In my yoga classes and private 1:1 clients, and even in my frequent and ongoing discussions with others in healthcare, I’m seeing an UNBELIEVABLE amount of this low back pain (or even radiating elsewhere) — largely in women, and of all ages, but particularly in 40s and beyond.
What is it and why is it so pervasive?
The sacroiliac (SI) joint is located in the pelvis. It links the iliac bone (pelvis) to the sacrum (bony triangle bone at the lowest part of the spine above the tailbone). The SI joint transfers weight and forces between your upper body and legs; the essential component for energy transfer between the legs and the torso.
Mechanical strain and injury to the SI joint are commonly produced by either a combination of vertical compression and rapid rotation (i.e. carrying a heavy object and twisting), or by falls on the backside. Injuries of this type can produce ligamentous laxity and allow painful abnormal motion, and pain.
SI joint pain can also be caused by forceful overstretching, vigorous exercise, leg length discrepancy, gait abnormalities, trauma, traumatic birth, and long scoliosis fusions to the sacrum. Painful sacroiliac joint arthritis can also arise from autoimmune disorders, such as ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Reiter’s Syndrome, psoriatic arthritis, among other things.
Treatment can take many forms – but GETTING A DIAGNOSIS is critical – by a spine specialist.
Then pursuing a plan of physical therapy, and yes, yoga, can be very helpful. BUT, be clear, yoga has it’s limitations with this malady and needs to be PRESCRIPTIVE, CUSTOM and CAREFUL.
The SIJ is particularly vulnerable to a poorly aligned yoga practice. I’ll continue to share tips for managing SIJ dysfunction, here and in the TUNE On-Demand Library.