By Angela Conlon PT, DPT Clinic Manager ApexNetwork Physical Therapy- Chesterfield
Low back pain and sacroiliac joint pain are common occurrences among the general population. It is estimated approximately 80% of people suffer from these conditions at some point in their lives.1 Many people may first look to treat their symptoms with an ordinary approach, including ice or heat, gentle muscle stretching, massage or generalized exercises. However, treating symptoms is much different than addressing the dysfunction. A patient referred to Physical Therapy will notice through proper examination and assessment, the therapist will look much further than the painful region as the source of the patient’s impairment, in order to implement the proper treatment plan.
Here are some are some questions or observations your Physical Therapist may look at in regards to the source of your low back pain or SIJ dysfunction.
* Is there pelvic or postural asymmetry?
* Is there decreased range of motion in the hips?
* Are there muscular imbalances in the hip rotators?
* Is there muscular weakness within the lumbo-pelvic stabilizers?
* Is there tightness in the hip or lower extremity muscles, limiting efficiency, strength, or joint mobility?
These clinical observations can be objectively measured and are all factors that play a role in the function and alignment of the lumbo-pelvic region. By addressing the contributing factors, Physical Therapist can properly treat and correct the dysfunction. Intervention techniques may include specific therapeutic exercises, neuro-muscular re-education exercises, and manual therapy in order to correctly treat the underlying dysfunction, alleviate the symptoms, and restore optimal alignment and symmetry of the lumbo-pelvic region.
Managing a Female Patient with Left Low Back Pain and Sacroiliac Joint Pain with Therapeutic Exercise: A Case Report Boyle KL. Physiother Can. 2011 Spring;63(2):154-63. doi:10.3138/ptc.2009-37. Epub 2011 Apr 13.