How can a body part you have probably never heard of hurt so BAD? This is a common question we hear from individuals suffering from sacroiliac joint pain.
The joint is formed by the sacrum and the ilium where they meet on either side of the lower back, with the purpose of connecting the spine to the pelvis. This small joint is one of the most durable parts of the human body, and it is responsible for a big job.
The unassuming little sacroiliac joint withstands the pressure of the upper body's weight pushing down on it, as well as pressure from the pelvis. It's basically the cushion between the torso and the legs. As such, it handles force from pretty much every angle.
While immensely strong and durable, this joint is not indestructible. Sacroiliac joint pain usually crops up as lower back pain, or pain in the legs or buttocks.
Weakness in these areas may also be present. The typical culprits in causing the sacroiliac joint to exhibit pain are traumatic injuries to the lower back, but more frequently develops over a longer period of time.
Sacroiliac joint pain is often misdiagnosed as soft tissue issues instead of the joint itself. Doctors may rule out other medical conditions before settling on a diagnosis that includes a sacroiliac joint problem.
If you have suffered an injury, a degenerative disease, or otherwise damaged the sacroiliac joint, there are treatments available to help manage pain, promote healing, and lessen the chances of recurrence. Here are a four helpful guidelines to assist in effectively handling sacroiliac joint pain.
First, rest and ice the area. Avoid exaggerated movements of your lower back in order to relieve some of the body's pressure on the sacroiliac joint. Also apply ice wrapped in a towel periodically to soothe the area and minimize the pain.
A second way to handle sacroiliac pain is with therapeutic massage. Tightness around the joint is a common cause of discomfort and pain. Professional massage serves to loosen and relax the lower back, buttocks, and leg areas, offering relief from pain.
Third, consider chiropractic and seeing a chiropractor. Chiropractic treatment, known as adjustments, not only provides great options for pain relief but also helps promote the healing process of this joint.
A chiropractor is specifically trained to guide you through several phases of care. They don’t focus just on pain relief but are primarily interested in helping you fix the problem.
They’re also very well trained in rehabilitation of the spine. This approach will help loosen the muscles surrounding the joint as well as strengthen them. This will decrease the risk of pain returning down the road.
Finally, in very rare cases, doctors will choose to apply an injection to the area to alleviate pain and inflamed tissue. Obviously, the injection won’t fix the problem but may give the patient relief temporarily. Surgery is rarely a viable option.
If you show symptoms of sacroiliac pain, it's important to see a Doctor of Chiropractic so he or she can perform tests to correctly diagnose your condition. It could very well be another type of lower back problem. So quit suffering and give us a call!
Are you experiencing pain along one side of your body from your lower back down through your hip and the back of your leg? If so, you could be suffering from a condition called sciatica.
According to the Mayo Clinic, sciatica can best be described as "most commonly occurring when a herniated disk or a bone spur on the spine compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg."
A variety of issues weigh in on an individual's likelihood of ending up with sciatica. Most of them deal with increased pressure on the spine.
Obesity: carrying too much weight is instrumental in bringing on a number of health related issues. Extra pounds overload the spine, causing damage that results in sciatica.
Improper lifting: Individuals who frequently twist the bodies and lift heavy loads are more likely to suffer from sciatica. Certain jobs that require these movements are a key cause of the condition.
Sedentary lifestyle. A person's job does not have to involve lifting to be responsible for this condition. Sitting for extended periods without stretching or standing puts excess pressure on the spine and can cause sciatica.
Too many birthdays. Getting older can affect all of our body's joints and bones in a negative manner, especially if we never committed to an exercise routing. An individual's back often deteriorates with age, causing bone spurs and herniated disks that sometimes result in sciatica.
Treatment options for sciatica are varied, and the choice depends on the severity of the condition.
Pain medication: A common and easy way to treat sciatica is with drug therapy. Anti-inflammatory drugs are frequently used to reduce the inflammation around the nerve, which is a big contributor of the pain. Over-the-counter pain medicines, as well as codeine, may also help with pain management.</p>
Acupuncture. Alternative therapies like acupuncture have shown positive results in the treatment of sciatica. If a drug-free treatment option appeals to you, find an experienced acupuncturist in your area and talk to them about treatment options.
Strengthening exercises. A consistent exercise program strengthens your muscles and helps the body function effectively. Ask your doctor which exercises assist the body with bouncing back from sciatica.
Supplements. Supplying the body with vital vitamins and minerals assists in overall health in general, including improvement from sciatica. Daily doses of supplements such as calcium, magnesium, St. John's Wort, and Vitamin B12 have shown to treat sciatica effectively.
Chiropractic care. Chiropractors understand all things spine-related, and work with the body as a whole to help it heal itself. Chiropractic treatment for sciatica works to align the spine and reduce the stress to the lower back. Treatment helps alleviate the underlying causes of the condition, and shows positive results in a short amount of time.
Cortisone injections. Most of the time, sciatica can be treated by the less invasive measures mentioned above. However, severe bouts of sciatica may require a shot of cortisone directly into the inflamed area. Individuals generally choose this option when other treatments have garnered no relief.
