Common Causes of SI Joint Pain
Aside from TMJ issues, our other area of expertise are hypermobility conditions. One area that many of these patients have problems is the SI joint. SI joint pain is a poorly understand and often misdiagnosed condition that can present as low back pain, "sciatica", gluteal pain, and obviously pain along the SI joint or sacrum. Most treatment for SI joint pain focus on INCREASING joint mobility, but as we discuss in this post, most patients actually need stability within the SI joint, NOT mobility.
Without further ado, here are the most common causes of SI joint pain, in no particular order:
Hypermobile, Unstable SI joint: Contrary to popular belief, most cases of SI joint pain are a result of an unstable SI or hyper mobile SI joint. Instability within the joint causes the muscles around the joint to spasm. This is the body's attempt at gaining stability.
Repetitive stretching: Stretching itself isn't bad, but aggressive or frequent stretching of the SI joint can be problematic. The SI joint is a weight bearing, stability joint. It is surrounding by ligaments and only moves slightly to facilitate proper gait. If one overstretches the SI joint, it will often go beyond stretching muscles and will actually stretch the joint capsule, causing ligament laxity and SI joint compromise. This in turn leads to SI joint pain.
Frequent chiropractic adjustments: Dr. Scoppa is a chiropractor, so this may seem odd to have on the list! However, most chiropractors only look for a treat a joint that's not moving enough, or a joint that's HYPOmobile. However, since most cases of SI joint pain are a result of hypermobility, this can actually cause ligaments to become lax, leading to SI joint pain and dysfunction. Side posture type adjustments are not tolerated well, at least initially.
Hypermobility disorders: There are connective tissue disorders such as EDS or Marfan's, but also less severe forms of hypermobility that affect around 20% of the population. It is surprising given how common these conditions are, but most practitioners aren't on the look out for these patients and don't know how to manage them appropriately. Since the SI joint is such an important joint for physical and neurological stability, it is often problematic in those suffering from hypermobility problems. Correcting SI joint dysfunction can be a huge relief for this population of people.
Prolonged sitting: The curse of the modern age, prolonged sitting puts alot of stress on the SI joint, even more so if you're overweight. Prolonged stress on the SI joint can lead to SI joint pain.