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


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) syndrome is a specific form of back pain that affects the area in and around the dimples in the upper buttocks. People with this condition usually experience localized pain in the low back, as well as pain in the groin, hip or back of the thigh, but rarely below the knees. The latter is called referred pain, meaning it travels from the source of the problem to other regions of the body. Those suffering from SI syndrome also 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.

While SI syndrome can begin without warning, it's often a continuation of a similar, milder condition called SI irritation. If people don't seek treatment when they have SI irritation, which mostly manifests as localized pain in the mid-buttocks, the condition can develop into SI syndrome.

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, and research also shows that lifting and bending make patients more susceptible to the condition, particularly children, pregnant women and those with a degenerative disease.

All these factors can lead to local inflammation and joint irritation that then lead to pain. With SI syndrome, the irritation and inflammation also affect nerves that provide sensation to other areas, like the thighs, which causes the brain to perceive pain as coming from the lower limb as well as from around the sacroiliac joints.

These symptoms are chronic and aggravating, so you'll want to see your chiropractor as soon as possible if you have SI syndrome. Chiropractic care can provide effective management for the condition, as it can improve joint function, decrease pain and get your low back to its original state