Dealing with sciatica is painful and irritating, as the condition often sidelines the sufferer from daily activities. By knowing the treatment options that are effective in combating both the underlying causes and the pain of sciatica, sufferers can begin a regimen that will help them get back on their feet, pain-free in the shortest period of time possible.
If you are suffering from sciatica and would like to talk to an experienced chiropractor about how to treat the condition, contact us today.
While back pain is a known and widely-studied issue in adults, its prevalence in school-aged children has received comparatively little scientific attention. Elementary, middle, and high school students must often carry backpacks that weigh enough to cause chronic back pain, poor posture, and even decreased lung volume. Recently, several studies reveal the truths behind childhood back pain and ways to mitigate it.
Are Backpacks Too Heavy for Kids?
Recent research supports that children carrying backpack loads of more than ten percent of their body weight have a greater risk of developing back pain and related issues. An international study found that an alarmingly large proportion of school-aged children in Australia, France, Italy, and the United States regularly carried backpacks weighing more than the ten percent threshold.
In another study involving a sample of 1540 metropolitan school-aged children, over a third of the children surveyed reported back pain. In addition to carrying heavy backpacks, female students and those diagnosed with scoliosis had a greater association with back pain. Children with access to lockers reported less pain.
The number of straps on the backpack had little impact on the respondents' answers. Children also reported limited physical activity due to back pain, and some took medication to relieve the pain.
Girls who carried purses in addition to wearing a backpack reported significantly greater back pain. Adolescents with back pain spent more time watching television than their peers. Over 80 percent of those surveyed believed that carrying a heavy backpack caused their back pain.
Proper Backpack Carrying Techniques
The studies revealed several factors that may help reduce back pain in school-aged children. The best way to prevent back pain is to avoid carrying heavy loads.
Children should take advantage of locker breaks and only carry items necessary for a couple of classes at a time. When lifting a backpack, children should crouch down and bend their knees rather than curve the spine.
While not conclusive, research also supports that carrying the weight differently, e.g., by hand rather than by backpack, may help prevent or reduce back pain. The American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Chiropractic Association offer these additional safe backpack tips:
Chiropractic Care Can Help
If your child continues to experience back pain, contact your local chiropractor. Chiropractic care benefits many adults with spinal discomfort, and licensed practitioners can provide tailored treatments for children.
Chiropractors can also recommend safe exercises to improve back strength, and additional advice on proper nutrition to build strong bones and joints, healthy posture, and more. If your child is experiencing back pain from carrying a backpack, gives us a call. We’re here to help!
Although chiropractic is dedicated to finding and correcting vertebral subluxations (also known as spinal misalignments), many patients seek chiropractic care to alleviate pain and other health-related symptoms. One condition that chiropractic patients seek relief from is consistent low back pain.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans experience low back pain at any give time. Even though low back pain plagues many people, finding the exact cause can be a challenge. However, chiropractors are spinal specialists that are trained extremely well to not only help alleviate your pain but also find the cause of the problem.
As you seek help from your local chiropractor, you’ll want to keep the following things in mind:
Prevention Is Key
Prevention is often the best cure for low back pain. When a patient sees a chiropractor, they’ll not only find relief for the low back pain they’re experiencing, but they’ll also learn ways to prevent such pain in the future. By using proper exercise and ergonomic techniques, they can ease their pain before it even starts. Amazing results are easily obtained simply by patients listening to the instructions given by their chiropractic doctor.
Treatment Options Are Available
Fortunately, there are many treatment options for low back pain. Based off of the diagnosis provided by your Doctor of Chiropractic, he or she will be able to suggest the ones that will benefit you the most. These treatments may include one or more of the following:
Getting Relief From Your Pain
If you were prescribed pain medication by a medial doctor before seeing your chiropractor, it may still be required to help reduce your pain levels. However, the good news is that you may be able to decrease your pain medication quicker than usual as spinal misalignments are corrected, nerve compression is alleviated and inflammation is reduced. That alone is well worth the investment of time and money to see your local chiropractor.
Rehab Through Exercise
As your care progresses from pain relief to rehabilitation of the spine, your chiropractor will recommend certain exercises to help strengthen your core muscles which, in return, will help stabilize and protect your lower back. Typically, these exercises are performed at the chiropractic office to make sure you understand how to do them without re-aggravating your original complaint. Once you’ve been educated on their purpose and know how to perform them correctly without supervision, you’ll be able to continue them at home in conjunction with the spinal adjustments you receive at the office during maintenance care.
Surgery May Be Avoided
Depending on your condition, you may be able to avoid surgery if you choose to see a chiropractor before your injuries or pain become worse. In some instances, a chiropractor can help you to avoid surgery entirely by helping correct the problem instead of just masking it through pain relief.
The key is to make sure you follow the recommendations of your chiropractor after a thorough consultation and examination are performed. Part of the examination procedures may require X-rays or MRIs. These not only benefit the chiropractor when he or she is developing your treatment plan but will also give you the peace of mind that the problem will be found.
The bottom line is that a chiropractor is the ideal professional to consult with for any unexplained pain in the musculoskeletal system. They’re not only well-qualified to treat conditions like low back pain but also achieve great results in a very affordable and effective manner. If you or a loved one are suffering from low back pain, gives us a call. We’re here to help!
Dr. Andy Johnson