During the COVID-19 Pandemic, we’ve all been off our feet more than usual for over a year now. Working from home and sitting at a desk all day certainly takes its toll on the body. When working in an office, even if you had a desk job, you were probably up and running around to check in with colleagues, going out to lunch most days, and taking the stairs to and from the office in your building. One of the main complaints we hear from patients nowadays is: “My hips hurt!” Oftentimes, when a person comes to us with hip pain, what is actually happening is SI joint dysfunction.
What is the Sacrum?
The Sacrum is responsible for supporting the weight of your entire body! It’s a large, flat, triangular-shaped bone that sits between your hip bones at the base of your spine. It starts as five individual vertebrae that eventually fuse into one when you’re around 30 years old. The sacrum makes sure your bodyweight distributes properly across your legs and has lots of nerve endings — so when it starts having problems, you’ll know it!
What are the SI Joints?
The sacrum is the center of the pelvis, in a way, and its proper functioning is key to other systems performing well including your nervous, skeletal, muscular, and reproductive systems. On the left and right sides of your sacrum are two joints called the Sacroiliac Joints (SI Joints), which connect your sacrum to your hips; the connection point is protected by ligaments to make sure things don’t move around too much. Oftentimes, these connection points don’t function properly and cause inflammation, resulting in pain.
What Causes SI Joint Pain?
When your SI joints move too much or too little, tissue inflammation results. Inflammation in turn causes pain, which brings people into our office. Have you packed on a few pounds during the Pandemic? Did you have a Pandemic baby? Is your life more sedentary because of a stay-at-home order? All these things can lead to SI joint pain! Excess weight, pregnancy and childbirth, and sitting most of the day all contribute to inflammation of your SI joints and SI joint dysfunction over time.
How Can I Relieve SI Joint Pain?
There are a number of things you can do at home to relieve SI joint pain. Staying active and going for daily walks (even short ones) is very important. If your SI joint is actively inflamed, avoid running. Gentle stretches are also a good idea, and applying an ice pack often helps reduce inflammation.
If you’ve done home remedies and are ready for professional help with your SI joint pain, give us a call. A chiropractic adjustment can help – and quickly! Spinal manipulation (what people usually think of when they think about chiropractors) is usually where we will start. Traction is another option that provides SI joint pain relief. We also offer massage, acupuncture, and custom orthotics in our office which can be very helpful when treating SI joint pain.