Many people suffer from lower back pain. They seek pain relief from various healthcare providers such as PCPs, orthopedic specialists, chiropractors and physical therapists. A multitude of factors can cause pain of the back. The pelvis is one area of the human body that can be the cause of a back pain condition. This article will discuss the pelvis and how it may relate to back conditions.
The pelvis is at the base of the spinal column. It is not one solid bone but, is made up of three separate bones. The two bones on either side are called the iliac bones (they are the “wings” of the pelvis). The bone in the center is called the sacrum (this is the tailbone). Between both sides of the sacrum and the iliac bones are two large joints called the sacroiliac joints. The sacroiliac iliac joints are gliding type joints– for instance they glide back and forth when we walk. The pubic joint is in the front of the pelvis. The pelvis and the thigh bones, called the femurs, form the ball and socket joints of our hips.
Many muscles attach to different areas of the pelvis. The abdominal muscles, the buttock and gluteal muscles, the thigh muscles and the hamstrings all originate or insert into the pelvic bones.
If the pelvic bones become misaligned, or if there is improper movement of the joints, problems can occur. Pain can arise from the joints between the top of the sacrum and the lower spine. Discomfort can also occur from affected sacroiliac joints. The hip joints can also be involved.
Any altered mechanical movement patterns of these joints can cause pain and dysfunction. For instance, it is very common for women during and just after pregnancy to experience lower back discomfort. Athletes may find they have back problems with the exertion of their sports. Anyone doing physical construction, landscaping or service work may be hindered due to pain. Even office workers may find they cannot sit required long hours comfortably.
If a person has a pelvic imbalance and altered movement pattern, they may carry more weight on one lower extremity versus the other. Left unattended over many years this could lead to degeneration of the hip and/or knee joint which might require surgical replacement with an artificial hip or knee.
Doctors of chiropractic are healthcare practitioners that specialize in diagnosing structural misalignments, imbalances and faulty and improper movement of the joints associated with the pelvis. Chiropractors can perform a treatment called manipulation which can realign the pelvis, so the patient is bearing weight evenly on both lower extremities. A chiropractic manipulation can also restore proper movement to the joints of the pelvis and hips. This will bring pain relief that may be occurring in the back, pelvis and hips.
The chiropractic profession has been helping patients suffering from these types of musculoskeletal conditions with conservative treatment to relieve pain and resume their normal activities for 125 years.