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Few people escape back pain and discomfort from the various musculo-skeletal problems evident in modern day living. Many of these problems result from pelvic misalignment.
The pelvis is the very foundation of the skeletal system. The pelvis and spine form one basic central structure. Any strain which occurs in this structure will peak in the weakest area- commonly the lower lumbar sprain. Pelvic misalignment will cause both ascending and descending dysfunctions- upwards through the spinal column (causing strain on spinal vertebrae segments in the lower, middle and upper back, and also affecting neck, shoulders and arms), and downwards, through the legs (affecting knees, ankles and feet).
Dysfunction of the pelvic joints is often misdiagnosed as the symptoms resemble those of disc conditions (disc bulge, slipped disc), lumbago or sciatica (pain in back of thigh). Symptoms of pelvic dysfunction may include any or all of the following:
- Acute pain overlying the back of the pelvis on one or both sides (may be sharp or a deep, achy, bony pain)
- Generalised pain across the belt line and the low back
- Pain into the buttock's
- Pain down the back or outside part of thigh
- Pain into the coccyx (tailbone), groin and sometimes the genital area
- Pain into the hip and/or knee pain
- Painful periods in women
- Difficulty standing up and/or straightening after sitting, especially when getting out of a car
- Difficulty bending forward without supporting body weight on one or both thighs with hands
There are many different causes of pelvic dysfunction. Falling onto your bottom or hip, lifting heavy loads, repetitive strain injuries in some occupations and sports, to name a few. By far the most common cause in my experience is prolonged sitting. Unfortunately, in today's society, for many people, that is all that they are doing, sitting in the car, at the office, in front of the TV etc.
Long term pelvic dysfunction is a result of ignoring the problem or in many cases just covering up the symptoms with analgesics or anti-inflammatories. The long term effects of SI dysfunction are:
- Chronic misalignment of the pelvis and spine causing a wide variety of symptoms in pelvis, buttock, hip, knee, low and middle back, headaches etc.
- Premature degenerative changes in spine, hip and knees due to faulty mechanics.
- Muscle imbalances leading to limited and faulty movement in hip, low back and knee joints.
- Muscle atrophy (weakening) on one side and over development on the other may be coupled with a scoliosis (sideways curvature of the spine) and with a pelvic tilt resulting in a seeming shortening of one leg. Over time the entire spine is affected.
- PAIN, PAIN, PAIN - in back, hip joint, knee joints and related muscles.
The goal of treating pelvic subluxations is to restore a normal relationship between the different components of the entire pelvic girdle. This involves restoration of normal movement of the joints, balancing any muscle imbalances in the lower back, gluteas and leg area and finally exercise prescription to increase flexibility and strengthen relevant muscle groups to maintain normal alignment and movement.
Pelvic problems are not a pleasant experience but the good news is that they respond extremely well to chiropractic treatment. Usually only a few adjustments are needed to eliminate the symptoms. However, ongoing regular care is recommended in order to completely correct the problem and reduces chances of secondary problems. We highlight the need for you to become more active given that it has been shown that regular exercise strengthens the spine and the pelvis, thus reducing the chances of re-injury.
Studies done in many different countries, and by several medical and governmental bodies show that chiropractic care is superior in the treatment of neck, back and pelvic problems. So if you or somebody you know suffers from back problems of any sort, don't delay, go and see a chiropractor for an assessment of your problem.
For additional information please call Three Lamps Chiropractic on 09 378 0069.
BSc. M. Chiropractic MNZCA