Log in
Pelvic Pain Support Network
12,073 members3,673 posts

How to treat sacroiliac joint pain

Hi all. I recently found that a lot of my pelvic pain issues are caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Symptoms: a lot of low back and pelvic pain and muscles tightness. Also, pain from going up steps and sometimes during certain parts of my gait. The muscles at the SI joints and lateral to the joints consist of one trigger point on top of another and are just a series of lumps. Further down , the tissue is extremely tight but without trigger points. Still further down the tissue normalizes. I’ve explained this to countless PTs and MDs but nobody had anything close to a diagnosis (despite the fact that I was pointing directly to my SI joints). After diagnosing myself through YouTube videos, I finally asked an MD to inject anesthetic into the SI joint and got relief. I also bought an SI belt which dramatically reduced symptoms. However, I would like to eliminate the symptoms through muscle rebalancing which is very difficult to do without an MD/PT degree. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get through this? I have gone through the web site of every PT clinic in the area and found none that list this as something they treat. Every PT/MD will say yes, they understand and can treat this-but they absolutely cannot

16 Replies
oldestnewest

I have exactly the same symptoms, including the trigger points (right side where leg meets hip in the front and right buttock) and the lumps. It's taken me quite a while to figure out that it was an SI joint problem because what I was feeling was mostly very low back pain and lower abdominal discomfort that was easy to confuse with digestive issues or bladder issues. Once I figured out that it might be more of a mechanical problem (on my own, btw--doctors were just throwing pills at me for "bladder issues"), I went to a chiropractor and that seems to be helping quite a bit. First chiropractor did nothing, but the one I am seeing now isn't afraid to dig into the trigger points and the lumps (much pain! but in a good way) and it really helped so much. He found an SI joint issue before I even said a word to him about what my problem was. I felt 40% improvement after just one visit and a bit more with each subsequent visit. Hopefully that trend continues. The best thing he told me was to continuously practice engaging my front abdominal muscles (even doing kegels at the same time) rather than letting my back and hips do all the work. He also encouraged me to do many of the standard SI joint therapy exercises that you've probably already found on the internet and to use a baseball-size rubber ball to work out the trigger points myself. He said that stiffness is the enemy--to keep moving and stretching even if it hurts a bit (not extreme pain obviously). I must admit I was getting prone to not moving much for fear that I was making it worse, so that advice also helped. Also heat in the morning and ice at night, every day.

My general thought at this point is that SI joint issues might be better helped by a good chiropractor and/or a good massage therapist than by the standard medical profession, but I'm still learning.

Hopefully some of that helps. I'd love to hear from you what's working and what's not. I have an appointment with a pelvic floor physical therapist late this month, so I'm hoping that might provide some answers as well.

Best wishes!

Reply

Thanks for the feedback. Which abdominal muscles did he want you to engage? Rectus abdominus? And did he mean to engage them in specific exercises that he gave you, or just during routine movements?

You’re lucky you found someone good-where does he practice-I’d be willing to go a couple hundred miles (I live in Maryland).

But, yeah, the new person I saw today said that if the areas around the sacroiliac joint are stiff, it will force the sacroiliac joint to move much more that wants to. So that is pretty similar to what your chiropractor said.

She thinks part of my problem is that I have hyperlordosis (too much curvature of the lumbar spine). So I will be doing exercises such as pelvic tilt‘s to get my spine in a more neutral position.

Yes, let’s keep each other up to date on what works and what does not work. I definitely can use all the help I can get!

1 like
Reply

The chiropractor is in Ohio, so probably a bit far for you. He doesn't specialize in women's health or anything--he's just a very strong and knowledgeable chiropractor who is not afraid to really work on things.

As far as which muscle--you are far more educated about the terminology and such than I am, unfortunately--I definitely have much to learn! All I know is he told me to squeeze in my lower abdomen and even do kegels whenever I stand up from sitting, sit from standing, or on stairs. Squeezing everything in seems to tilt my pelvis slightly--so another overlap in what we've been told that might actually be helpful! I looked up Rectus Abdominus and that does seem to be the mostly likely muscle. I will try to ask next time I see him.

