Low Back Pain & the Sacroiliac Joint

I have recently had my second baby, and towards the end of my pregnancy I experienced – like so many – low back and hip pain. The silver lining to this is that it has given me greater insight in to how many of my clients here at Brighton Bodyworks are feeling, and a renewed gratitude for how effective massage can be in treating pain and supporting long-term recovery.

My low back pain stemmed largely from the instability in my pelvis – my sacroiliac joint (SI) joint in particular – caused by the extra weight I was carrying and the relaxin in my body. Massage has provided wonderful relief from this and since I’ve had my baby the pain has nearly gone. I have even been swimming breast-stroke again – hooray! But it remains my weak point; wherever pressure is applied on my body, this spot tends to show up first.

What is the SI joint?

si joint pain

Pain radiating from the SI joint. Some people have visible dimples in the low back – this is a handy marker for where the SI joint is found

The SI joint is a large, corrugated joint located between the sacrum and the ilium of the hip bone and ordinarily it is tremendously strong. If you picture the pelvis as being like a wide belt then the SI joint is the buckle which holds it all together. SI problems are not all that common, however movement of only a few millimietres in the joint can cause pain. It is a very specific kind of pain: in the low back, often on one side, radiating through the hip/glutes and sometimes down the leg. Often, trigger points in the surrounding muscles will refer pain to this area. The QLs, for example, are often involved: it is always remarkable when you sink in to the QL muscle and find that re-creates the exact pain deep in the hip that a client has been describing.

Massage can help

Taking a multi-modal approach with massage therapy has proven effective in treating SI pain. Heat is brilliant and I use hot stones for this – softening the tissues and bringing a rush of fresh, oxygenated blood to promote healing. It also feels wonderfully soothing. Myofascial release techniques can be used to break down restrictions around the low back and spine. And my favourite – searching out and treating trigger points in those muscles around the SI joint: erector spinae, gluteus maximus, medius and minimus, QLs and psoas. Stretching, foam rollers and spiky balls can also help, and I can show you how.

Using proven, effective protocols here at Brighton Bodyworks I aim to get clients out of pain in 1 to 6 treatments. At your first treatment we will discuss a treatment plan to support you in to long-term recovery.Call 01273 729691 to book.

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