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SI joint pain
runner180 posted:
I have had gradually worsening SI Joint pain over the last year and now it is getting very painful so that it limits motion. Both my MD and my Chiropractor agree that it is indeed an inflamed SI joint, but treatment options seem very limited. Would a muscle relaxer help in this situation?
Diagnostician responded:
Muscle relaxants are muscle relaxants. The SI joint is not a muscle. But, there are muscles adjacent to the area that can go into "spasm" and become part of the pain cycle. These muscles are essentially splinting the area to avoid any movement in the painful joint. So the answer to your question is not so easy. Yes, these meds may help for temporary relief of some pain by relaxing painful muscle spasms, a symptom of the problem (not the cause). On the other hand, maybe the muscles were providing some sort of function by "splinting" the SI joint to avoid further exacerbation of the problem. Often if one SI joint is painful most likely caused by hypermobility or misalignment, the opposite SI joint is immobile (or stuck). A physical therapist is your practitioner of choice to determine SI joint mobility and movement impairment diagnoses such as yours then treat the cause of the problem rather than the symptom. Find a PT at the American Physical Therapy Association website to get an examination aimed at a movement impairment diagnosis that drives the specific treatment plan targeted at the cause of your problem rather than the symptom. 49 states now allow direct access to a PT without a MD referral. Good luck!
runner180 replied to Diagnostician's response:
Thank you for responding. I have been getting some massage therapy from my Chiropractor's staff, and during the course of the session she was working on the affected side but when she switched over the unaffected SI joint I about jumped out of the bed in pain. No pain on a daily basis on that side, but tremendous pain as she worked on it. Perhaps you've hit on the answer to my problem.

Thanks again for your help.
Diagnostician replied to runner180's response:
If the SI joint is inflamed, that describes the condition and massage will make it feel better. But it does not get at the root or cause of your SI inflammation or prevent it from worsening over time.
I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy candidate and have practiced physical therapy 19 years. Physical Therapists are specifically trained to first examine the patient to determine a differential diagnosis which is a medical screening and review of systems to determine if the patient has co-morbid medical condition that necessitates medical referral. The physical therapist will determine a non patho-anatomic "Movement Impairment Diagnosis" that directs the planned physical therapy interventions. Physical Therapists are trained in a unique body of knowledge related to movement science on a macro-biological level as opposed to a micro-biological level that allows only a physical therapist to make such a diagnosis based on the cause of the condition rather than describe and treat the symptoms of the condition. This unique training and expertise makes the physical therapist the practitioner of choice for all movement related disorders or "Movement Impairment Diagnoses".
In 49 states, you can directly consult with a physical therapist prior to physician intervention and without a referral from a physician. I encourage you to visit the American Physical Therapy Association web site to locate a physical therapist in your local area.
You can directly dialogue with me in the contact me tab at the following blog if that is preferred:[br> [br>

Educ8Me replied to Diagnostician's response:
I have been suffering from what I believe to be SI Joint pain but was told that it was piriformis syndrome. I have just started follow up appointments and requested an MRI. Last night, I took a muscle relaxer and it seemed to relieve some pain. However, when I took one during the day, it became much more painful than usual. I immediately thought, bad idea!! The muscles must be protecting the area that is the source of the problem. Personally, I will not do that again, ever, unless at night.

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