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Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

The sacroiliac joint is located in the lower part of the back and joins the tail bone (sacrum) to one of the pelvic bones (ilium). There are two sacroiliac joints- one on either side of the spine. These joints act to transfer weight from the spine to the pelvis and allow for a small amount of movement.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction may occur from excessive forces being applied to the joint. This can be from bending, sitting, lifting, arching or twisting movements or from weight baring forces associated with running and jumping. Injury to the sacroiliac joint may occur traumatically or due to repetitive and prolonged forces over time.


A thorough subjective and objective examination from an osteopath is usually sufficient to diagnose sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Treatment may consist of:

* Soft tissue massage

* Mobilisation

* Manipulation

* Taping

* Use of a sacroiliac belt or lumbar brace

* Use of lumbar roll for sitting

* Correction of any leg length discrepancy

* Dry needling

* Muscle energy techniques

* Activity modification advice

* Ergonomic advise

* Clinical Pilates

* A gradual return to activity program

* Exercises to improve flexibility, strength, posture and core stability

The recovery time for sacroiliac joint dysfunction may vary from patient to patient depending on compliance with osteopathic care. With ideal treatment, patients may be pain free in as little as several days, although the typical time is 2-3 weeks. It is important to note however, injured tissue takes approximately six weeks to restore the majority of its strength in ideal healing conditions. Care must therefore be taken when returning to activity during this period.

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