Thursday, February 21, 2013

SI Joint Flare-up or SIJD

I don't know if it's from this lousy weather we're having or if it's something I did, but 2 days ago, I had an awful flare-up.  It started with my ribs (costochondritis) and from there settled in the Sacroiliac Joint.  I spent the whole day and night, yesterday, doing my stretches, trying to get my pelvis back into place.  Because my SI joint is so loose, I never can tell where the pelvis is situated to get it back where it should be.  It was excruciating, to the point of screaming!  I couldn't stand up, let alone walk.  

I did some research, and found something that was never discussed by either my doctor or my physical therapist.  A tight psoas muscle can cause most of the problems I've been dealing with.

Psoas Muscle

 Pain and Symptoms Associated with the Psoas Muscle?
  • Low back pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Groin pain
  • Leg pain
  • Pelvic pain
The psoas (pronounced “so – az”) primarily flexes the hip and the spinal column. At about 16 inches long on the average, it is one of the largest and thickest muscles of the body. It is the only muscle attaching the spine to the leg, as it spans from the stomach to upper thigh.

The psoas is the core muscle of the body, maintaining fluid motion while walking. Functioning as a hip and thigh flexor is what makes the Psoas a major walking muscle. If the legs are stationary the action of it is a bend of the spine forward; if sitting, it stabilizes and balances the trunk. The lower psoas brings the spine forward and downward to create a pelvic tilt.

When the muscle becomes contracted due to injuries, poor posture, prolonged sitting, or stress, it can alter the biomechanics of the pelvis and spine. It can torque your spine to the right or left, pull it forward and twist the pelvis into various distortions. Frequently one psoas will shorten and pull the spine and/or pelvis to your dominant side. The distortions of the spine and pelvis can also show up as a short or long leg. This all results in scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis, trigger points, and spasms in back  muscles trying to resist the pulling of the psoas.

Typically a dysfunctional psoas is responsible for referred pain down the front of the thigh and vertically along the lower to mid spinal column. Trigger points (taught bands of muscle that can refer pain to various parts of the body) are found above the path of the psoas on the abdomen. The Psoas muscles lie under the intestines but are accessible for massage. Trigger points throughout the muscles need to be released and the muscles soften and elongated by stretching to reduce pain and symptoms.

Some basic psoas information: 

  • The psoas causes low back pain, sacroiliac pain, sciatica, disc problems, scoliosis, hip degeneration and knee pain
  • Unresolved trauma can keep the psoas short and reactive
  • The psoas (pronounced "so - az") primarily flexes the hip and the spinal column
  • The psoas functions as a hip and thigh flexor, which makes it the major walking muscle
  • The psoas can torque your spine to the right or left, pull it forward and twist the pelvis into various distortions
  • When the psoas is stuck in contraction stretches or strengthening can tighten the muscle even more
  • The psoas is part of a group of muscles effecting the back and hips that include: iliacus, iliopsoas, psoas minor and quadratus lumborum
  • The psoas is a major part of your body's defensive physiology which responds to danger with flight, fight or freeze.

  • Here are some stretches to release this psaos muscle:

    These stretches, added to the ones I've been doing for the SI Joint Dysfunction, really helped.  I can now stand again, and walk (not for long periods, yet).  I may also consider going in for another Radio Frequency Ablation.  I had this done 3 yrs ago, where they deaden the nerves.  It usually only lasts about 2 yrs, so I guess, I am probably due again.  

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