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What is the sacroiliac joint, and what does it do?

The sacroiliac, or "SI", joints (there is one on each side of the body) are the link between your spinal column and pelvis. They help absorb damaging shock forces, and they also help stabilize the body and transmit weight to the lower limbs. SI joints normally have some amount of movement, and they can move in several planes of motion. SI dysfunction is actually a separate condition from low back pain; however, SI joint dysfunction has been implicated as a common cause of back pain in more than 30 percent of children.1 What's more, it may even be a contributing factor to tension and pain in the jaw muscles and joints.2

What causes SI joint pain?

Two separate and distinct categories of SI dysfunction exist: primary, which occurs suddenly due to trauma, lifting, slipping, or sudden, unexpected movements; and secondary, which is caused by faulty posture aggravated by occupation or habits. Pressure can build up on the SI joint(s) for years before any obvious discomfort is noticed.

Depending on the diagnosis of your condition, your healthcare professional has treatment programs to help relieve your pain, stabilize your posture, and restore normal function to your SI joints. The following are just some of the treatment areas your healthcare professional might pursue in your case:

  • Support for the low back/pelvic areas when you are sitting or sleeping, such as a postural back rest for sitting support, and a cervical support pillow to help promote comfort and proper alignment of the spine during sleep.
  • Use of spinal/pelvic stabilizers (foot orthotics) to help restore foot stability, compensate for a leg length inequality, and absorb damaging heel-strike shock.

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