Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction- Part 2
If your low back pain is caused by your sacroiliac joint dysfunction and isn’t responding to traditional treatment there are two areas that you need to check out.
In the first part of this post we talked about how lower abdominal scar tissue may be inhibiting your sacrum. Lack of mobility in the sacrum can cause dysfunction in the sacroiliac joint.
Another area you should have checked out is your pelvic floor muscles. Since your pelvic floor muscles are attached to the sacrum, if there is increased tone in them, they can restrict sacral mobility as well. When a muscles has increased tone, it has limited flexibility. The sacrum needs to be able to move forwards and backwards as you bend and straighten. If it gets anchored by tightness in the pelvic floor muscles it’s not going to be able to move as it should and can cause dysfunction in the sacroiliac joint.
I’ve had many clients come to see me with low back pain. In assessing their pelvis there was limited mobility in one side of their sacroiliac joints. When I assessed their pelvic floor muscles, doing an internal exam, I found increased tone on the same time as the sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
There is a way for you to assess your own pelvic floor muscles. Get into a comfortable position leaning up against the headboard of your bed with your knees slightly bent out to the side. If you were to think of your vaginal opening as a clock face (with the clock facing out between your legs) your pelvic floor muscles run from 3 o’clock ( on the left side) to 9 o’clock (on your right side). Insert one of your thumbs into your vagina. Using your left thumb press into the tissues from 9 to 6 o’clock and use your right thumb to check the tissues from 6 to 3 o’clock and see if both sides spring and move equally. Normal tissue has a nice bounce to it. A knot in the tissue will feel hard and have less mobility than the other side. The problem with doing this yourself is you have limited reach with your fingers. Your thumbs only reach so far and the muscles that could be a problem may be beyond your reach. When you encounter a hard area allow your thumb to sink into the tissue, you are not pushing your thumb in. Just allow it to sink into the tissue until it can’t sink in any further and just hold it there. As you hold it you are waiting for it to release or “melt” under your finger. You can try placing your other hand either on your pubic bone, your tailbone or on the same side ischium (your sit bone). Visualize a connection between your two hands and see if the placement of your other hand helps the tissue under your thumb relax. Your goal is to get the harder side tissue to feel the same as the other side. You can also try to massage the pelvic floor muscles between your thumb on the inside and your fingers on the outside. Sometime offering compression between your thumb and fingers can help the tissues to relax.
Doing this self message can help rebalance your pelvic floor muscles and free up your sacrum so your sacroiliac joint can move as it needs to. Getting mobility back into your sacroiliac joint can end your low back pain. If you are not able to get the tissues to soften on your own I encourage you to find a women’s health physical therapist in your area to help you out. Go to www.MoveForwardPT.com and search under women’s health PT’s to find one near you. Internal vaginal work can do a lot of good for not only low back pain but for painful intercourse as well.