Does your lower back pain come from your pelvis?

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Lower back pain is a common problem, it is estimated that 70-90% of people will have some form of lower back pain during their lifetime.

The lower back is a complex area where pain that is felt there can be coming from multiple locations around the body and dysfunction there can cause referred pain to other parts of the body.

Figuring out exactly where the pain is coming from and addressing any movement dysfunction can be the answer to not only decreasing acute pain but decreasing the frequency and severity of any flare ups.

A common area for lower back pain to originate from is the pelvis and more specifically the SIJ or sacroiliac joint. The SIJ is the joint between the very base of your spine, your sacrum, and the pelvis. This is a large synovial joint that is primarily stabilized by ligaments. These ligaments are very important to the SIJ and can become irritated if the SIJ is not moving how it should or is not moving properly.

Pain that is actually coming from the SIJ joint or the ligaments that stabilize it can felt generally on one side at the base of the spine, through the gluteal muscles, down the back of the thigh, the side of the shin or even in the groin.

When you see a physiotherapist with pain in any of these areas then they may be thinking the SIJ is a possible source of pain. A test that can be done to test dysfunction of the sij is called the stork test.

The therapist feels how the pelvis and lower back moves in relation to each other and can get an idea on if there is a problem with the mobility or stability of the SIJ.

If there is a problem with the mobility of the SIJ then further assessments can be done to pinpoint what is going on and address the movement problem. If there is a problem with stability then looking at how the muscles are working will be the first port of call to improve this stability.

So if you’re lower back pain isn’t resolving with typical intervention then be sure to ask your therapist about your pelvis and if that is functioning properly.

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