Physical Therapy for SI Joint Dysfunction
Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction often occurs when the pelvis joints become too weak or stiff. Common symptoms of SI joint dysfunction are low back pain and a limited range of movement. If you experience such symptoms, physical therapy can help manage the pain. Physical therapists also help you restore a full range of motion through various techniques.
Physical Therapy for SI Joint Dysfunction
SI joint dysfunction happens when both the sacrum (a large bone at the base of the spine) and the ilium (the upper part of the pelvis) fail to work together.
Physical therapists will first complete a physical examination to design a targeted treatment program. Their main aim will be to restore optimal functioning in the area and help you regain maximum strength. To achieve this goal, here are some aspects that your physical therapy treatment may cover:
Physical therapists acknowledge that the recovery process works better if they involve the patient. Your therapist will go through the treatment program to inform you on what to expect. They cover each area of the program, detailing the exercise variations you will be performing and special additions, if any. Making you a part of the recovery process allows you to mentally prepare for the treatment you will receive.
SI joint dysfunction causes sharp, stabbing pain in the pelvis, groin, and lower back area. The pain can radiate to the knee, making any movement excruciating. To make the recovery process more bearable, your therapist may opt for some of the following pain management methods:
• Applying ice or freezing the affected area
• Electrical stimulation
• Joint mobilizations
These methods control the pain you feel while eliminating the need for medicine. Many physical therapists use non-invasive pain management methods, helping ensure a faster recovery.
Physical therapists might recommend manual therapy depending on your condition. Manual therapy focuses on joint manipulation and mobilization to aid recovery.
Therapists use hands-on techniques like massages to correct SI joint dysfunction. The manual procedures are applied to the SI joint and lower back to help reduce muscle tension and fixation. These methods help restore the normal range of motion.
Exercising is a common physiotherapy technique most therapists use. Different exercises offer varying results, so therapists use them to target a specific recovery outcome.
Below is a range of exercise classes that your physical therapist might recommend for SI joint dysfunction:
1. Body Mechanics Exercises
Your daily work determines the body’s movement and mechanics. Depending on whether you spend most of your day sitting or lifting objects, there are specific muscle and joint groups each activity engages. Improper body mechanics can contribute to SI joint dysfunction.
Physiotherapists focus on body mechanics exercises to improve form. They teach how to correctly perform actions to prevent injury or pain to the sacroiliac joint.
2. Strengthening Exercises
The stability of the sacroiliac and spinal joints is pivotal to your recovery. Stability depends on core strength, so your physical therapist will recommend strengthening exercises.
Strengthening exercises are often scheduled on a personal case basis. Therapists examine any weak muscles in your body that might risk your recovery before recommending practices. Strengthening exercises are progressive; therapists adjust the program based on your response to treatment.
3. Flexibility Exercises
Working on muscle flexibility will help restore your entire range of motion. Experts recommend various stretching exercises to achieve the goal of recovery. Progressive stretching relieves pain while helping you retain better control of your movements.
At first, your therapist might help you perform the exercises. With progressive recovery, they will recommend flexibility exercises you can perform at home for overall body conditioning.
This is the last phase of your treatment program to transition you back to full activity. Functional training will slowly and safely ease tension on the sacroiliac joint.
To successfully ease such tension, you must learn controlled movements that you can incorporate into daily operations. The little functional movements allow an improvement in the strength and motion correlation.
Functional training helps reduce the chances of recurrent injury to the SI joint. The improved fitness and physique aid with balance, forcing better bodily operations. You also better your coordination and movement patterns, getting you back on track.
Physical Therapy Helps With SI Joint Dysfunction Recovery
Despite the amount of pain in your sacroiliac joint, physical therapists can help relieve it. They use various hands-on techniques and a unique approach to ensure you fully recover from SI joint dysfunction. Physical therapy focuses on improving your range of motion and preventing the injury from recurring. Consult with the experts to know which treatment plan fits you best.
VIDA Integrated Health is your trusted Seattle chiropractic, physical therapy, and acupuncture center. Our treatment options focus on empowerment towards a healthy and active lifestyle. We’ll map out an integrated recovery plan to meet your goals faster. Contact us today to get started on your recovery journey.
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