Pain-free Living Blog with Julie Donnelly

Sacroiliac Joint Pain – SI Joint Won’t Hold An Adjustment

by Julie Donnelly – The Pain-Relief Expert

Sacroiliac Joint Pain Cause:

I received a call from a client who was distressed because her son has had terrible sacroiliac joint pain (SI Joint) that refuses to hold a chiropractic adjustment. He’s had it for several years and it’s turning his life into a nightmare because he can’t do any of the sports that he enjoys, and he doesn’t see an end to his pain.

sacroiliac joint pain caused by misalignment of sacrum and ilium bones

The sacroiliac joint is the point where the sacrum (shown on left in white at the bottom of the spine) and the ilium (shown on left in red) join together (area in yellow circle in photo on left).  When the muscles that surround the joint are either too tight (in spasm) or too loose, or if you have an accident, the joint can be pulled out of alignment. This misalignment will cause pain in the immediate area, and also cause symptoms that are similar to low back pain &/or sciatica.

Visualize the overlapping area moving in a manner that will separate the two bones and you can imagine how this will not only strain the sacroiliac joint, but will also cause a misalignment for your hip joint, and the pubic joint.

You will feel this as low back pain, SI joint pain, hip pain, or groin pain.  It will also refer down your leg and could potentially go past your knee and into your foot.


The problem with adjustments that don’t hold, whether it’s an adjustment for the sacroiliac  joint pain, sciatica, back pain, shoulder pain, or anything else, is that the muscles that are pulling the bones out of alignment aren’t being released prior to the adjustment.

Think of it this way, if you had a length of line with a stick tied in the middle, and then you pulled one side of the line to tug the stick in that direction, you couldn’t move the stick back to the middle until you released the pull on the line. This is exactly what is happening here, the muscle is pulling on the joint, the chiropractor (or other healthcare practitioner) is pushing the joint back into place, but the tight muscle is just pulling it right back out again. This can go on and on, and until the tension is released in the muscle, it’s not going to go back into place and stay there.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain Treatment:

2004-01-01 00.00.00The first step in the treatment is to take a ball, such as the Julstro Perfect Ball, and put it directly on your sacroiliac joint.

Ease your body down onto the ball gently. It’s important to always stay in the “hurts so good” level, it should be “uncomfortable” but not sharp pain.  If you feel sharp pain, move the ball to a spot nearby, but not directly on the joint.

Keep moving the ball around the entire area to release the tension in all of the muscles.  Stay on each point for about 30 seconds.

When you have released the painful points and it doesn’t feel like you’re accomplishing anything anymore, put the ball directly on your SI  joint and bring your same-side leg up, resting your lower leg on the thigh of your opposite leg.  It will be the same movement as crossing your leg if you were sitting in a chair.  Your intention is to add an additional stretch to the muscles that surround your sacroiliac joint.


This treatment may take several times before the muscles totally relax and your SI joint is no longer being pulled out of alignment.  This is the best time to see your chiropractor as you’ll be able to get an adjustment that will last.  You may even find that releasing the tension in the muscles will allow the joint to move back into alignment by itself.

Wishing you well,

Posted by Julie Donnelly in Julie's Notes and tagged , , , , .


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