One of the biggest obstacles for those who treat scoliosis
is the number of secondary complaints that can arise as a result of a spinal curve. One such issue is sacroiliac joint (SIJ) pain, which can originate from the joint itself as well as being referred from the lumbar spine in many cases.
The SIJ joins the spine to the pelvis, and is made up of the sacrum along with the right and left ilium (as illustrated in the diagram above). The sacrum is a triangular bone that sits just below the lumbar spine, while the right and left ilium comprise part of the pelvis, more commonly referred to as the hip bones.
What causes pain in the sacroiliac joint?
It can be difficult to differentiate between the kind of SIJ pain that originates in the joint itself and the kind that comes from the lumbar spine – this is simply due to the fact that the patterns of referral are often highly similar to one another. Both forms of pain will often occur over the SIJ, buttocks/posterior, or lateral thigh, making it difficult to identify the root cause.
Pain can also be caused by pelvic dysfunction, which refers to a disturbance in the normal movement of the SIJ during movement. This can occur due to myofascial restrictions, which develop when normal patterns of muscle recruitment are altered, or when a restriction within the SIJ itself is present.
How is this connected to scoliosis?
SIJ pain is often reported in those with scoliosis, and this is likely due to the secondary impact of the spinal curvature on this part of the body. The unnatural curvature of the spine has an impact on the alignment of the joint, which results in pain and movement dysfunction in this area.
For this reason, it is highly important to monitor and assess the signs of pelvic dysfunction in scoliosis sufferers in order to ensure that any treatment administered for the spinal condition is also considering the possible impact on the SIJ. By doing this, appropriate manual therapy techniques can be applied in order to restore optimal alignment and movement in this area.
Can SIJ pain be improved?
In order to effectively treat the pain and discomfort caused by pelvic dysfunction, it is important to begin by conducting a thorough assessment. This can be done by performing a variety of kinetic tests (which assess the movement of the ilium and sacrum) during exercises such as single leg standing, as well as trunk flexion whilst upstanding and sitting.
If positional assessment of the area reveals the cause of the dysfunction, this information should be used to prescribe the correct range of manual therapy techniques, selected based on the type of restriction and presentation. These can then be used to restore the correct muscle recruitment pattern, joint alignment, and normal pelvic movement.
Here at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic, our aim is to offer a highly tailored and unique treatment to each of our patients, including a thorough evaluation of each individual’s specific needs and complaints. This means that sources of pain, secondary conditions and other contributing factors are all taken into consideration so as to offer a treatment plan that meets the specific aims of the patient – without causing reactionary damage to other parts of the body.
To find out more about our ScolioGold treatment method, please click here.