The lower back is a complex system of structures. It not only provides the basis of support for the torso, but also links to powerful muscles in the legs and pelvis. Pain in any one of those areas could radiate to the others, and it may not always be easy to tell where it originated. However, at the Carrollton chiropractic office of Dr. Peter Lazarnick (Dr. Pete), our experts in musculoskeletal health are experienced providers of non-invasive, non-addictive treatment, and will help you realign and rebuild your whole body system. One of the underappreciated causes of lower back pain is sacroiliac joint dysfunction, so this week, we’re looking at what that is, and what kinds of treatments we might recommend.
The sacroiliac joints are where the sacrum connects to the pelvis. The sacrum is the body of fused vertebrae that hang below the lumbar spine, and it has one connection on each side to the part of the pelvis called the ilium, which is the top part. When it’s healthy, this joint is only slightly mobile. If it’s too rigid or too loose, a stabbing pain may radiate outward. Usually, sacroiliac joint dysfunction will not affect both sides equally. However, it may cause inflammation, in which case it is called sacroiliitis, and it may contribute to sciatica, which is the compression of a major nerve leading from the lumbar spine down the leg. Patients with sciatica will feel a shooting pain, tingling or numbness along the length of their leg and into their backs.
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is more common in women and in people who frequently do heavy lifting, although it can also come about rapidly following a fall. To test for it, a chiropractor will gently push against the patient’s different joints and may order imaging tests or injections to rule out other potential causes. Chiropractic adjustments can loosen tight muscles if the sacroiliac joint is too stiff. Other options include a pelvic brace to be worn in between physical therapy, which will include stretching and strengthening exercises in order to allow the muscles to share more of the sacroiliac joint’s burden.
Dr. Peter Lazarnick is located at 486 Bankhead Hwy, Carrollton, Georgia, 30117. To schedule an appointment, call 770-832-2226 or visit www.askdrpete.com.