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Anyone had Chiro to treat SI Joint Dysfunction?

LA_runner_chickLLA_runner_chick Posts: 91
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Problems
I've been having SI joint pain, on and off, for about 5 years. Over the past year it started to get worse -- saw an ortho guy who sent me to a pain management guy. I happen to have a couple of chiros as friends.
I had an SI joint block, which did wonders for the pain, but did not treat the underlying anatomical problem. The joint feels like it's stuck, like it needs to be cracked -- possibly due to having one leg slightly longer, pelvis problems, whatever.

My ortho guy said Oh yeah, I know a chiro who can fix it right up. However, the pain management dr. was hesitant -- actually, no, he didn't really want me to see a chiro. Says SI Joint dysfunction is a degenerative condition, like arthritis, and forceful manipulations can hurt the joint.

Of course the chiros are telling me they can fix it.

Anyone out there had experience with chiros?

Ha ha, sadly, I realize it's just us sickos who are on this board. All of the people who've had great luck and are all healed up probably don't post, but still, I'd love to hear your stories.


  • Personally, i would find a good physical therapist and stay away from the chiros. A PT is trained to help you with the profound muscle dysfunction that accompanies SI problems. A chiro will only crack your back or use some worthless device such as an "activator". This is a 30 second treatment for which you will pay $50 minimum. I had 30 + sessions with chiros and felt it was a giant rip-off.
  • Hi, I've had low back pain for almost three years but it was not until last June that I was told by the chiropractor that I had SI joints which were jammed which were causing the piriformis syndrome. I didn't have a fluoroscopic injection guided by X ray which is the gold standard for diagnosing SI joint dysfunction. I was seeing the same chiro for four months while he tried to manipulate my SI joints, but I had temporary relief at best. Also had ultrasound on the joints which actually increased the pain, suggesting that I had sacroilitis. My SI joint pain gets worse with my menstruation and the ultrasound at that time cause a lot of pain! So, for me chiropractic care did NOT help. I'm now seeing another chirpractor at the same clinic for acupuncture treatment for sciatica. I've had two treatments but only feel good for a day or so.
    Hope this helps.
  • I actually have worked for chiropractors for 8 years. Well, I did until my SI and back screwed up and I had to quit working. Ya know, a bad back looks real bad for business. I can tell you this. I have worked for several chiros. They are all different. I never had these issues until I was in a minor car accident. I was just stiff and sore for most of the time. A few months later I developed a nagging pain in my left hip and SI that bothered me mainly when trying to sleep. I was still under care with my boss/chiro and getting adjusted 1-2x a week. The pain slowly became worse and worse until it was unbearable. Of course he just wanted to keep adjusting me saying he could fix it. I finally shied away bc it would hurt me so bad and never help. That was in January 2011. I was desperate and even saw another chiro behind my bosses back. He said chiro couldn't help me. So that was that. My boss was not happy about me not being adjusted but I didn't care much. I did but I was in hell! I cried at work bc he pain and was sent home a few times bc I couldn't get out of a chair without pain. Long story short - its been a year this month that I've been trying to get fixed - to no avail. I even had back surgery last year. I'm worse. Today I find out that my left SI joint is so screwed up and thats what's been wrong this whole time - but no one has listened to me. I was told I'm going to have to have a fusion in that si joint. The last words from my doc, "don't go back to the chiropractor." My husband wishes I'd never worked for them. He thinks that I'd be healthy today if it weren't for chiros. I don't want to agree...but I can't help but see that. The choice is ultimately yours. I'd advise against it because of what I'm going through. Just do your research and know you could end up just like me. God bless!!! :)
  • At first I thought chiro's were miracle workers. I first attended bent up and doubled in agony with back pain and came out walking upright. I thought it was terrific. However, after many sessions I developed agonising sciatic pain and couldn't attend any more because of it.

    For some people, I know, chiropracty works just fine. However, I would now always advise caution because anything that causes you pain or discomfort in your back should be avoided - in my opinion.

