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Dr. Mark J. Kirk &
Dr. James McNally
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Sacroiliac Irritation


Low back pain is one of the most costly and disabling of all neuromusculoskeletal conditions, affecting over 80% of the population at some point. In fact, at any given moment 7% of adults are experiencing a spell of back pain that will last two weeks or longer.

Sacroiliac (SI) irritation is a specific form of back pain that affects the area in and around the dimples in the buttocks. Those suffering from SI irritation commonly experience sharp pain after straightening up from a stooped position, often while lifting an object. Twisting, leaning forward, bending backward and sitting for long periods of time can make the pain worse.

Abnormal movement in the sacroiliac joint, a joint comprising two bones, the sacrum and the ilium, generates this pain. You have two ilia, and can feel them if you put your hands on your hips, just below your waist. The bony protrusions on either side are the ilia, which connect to the lower part of the spine, the sacrum. The connections between the bones are the sacroiliac joints.

Chiropractic studies estimate that these joints are responsible for about 10% to 30% of low back problems. Theories postulate that jamming of the joints, hormonal influences and arthritis are responsible, as these can lead to local inflammation and joint irritation that then lead to pain. Research also shows that lifting and bending makes patients more susceptible to SI irritation. This is particularly true for children, pregnant women and those with a degenerative disease.

Because SI irritation can develop into SI syndrome, a very similar, but more serious condition, it's imperative that people see a chiropractor as soon as possible if they suspect they have it. Chiropractic care can provide effective management for the condition, as it can improve joint function and decrease pain