Sacroiliac joint dysfunction (SIJ) is a condition that one can suffer from during pregnancy which completely resolves itself after birth or shortly after. Although it can be very painful during pregnancy, fortunately there is a lot a physiotherapist can do.
Personally, I had never heard of SIJ until I started my training to become a women’s health physiotherapist. One of the reasons I and many others had not heard of it is because quite often if you suffers from SIJ, you also suffer from SPD. Because patients often have the same symptoms from the two conditions, such as pain when using the stairs, the diagnosis of SIJ is missed.
What is SIJ?
The sacroiliac joint is the joint at the back of your pelvis. When you have SIJ, pain is felt over the buttock and/or back of the thigh. Occasionally the pain is also felt over the groin and the entire back of the leg. SIJ is the misalignment of the sacroiliac joint. The misalignment can take place in a few ways: it can be rotational in one of two different directions or the joint can slip upwards.
The cause of this misalignment and the resulting pain is the hormone relaxin, which has come up a few times on this blog. Yes, the one that relaxes your ligaments and soft tissue. Relaxin has been the cause of most of the problems I have written about on this blog. But I promise you it is a useful hormone overall, as it prepares your body for birth and helps make room for the growing uterus.
Can it be treated?
The job of the physiotherapist is this case is to diagnose the problem and then simply put the joint back in place. It sounds like it would be painful, but it is not. This procedure will leave some patients completely cured and free of any more problems, while with others the misalignment can keep occurring and the physiotherapist will simply have to keep realigning the pelvis.
In addition to this treatment, your physiotherapist will also advise you on stability exercises. This is because it is really important to strengthen the muscles around your pelvis and those that help with core stability. This helps to share the responsibility for your stability between your muscles and joints together, and not leaving it all to your joints.
If you are suffering from groin and buttock pain and would like to book an appointment, please contact me on 0544485086 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I can arrange to see you in Bishvilaych Women’s Comprehensive Medical Centre in Givat Shaul, Jerusalem or a home visit if you live in Gush Etzion.