    I can't say if the chiro sessions had a direct result in me needing fusion surgery in 2010, but I have my suspicions.

    IF IT HURTS YOUR BACK, DON'T DO IT. That's what a consultant orthopaedic surgeon told me years ago. If you're getting chiro for other areas and it makes the pain worse, I'd leave well alone.

    Obviously my experience with chiro's wasn't good, but I'm sure there are people who swear by them!
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Your situation sounds like mine. The feeling of being stuck and just wanting it to become unstuck!!! I went to a chiropractor over 50 times years ago on the advice of my physiatrist. He tried A LOT of different techniques but nothing worked. When I've looked up treatments for SI Joint seeing a Chiropractor is on the list. I've been in pain for over five years!!! It's VERY frustrating!!!
  • Runnerchic, I saw your post a few days back in the chronic pain area and when I saw this post I felt I ought to share some info with you as well.

    Concerning the chiropractor, myself, I went through about 12 years of chiropractic care, off and on, some maintenance and some for flare ups. In the beginning, I think it helped since I had numbness and tingling goinng down my left leg, after several weeks it cleared out.

    However, you mentioned in one of your posts, you have been diagnosed with a pars defect, I think l5, that is the same as mine. It took me a long time to really understand what that is and what provokes it.
    Because I was getting chiro up til about October of last year, then I realized it's only offering a temporary relief but a prolonged discomfort.

    I'm not a doctor and I'm not saying chiropractors are bad but I do shed some light for you on this diagnosis and chiro care.

    A pars defect, is a fracture in the little bones in the back of the vertebrae, you have had it a long time, so have I. It poorly healed itself, with some bone, cartilage, soft tissue, but not the same as the original bone. By you going to the chiro, and manipulating force in the l5 area, you will continuously reaggrivate, retear that soft tissue that is trying to poorly heal itself.

    If you continue to go to a chiro, that's cool, but don't let him a her touch your lumbar area. The damage is done, you don't have the MECHANICAL STABILITY, in that area anymore, and that is why you feel your SI joint discomfort. I know because for years my left SI joint was the area that would flare up, and everytime I went in, the adjustment wouldn't hold because of the pars defect, so he'd re adjust my sacrum, felt good for a day or two but it would work it's way right back to where it was. As my doctor has explained, you have to maintain a "flatback" program for this disorder.
  • Hey Cactusred!
    Yup, sounds like we're on the same path, in many respects.
    I asked about chiro before I learned I have a pars defect. I'm still having some pain in my SI joint, and this is due purely to mechanics, rather than structural reasons (or maybe a little of both). I'm going to see a chiro next week who does blocking and a little electrostim -- not going to take the chance on having someone crack me and crack my backcrack even more.

    Keep me posted on your own progress.
  • LA runner chick

    I just saw your latest post and hope I can help a little bit. I am a sports chiropractor who worked at a high level sports medicine clinic in Canada and also have attended 2 years of medical school. My speciality is sports related injury.

    Let me begin by saying I cannot necessarily advocate chiropractic or any specific treatment for you because you don't seem to have been given a very good diagnosis.

    Pain can be caused by many things and a treatment is only as good as the diagnosis. Obviously I can't diagnose you through messaging but I can hopefully guide you a bit.

    1) As a runner, if you have chronic pain you may have developed a chronic inflammation in one of the ligaments that support the SI joint. This can be evaluated by a very experienced manual therapist or sports doctor and in rare cases can be confirmed with a soft tissue ultrasound (only with a good technician however). This can often be treated with specific strengthening exercises and some soft tissue treatments to release loads on the ligaments.

    2) Runners can often develop some instability in the joint from chronic strain. If this is the case you can try wearing a "pregnancy belt" to give some support when you run (just as a diagnostic tool). You can get one at a drug store and wear it with only light pressure and if it helps during your run that may help give you a diagnosis of instability. If this is the case chiropractic is NOT you option and you may need stabilizing exercises or to see a sports doctor or physiatrist who can do "injections" to stabilize the joint. Don't get too freaked out by that because it is pretty rare for it to get that bad

    3) You definitely, absolutely need a running, gait analysis with a physio, chiro or therapist who looks at and treats a ton of runners. There is an aPP on an iPad that is free that can give you (sportcam) awesome feedback. Almost certainly there is some biomechanical change that can help. Additionally, you may need someone to look at the wear pattern on your shoes and make sure you are in the right kind of shoe.

