Lovely blog from Melany, a woman who has had TWO SI joint surgeries: the first one failed because her joints were fixated in the wrong place, and her second one with Dr. Weiss and Vicki Sims in Georgia was able to correct that.
Melany’s resource page is really great, and definitely worth checking out.
She has a really great page on conservative (aka non-surgical treatments) for the SI joint.
“THE MOVEMENT WITHIN THE SI JOINT MIGHT BE MICRO BUT THE PAIN IS MIGHTY!”
For years, my SIJD treatments were aimed primarily at my SOFT TISSUES (muscles, nerves etc). (My chiropractor would adjust me but after years of this, it seemed to cause me more pain!) Focusing almost exclusively on my muscles and nerves for treatment was an oversight because it completely overlooked the SOURCE of my problems which was actually a SKELETAL/STRUCTURAL dysfunction due to LIGAMENT LAXITY!
Due to my own tragically long history with SIJD in the medical world, I have developed a strong passion to help and protect my fellow SIJD patients! Because I am reaching out to other SI patient’s, I am trying to bridge the gap (which I have found exists) between the medical and patient worlds in a way that makes sense to the regular people like you and I, who are the patient’s! I have a VERY heavy conscience about recommending any source that I have not had personal experience with.
- Muscle Therapy: As a result of the lax ligaments the surrounding muscles step in and attempt to stabilize the joints in lieu. Muscles which compensate for gross SI instability also become dysfunctional as they become overdeveloped and constantly spasm in an attempt to stabilize the joints. But, forcing these muscles to calm down prior to achieving successful SI stability can also lead to additional problems and increased pain because these muscles have had to take over where the Ligaments are not longer holding the pelvic girdle together! But, if left to themselves over time they become domineering and dysfunctionally overdeveloped. The muscles are creating a purposeful inflammatory response within the body for the purpose of protecting itself! Sending out warning messages to our brain, in the form of PAINFUL muscle spasms…”Mayday, mayday, something is wrong, we’ve got a mechanical problem here”!
- Ligament Therapy: Lax ligaments result when the joints have been forced past their normal range of motion; A.K.A. over-extension via various means-pregnancies; Car accident, buttock fall etc.. Thereby overstretching the ligaments, resulting in the complete or partial loss of or reduction of ligament elasticity. This pre- disposes the joint to injury even when engaging in simple physical activities because the ligaments holding the boundary restrictions in place are no longer resistant (also why joints are Hypermobile).Our ligaments are very important because they act as a strong, thick band which encircles the Pelvic Girdle (which is both the pelvis at the front and SI at the back). Prolotherapy injections are a method which is aimed at the ligaments with the hope of causing an inflammatory reaction to cause the Ligaments to tighten (this is a very brief explanation!).
The constant SI instability allows for frequent OVER EXTENSION of the SI Joints. Mechanically, the SI Joints are intended to glide through walking etc.and absorb shock. Yet, if it is coming in and out of normal range of motion (subluxation=partial DISLOCATION) our muscles are forced to compensate for the lax ligaments to hold our pelvic girdle together.
Since we cannot replace the loose ligaments in the Pelvic Girdle (yet!) we must find an alternative method of stabilizing the joints to prohibit them from movement past normal range of motion.
- Nerve Therapy: Procedures such as Nerve Ablation, nerve pain blocks etc. may help decrease the pain that we experience. But this is only a temporary solution as these nerves do grow back and it still does not address the SOURCE of the problem which is SI Joint malalignment and instability! In isolation, this can be another band aid approach because it’s just helping our body not FEEL the problem, but it is still happening!
About the last paragraph: I have personally always thought this when I read about nerve ablation therapy, which is basically a procedure to go in and damage the nerve responsible for sending pain signals from the SI joint.
This always seemed like a band-aid approach to me as well. I personally only ever had pain when my SI joints were out of alignment–as soon as they went back into alignment, the pain disappeared. Damaging a nerve really seemed like a red herring, in the context of what was clearly an alignment problem.