Sacroiliac Joint Pain & Pelvic Floor Dysfunction – Causes & Treatment
Sacroiliac Joint Pain & Pelvic Floor Dysfunction – Causes & Treatment

Sacroiliac Joint Pain & Pelvic Floor Dysfunction – Causes & Treatment

Natalie Berry

Author

Natalie Berry

Sacroiliac joint pain and pelvic floor dysfunction are two conditions that can cause discomfort and pain in the lower back, hips, and pelvic region. The sacroiliac joint is located at the base of the spine and connects the sacrum to the ilium bones of the pelvis. Pelvic floor dysfunction refers to a group of conditions that affect the muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues in the pelvic region.

Sacroiliac joint pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, arthritis, pregnancy, and repetitive motion. Symptoms may include lower back pain, hip pain, and difficulty standing or sitting for prolonged periods. Pelvic floor dysfunction can also cause pain and discomfort in the lower back and pelvic region, as well as urinary and bowel problems.

Research suggests that there may be a link between sacroiliac joint pain and pelvic floor dysfunction. Some studies have found that treating one condition can improve symptoms of the other. However, more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between these two conditions and how best to treat them. In this article, we will explore the causes and symptoms of sacroiliac joint pain and pelvic floor dysfunction and discuss potential treatment options.

Understanding Sacroiliac Joint Pain and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Sacroiliac joint pain and pelvic floor dysfunction are two separate conditions that can often be interconnected. The sacroiliac joint is located in the pelvis and connects the sacrum to the iliac bones. When this joint becomes dysfunctional, it can cause pain in the lower back, hips, and groin area.

Pelvic floor dysfunction refers to a group of conditions that affect the muscles, ligaments, and nerves in the pelvic floor. This can lead to issues with bladder and bowel control, as well as pain during sexual intercourse.

The sacroiliac joint and the pelvic floor are closely related because they share many of the same muscles and nerves. When one of these areas is affected, it can cause problems in the other. For example, chronic pelvic pain can lead to tension in the muscles surrounding the sacroiliac joint, causing pain and dysfunction.

Low back pain and groin pain are also common symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction. It is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, as untreated sacroiliac joint pain can lead to chronic pain and disability.

Treatment for sacroiliac joint pain and pelvic floor dysfunction may include physical therapy, medication, and in severe cases, surgery. It is important to work with a healthcare provider who is knowledgeable in both of these conditions to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

Overall, understanding the relationship between sacroiliac joint pain and pelvic floor dysfunction is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment. By working with a healthcare provider and following a comprehensive treatment plan, individuals can improve their quality of life and reduce their pain and discomfort.

Causes and Risk Factors

Sacroiliac joint pain and pelvic floor dysfunction can be caused by a variety of factors. Some of the most common causes and risk factors include:

  • Pregnancy: The added weight and pressure of pregnancy can cause the sacroiliac joint to become unstable and lead to pain. Pelvic floor dysfunction can also occur during pregnancy due to the strain of carrying a baby.
  • Arthritis: Inflammatory arthritis such as ankylosing spondylitis can cause inflammation in the sacroiliac joint and lead to pain. Osteoarthritis can also cause wear and tear on the joint over time.
  • Trauma: A fall or other trauma can cause injury to the sacroiliac joint and lead to pain. Pelvic floor dysfunction can also occur after trauma, such as childbirth.
  • Hypermobility: Some people are born with joints that are more flexible than normal, which can lead to instability and pain in the sacroiliac joint. Pelvic floor dysfunction can also occur in people with hypermobility.
  • Hypomobility: On the other hand, some people have joints that are too stiff, which can also lead to pain in the sacroiliac joint.
  • Inflammatory arthritis: Conditions like psoriatic arthritis can cause inflammation and pain in the sacroiliac joint.
  • Unilateral or bilateral pain: Pain can occur on one or both sides of the sacroiliac joint, and the treatment may differ depending on the location of the pain.

Overall, sacroiliac joint pain and pelvic floor dysfunction can be caused by a variety of factors, and it is important to work with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Diagnosis and Tests

Diagnosing sacroiliac joint pain and pelvic floor dysfunction can be challenging due to the overlapping symptoms. A thorough medical history and physical examination are essential for accurate diagnosis.

During the physical examination, the healthcare provider will look for signs of joint inflammation, such as swelling, tenderness, and limited range of motion. They may also perform provocation tests, which involve applying pressure or movement to the affected area to reproduce the patient’s symptoms.

Imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRIs, may also be used to diagnose sacroiliac joint pain and pelvic floor dysfunction. X-rays can help identify fractures or other abnormalities in the bones, while MRIs can provide detailed images of the soft tissues, including the pelvic floor muscles.

In addition to imaging tests, the healthcare provider may ask the patient questions about their symptoms, such as the location, duration, and intensity of their pain. They may also ask about any previous injuries or medical conditions that could be contributing to their symptoms.

Overall, accurate diagnosis of sacroiliac joint pain and pelvic floor dysfunction requires a comprehensive approach that takes into account the patient’s medical history, physical examination, and imaging tests. By working closely with their healthcare provider, patients can receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment for their condition.

Treatment and Management

There are various treatment options available for sacroiliac joint pain and pelvic floor dysfunction. The most effective treatment plan depends on the underlying cause of the condition, severity of symptoms, and the patient’s overall health.

Conservative Treatment

Conservative treatment options for sacroiliac joint pain and pelvic floor dysfunction include physical therapy, patient education, and manipulative therapy. A physical therapist can help patients perform strengthening exercises and improve their posture to alleviate pain and discomfort. Patient education can also help patients understand the causes of their condition and how to manage it effectively.

Manipulative therapy, such as chiropractic adjustments or osteopathic manipulation, can also be effective in reducing pain and improving joint function. Ice, rest, and over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also provide relief.

Injections

For patients who do not respond to conservative treatment, injections may be recommended. Corticosteroid injections can reduce inflammation and pain, while local anesthetic injections can provide temporary relief. These injections are typically administered under the guidance of an imaging technique like fluoroscopy or ultrasound.

Surgery

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat sacroiliac joint pain and pelvic floor dysfunction. Joint fusion surgery can stabilize the joint and reduce pain, but it is typically considered a last resort after conservative treatment options have been exhausted.

Overall, the best treatment plan for sacroiliac joint pain and pelvic floor dysfunction will depend on the individual patient’s needs and the underlying cause of their condition. With proper treatment and management, most patients can experience significant relief from their symptoms.

Natalie Berry

Author

Natalie Berry
Passionate about transforming lives through physical therapy.

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