Recently a lady who visited my chiropractic office for an evaluation of her lower back pain asked me: “Are my hips twisted?” She had an awareness that her weight was not being distributed evenly on both legs. She felt like she was bearing more weight on one side than the other. Her massage therapist and the tailor, who hemmed her dresses and skirts, said one of her hips was higher than the other. My patient wondered if her lower back pain was due to a mechanical alignment problem of her hips and pelvis.
Many times, a person’s pelvis can become misaligned and cause pain in a joint of the pelvis called the sacroiliac joint (SI joint). This condition can be helped with safe, gentle chiropractic care. This article will discuss pelvic alignment, sacroiliac joint pain and correction of SI joint conditions with chiropractic treatment. It will also introduce research showing that correct anatomical alignment of the pelvis can be improved with chiropractic adjustments.
Let’s start by explaining the anatomy of the pelvis and the sacroiliac joints. There is not one large bone making up the pelvic area of our body. This area, is in fact, made up of three separate bones. They are the two outer wing bones, called the iliac bones, and one central tailbone, called the sacrum. Between the iliac bones and the sacrum are the sacroiliac joints. The SI joints are gliding joints. When we walk they glide back-and-forth.
The tops of the iliac bones, which are called the iliac crests, ideally should be level to be in correct anatomical alignment. If one appears higher than the other, it usually indicates a mechanical misalignment of the pelvis. This malalignment puts stress on the sacroiliac joints which can result in pain. The pain is usually located to the side of the spine, in the area of the hip pocket of one’s pants. If a person’s pain is centrally located in the lower back it is usually not coming from the sacroiliac joint but the lower spine.
If there is a misalignment of the pelvis and the sacroiliac joints, chiropractors perform treatment to correct the condition by utilizing a chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractic adjustments are very safe, gentle and will reposition a malalignment of the bones. Most patients who go to chiropractors find that having a chiropractic adjustment is a pleasant experience because it corrects the mechanical misalignment.
A research study in December 2020, showed that chiropractic adjustments of the sacroiliac joints resulted in measurable changes of pelvic alignment. Correcting anatomical misalignments of the pelvis can be very helpful in improving lower back pain attributed to an SI joint problem.
When my patient wondered if her hips were twisted, I told her yes, and it was causing irritation of her pelvic sacroiliac joint and creating her painful lower back condition. I’m happy to report that once her hips and pelvis were in alignment, she was able to obtain sacroiliac joint pain relief.