    4) It is most likely that this is a soft tissue injury (muscle or ligament) stemming from something that can be corrected with observation of your running habits. My best advice is don't look for a miracle cure. Get a good diagnosis and remember that if a treatment seems to good to be true it probably is.
  • cs1234ccs1234 Posts: 1
    edited 06/08/2013 - 3:43 AM
    I been suffering with Back pain since 3 years which is caused by lifting weights and my back twisted very badly.
    had consulted chiro, physio, chiro, neurologists, deep tissue massage..but nothing worked. finally I found on my own that I have SI joint issue, and doing the following exercises.. feeling lil better.

    Link removed, not permitted.Please read the Forum rules
    Post Edited by The Spine-Health Moderator Team

  • I have seen 3 different PTs approx 5 years apart.

    The first was really good at getting me back in place. She would do it a few times a wk after heat and massage. As soon as I got in the car to leave, lifting my leg to get it in, it would "pop " out.

    The next time 5 yrs later, PT guy, phy rehab hosp., popped out as soon as I walked up the stairs to get tp parking lot.

    Then lastly at Physical Therapy. I would get muscle and facia release. As soon as I got off the table it would go back out of place. That was with insert in my shoe to level illiums out. It happened so easily they called me at the end of my prescribed visits and told me that they didnt feel right charging me because my visits were ineffective and a waste of my time.

    I have always appreciated that honesty and wont be doing any of that again.

    Well...except the massage. : )
  • Firstly ensure you are aligned- check out youtube. Not saying it will work but try the backchamp or at least do the exercises you would do using a backchamp. Strengthening is the key. It won't fix it but it will make it less disruptive in your life. Daily routine of aligning, strengthening and management.
  • katanaramkkatanaram Posts: 1
    edited 01/12/2015 - 7:51 PM
    I was diagnosed with SI joint dysfunction after hurting my hips and right leg from excessive training (running on a tradmill) for a half marathon in Dec 2011. After multiple PT, CHIRO and Massage therapy sessions, I decided to live with an acceptable level of pain in 2012 :-) I could no longer run more than 6.21 miles (10km) and was always running in pain on right side of leg until my daily pain level became unbearable in November 2014.

    I decided to accept my severity of my condition and decided to start addressing the root cause of problem using the following steps:
    1) Stop running for at least 10 weeks
    2) Do every recommended SI joint strengthening exercises (PLANK, BRIDGE, CLAMSHELL etc.) at least 5 times every week
    3) Do every recommended stretch routine after completing my strengthening exercise routine.
    4) Get CHIRO, MASSAGE THERAPY and ACCUPUNCTURE therapy 2 times every week for at least 10 weeks

    Warning: Recommendations given by members should never be considered as formal medical advice. There is no one on this forum, site that is medically qualified to provide such information. Anything from members is based solely on their own personal experiences. What may be good for one person could be tragic for another - Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator 01/13/15

    I am glad to say that, I have seen tremendous improvement with my SI joint dysfunction condition after following the 4 steps above for last 10 weeks. The best part of our human body is we can feel every bit of improvement in health when it gets better:-) My SI joint on my right side feels so much stronger now and I can feel it even while doing every strengthening exercise especially the bridge one. I would say y right SI joint is almost 80-85% back to normal now. In fact, I started running from last week and I just finished the strongest 2 mile run last weekend after more than 3 years since my running injury.

    I am hoping that my SI joint condition will improve continuously and I can get back to my old pain free running of 9-10 mile runs in next few months. I will keep everyone posted about my progress.

    Keep sharing the learning's and best known known treatments for SI joint dysfunction going on this thread.
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