I guess I do feel a little lucky right now, but it's been a long and frustrating year! I know a year isn't even that long compared to some accounts I've seen on here, but it sure feels like it when you're in pain and there doesn't seem to be any help or information. I am so grateful for sites like this because without them I would have never figured out what directions to pursue. My diagnosis from a urologist is Overactive Bladder (plus known kidney stones), but I have no burning, urgency, or frequency (just pressure) so that never felt right to me. My doctor(s) and urologist have been remarkably unconcerned about finding out what might be wrong, even when I went in and said my pain level is around a 7--and I am not one to flippantly complain about pain (says the woman who labored for over 48 hours with a 10.5 lb baby, lol).

I don't know for sure if this SI joint stuff will be the full answer for me, but I am very thankful it is helping.

Thanks for your response and for your original post. It really helps to hear from others and to get ideas. Happy to keep in touch!

Reply

So glad you have figured it out....it is unbelievable that we have to be our own dr.'s isn't it...my problem is my psoas muscle that is causing my pelvic floor pain I had uro/gyn want to put me in the operating room saying I had ic it is unbelievable Keep up the good work

Reply

I have psoas issues as well/what are you doing to treat the problem? Does anybody do botox of psoas?

Reply

Also find a chiropractor that specializes in women that is who finally figured out my issue....yoga seems to help me the most

1 like
Reply

Sacro is so painful.

I have sacro pain and two herniated discs and have tried all pain meds and all therapists and only things that worked for me are googling SI exercises and doin them

EVERYDAY.

Yoga as you need to keep it supple.

A good osteo . Physio and chiro didnt work for me.

Pain relief is CBD oil all day... it for inflammation and it works a treat

Reply

What kind of cbd oil do you use? Is it effective for si pain, herniated discs or both? Do you get cognitive effects with the cbd oil?

Reply

I use lovecbd.com dutch 500mg spray under tongue oil. Been using it about 18 months...

it workes nothing but wanders for me.. my body doesnt hurt as much, i sleep better my anxiety levels are normal.

I hold down a full time job and it gives me no bad effects.. it only the cbd no tnc which is the bad part of marijuana.

Reply

I also had a herniated disc. Interesting. I am finding the SI exercises to be helpful as well.

I am definitely going to look into the CBD oil. Thanks for the tip!

Curious what you mean by Osteo? My original doctor was a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, but I got a new one because I really didn't feel she was helping my issue at all (she kept throwing antibiotics at me, saying that sometimes bladder infections don't show up in urinalysis--which may be true and I know she was trying to be helpful, but that was not helping me get to any reasons or help for my issue). Is there an Osteo doctor that does some kind of physical adjustment?

Thanks!

Reply

Has anyone here tried Inversion Therapy? I am strongly considering buying an Inversion Table.

Reply

My therapist says that a little under 50% of people benefit. But those that do benefit swear by it. My best friend from college uses one and swears by it

Reply

Thanks! I think I might give it a try. 50ish% doesn't sound like the worst odds--I mean, it's a better success rate than the drugs they've been throwing at me, lol. I tried to find somewhere local where I could test it out, but apparently most places won't let you try it onsite for legal reasons.

Reply

Yes i see a osteopath. Wow, are u in england? As out physio, osteos and chiro are not aloud to give out perscriptions. There not legally a doctor.

Yeh he massage and manipulates my SI joint and puts my discs back in place

Reply

I'm in the US. I guess osteo must mean something different in England. Looks like it's more closely related to a chiropractor?

In the US, a DO, or Doctor of Osteopathy is pretty much like a regular MD. They are supposed to have additional musculoskeletal training and to lean toward more natural treatments, but in practice I've honestly never been able to tell the difference between a DO and an MD.

Reply

Hi I am in the US and get my hemp from Healthy Hemp I take the brand called re life I take 600 mg 2x's daily or 1200mg 1x I think the 600 mg is better for me to keep it in my system...I also have had much success with a message therapist I can only afford her once a month but it has been extremely helpful for pain relive Good luck and keep me posted also please note that the psoas can cause pelvic nerve pain that is what seems to be my issue

1 like
Reply

You may also like...