Most people think that chiropractic care only focuses on treating back pain with adjustments to the spine. In fact, chiropractors treat an entire array of chronic and acute conditions and will perform adjustments to almost any point on the body. Chiropractic care is concerned with the joints, and surrounding ligaments and tendons, of the entire body. The pelvis and surrounding joints and structures are perhaps one of the most overlooked areas that chiropractors treat. Dr. Nathen Horst may perform a pelvic adjustment for any one of a number of conditions, ranging from lower back or buttock pain, to menstrual problems or discomfort from pregnancy for women, to lack of mobility for the lower back.
Sacroiliac Joint of the Spine
The sacroiliac joints of the spinal column are adjacent to the point at which the lower back (lumbar region) meets the tailbone. They connect the sacral bones at the actual base of the spine to the “wings” of the pelvis. The sacroiliac joints are crucial in that they transmit all the force of the upper body to the hips and legs and act as a shock absorber.
Due to bad posture or sedentary lifestyles, it is not unusual for many patients to seek out chiropractic care with a complaint of lower back or buttock pain. This can come from repeated compression of the lumbar and sacrum against the pelvis, due to a lack of mobility or holding the lower back in an incorrect position. This is perhaps the most common reason why Dr. Horst might perform an adjustment to the pelvis. In other cases, stiffness of the sacroiliac joints can lead to pain that radiates down the back of the leg, feeling very much like sciatica. Patients may actually complain of pain at some distance away from the sacroiliac joint, even though that may be the root cause of the problem.
Pelvic Pain during Pregnancy
Pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester, can put a great deal of stress on the joints, tendons, and ligaments supporting the pelvis. As a woman’s body is preparing for pregnancy, it secretes hormones that make the ligaments, cartilage, and tissue more flexible in order to help ease with childbirth. Unfortunately, these structures may get too flexible, resulting in pain in the lower back, sacroiliac joints, and pelvis. As many as one-third of pregnant women may experience this. Symptoms often include abdominal, lower back, and pelvic pain. In some cases, this pain may also shoot down the back of the leg. Women may also have a waddling gait and a swollen pelvic region.
Chiropractic Pelvic Adjustments
An adjustment to the sacroiliac joints will shift the lower spine and pelvis back into proper alignment. This will relieve pressure on the nerves leading to the joints, as well as open up the spaces between the joints to reduce pain and pressure on the lower back, pelvis, and buttocks. Dr. Horst recommends that patients have regular chiropractic adjustments to help the lower back and sacroiliac joints hold in their proper position for as long as possible. This will help reduce the recurrence of pain and stiffness in the pelvic region.