I was lucky enough to be able to heal my SI joints using a conservative approach, but unfortunately this doesn’t end up being the case for everyone.
Everyone’s body is different, and so can be the nature of their injuries. Some people may find conservative treatment methods aren’t enough, and end up progressing to some of the more aggressive options. It’s all about balancing the potential risks versus the benefits.
So here is a list of some of the different options available, ranging from the least to the most aggressive. (This page is still somewhat under construction, as I haven’t written about everything yet! But please, go ahead and read away!).
allowing ligaments to heal; strengthening muscles
I would say this probably the ideal approach, because it’s the least invasive
Probably the approach you should aim for: the more conservative, the fewer risks (something like surgery has a lot of risks)
How to find a good physical therapist:
- Part 1: Persistence
- Part 2: Thinking creatively
- Part 3: Find someone with experience in treating the SI Joint
- Part 4: Search tips
- Part 5: The last few PT’s I observed
Things to keep in mind:
UPDATE: Due to a recent experience with a chiropractic adjustment that landed me in the emergency room, I no longer think this approach is truly safe and don’t recommend it.
I’ve had doubts about the chiropractic profession for a while. I used to think of chiropractic adjustments for the SI joint as sort of a necessary evil, only to be used very sparingly.
I find that (proficient) chiropractors can be very skilled at identifying subtleties; perhaps even more so than a physical therapist. I do think there is something to their method of identifying imbalances, although I’m not sure that fixing ALL of the little subtleties is necessary or even helpful, since in my experience each adjustment can also destabilize the joint.
There are different schools of thought within chiropractic. I believe the ones who are more aligned with mainstream medicine may have something to offer, in terms of diagnosis only. But I don’t think the adjustments are safe, and that alternatives such as the Muscle Energy Technique are a less risky way to go.
Posts I wrote BEFORE my emergency room visit:
- SI Joint Injections, Part 1: Lidocaine
- SI Joint Injections, Part 2: Lidocaine and Cortisone Together
- SI Joint Injections, Part 3: Will an SI joint injection help you?
- Coordinated Health Part 4 has good info on all of these options
Radiofrequency ablation– minimally invasive procedure in which a doctor uses a device to destroy the ability of some of the nerves around the SI joint to send pain signals. This procedure is only for pain relief; it does not affect the function of the joint or make it more or less stable.