takes a genuine interest in his patients as people. We appreciate Dr. Miller as our Chiropractor and friend. He is the first one our family thinks of when someone comments on discomfort or an injury. His knowledge and understanding has made a big difference for all of us."
    Laurie Harrison
  • "Auto Accident

    I met Dr Miller some 20 yrs ago due to an auto accident. I had been to several Loveland and Fort Collins chiropractors, but felt very much at home when I met Dr. Vern Miller.I see Doc Miller whenever I am having lower back or neck problems, which is the case from time to time, and I am extremely happy with his treatments and his patient-doctor connection. He is the best, don't think you can find anyone better. I highly recommend Dr. Miller and the Aspen Wellness Center for any particular joint or movement issues."
    P. Huff
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    Dr. Miller's office is a great place for wellness care! His office is professional AND personal, treating each patient with respect and care. His staff is kind and friendly and Dr. Miller offers so much in the way of treatment. I have known Dr. Miller for several years and have benefited greatly from his care through the use of spinal adjustments, acupuncture, laser, ultrasound and massage. I would HIGHLY recommend Dr. Miller if you are looking for chiropractic care!"
  • "I am Glad I chose Dr. Miller

    I have been utilizing chiropractic for 23 years. I have been a patient of Dr. Miller's for about 5 years. I was very apprehensive about choosing a new provider when the one I had been seeing for 18 years retired. I am very glad I chose Dr. Miller. He was very thorough at my first couple of visits, which included reviewing new x-rays before he did any adjustments. I appreciate the muscle work he does prior to adjustments as it really does help. The staff is great and always works with me when I call for an appointment."
    Jena
  • "Neck and Back Pain

    My neck and back pains have troubled me for more than a decade before I turned to Dr. Miller for chiropractic help. He not only alleviated my pains but also helped me find a healthier lifestyle to avoid such pains - and others! - in the future. My daughter also received quality care from Dr. Miller and does not have problems with her neck as before. Dr. Miller's staff is friendly and welcoming, as is Dr. Miller. I feel comfortable, safe, and relaxed in his care and look forward to my visits to his office. I heartily recommend Dr. Miller and his practice to anyone who is suffering from aches and pains and wishes to find the sources of those."
  • "I was so fortunate to find Dr. Miller. He and his staff are always friendly, caring, and professional. His gentle and attentive expertise, so rare in the medical field, makes him a joy to work with. He is committed to helping you find and applying the right chiropractic approach for your needs."