Do you get pain into one side (or sometimes both) of the lower back?
Is it painful when you go from sitting to standing?
Pain when you bend forward?
Then it sounds like your pain could be down to SIJ (Sacroiliac Joint) dysfunction. But what is it and what can we do about it?
The SIJ is the joint between the lower part of the spine (sacrum bone) and pelvis (Ilium bone). You have one SIJ on either side of the spine.
SIJ dysfunction is without doubt the biggest issue I see amongst my Therapy clients and Pilates participants. The actual symptoms of SIJ dysfunction range massively from anything mentioned at the start of this article and can also include the following symptoms:
It is not uncommon for many people to suffer very similar symptoms, with their underlying causes being completely different. This is why some treatments and exercises may have worked wonders for someone you know, but then may not have worked as successfully for yourself.
For the sake of this article we will keep things simple; generally we tend to find muscle and joint imbalance (tight & weak muscles) because the SIJ to either be too stiff or too loose, with both scenarios’s giving the same symptoms listed above.
The key is to work out which are the tight muscles and which are the weak muscles, then work to correct BOTH. This is usually most successful through a course of Therapy sessions and corrective exercises (that’s why the Therapist gives you homework!)
It is up to the individual how far they wish to progress with things. Some want to get to the underlying problem and work to correct this, some prefer to simply address the symptoms as and when they come up and some prefer to avoid any movements/exercises which may give any symptoms. There is no right or wrong answer of how you should address the situation.
Below are some tips and techniques of what we can do to help relieve symptoms. Please note the below, will be unlikely to help address the underlying causes of the issues, as without seeing the body we cannot tell what they are!
First off, exercises. These should be relatively safe to do (as always check with GP first), however if any pain stop immediately.
Knees side to side
Remember these are only designed to help reduce the symptoms.
Our biggest success always comes when exercises (such as Pilates classes) are combined with treatment. Generally I find treating through Manual Therapy (massage, soft tissue techniques etc) the following areas to be most successful:
Applying kinesiology tape can also help reduce the symptoms of SIJ pain, you can find out how to do it here.
Hopefully you will find the above methods useful in helping reduce the symptoms of SIJ dysfunction.
If you have any further questions or need any further help, please always feel free to contact me.
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About the author
I am a Manual Therapist covering a range of different disciplines including massage & Biomechanics. I also run small specialist Pilates classes around Corfe Mullen, Broadstone, Wareham, Wimborne & Poole. Instead of just purely rubbing the pain, I always look to see if I can find a potential cause (or causes of the pain) and then work on treating this.
Pilates Instructor & Therapist, helping you understand why we do what we do!