There are many different causes of low back pain. It can be as simple as a misalignment of the joint in the low back or pelvis, muscle spasm or it can be a more complex issue that requires a completely different approach. We are seeing more and more people in our office that have tried many approaches to helping their low back pain including pain killers, anti-inflammatories, chiropractic, physical therapy and more. One often-overlooked underlying cause of low back pain is due to a pelvic instability/hypermobility. Whether it is from sitting all day, being in a car accident with your foot on the brake at the moment of impact or a simple fall or misstep. All of these can contribute or cause a pelvic instability/hypermobility.
What is a pelvic instability/hypermobility? The sacroiliac joint (SIJ), which is where your iliac bones connect to your sacrum, is an extremely important joint for not only proper biomechanical function but it also contributes to the pumping mechanism that feeds your ENTIRE nervous system. The SIJ has two major functions: weight bearing/force transmission and meningeal balance. What this means is that the ligaments that hold the joint together must first take on the weight of the entire upper body before the leg muscles can engage to support that weight. It is also responsible for dampening the shock forces when your leg or butt hits the ground before it can be distributed throughout your upper body. The meningeal balance function is how cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flows up and down your spinal column to feed all of your nerves outside your spine and, most importantly, your brain. The brain cannot allow its feeding mechanism to become compromised. So when that joint becomes wobbly due to a ligament sprain, or lengthening from various types of trauma, the next course of action your brain takes is altering the focal point of weight bearing/force transmission to the vertebral levels of L4/L5 and L5/S1. This adds additional compressive forces on those discs and can result in a disc bulge and/or herniation over time. I apologize for going in depth on the subject of anatomy however I believe it is important to understand the underlying mechanisms so that the approach to healing not only encompasses symptom relief but also true healing so your pain does not return.
There are many symptoms that present when you have a sacroiliac instability/hypermobility due to muscular adaptations. To name a few: low back pain, shoulder pain, tingling or numbness in hands/arms, grinding teeth at night, neck pain, knee pain, TMJ dysfunction/pain/popping and even headaches. Other signs of this are when you stretch, which feels great at the time, within an hour or so your pain is back and possibly worse, massage helps but the tightness and pain comes back within a day or two, side-posture chiropractic adjustments help with pain but by the time you get to your car or within the day your pain is back. Pain medications and anti-inflammatories are simply palliative so we can only assume that these have a tendency to mask your symptoms thereby giving a false sense of security and can result in furthering an injury by performing tasks that would typically be contraindicated.
What can be done to help? It is actually fairly simple. The ligaments of the pelvis need to heal with the respective bones in an ideal position so that true pelvic stabilization can occur. When this happens not only will you be pain free but you will also feel more limber and you won't have to experience that tightness you wake up with every morning. We accomplish this through a specific Sacro Occipital Technic (SOT®) approach that ensures optimal healing in the shortest time frame possible. The best part is that we use a system of neurological indicators that not only direct the doctor to the exact anatomical and biomechanical areas of dysfunction but as the patient you can see immediate the change for the better. For more information about what we do and how we can help, call us at (732) 747-0083.