#backpainblog, #BACKPAINBLOGUK, backpainbloguk, back pain, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, health, chromic pain, reviews, #fibromyalgia, #health, #hip pain, #lowbackpain, back pain conditions, sciatica

SACROILIAC JOINT DYSFUNCTION & LOW BACK PAIN…

“The most common symptom of sacroiliac joint dysfunction is low back pain with or without buttock pain. Sacroiliac or SI joint pain may spread (radiate) into the groin, hips, back of the thighs, and feet.” writes Spine Universe.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction and pain can be difficult to distinguish from pain originating in the hip joint or lower back which is a bit of a problem for me. Although I was treated with injections for my SI Joint Dysfunction the pain came back and in particular on the right-hand side. Fortunately, my consultant had sent me for a right hip MRI before I had the injections as I had mentioned my right hip was giving me a lot of pain. The MRI showed I have degenerative wear in my hip which is obviously contributing to the pain from SI Joint Dysfunction.

The most common symptom of sacroiliac joint dysfunction is low back pain with or without buttock pain. Sacroiliac, or SI joint pain may spread (radiate) into the groin, hips, back of the thighs, and feet.

Like other types of pain, each patient does not experience the same symptoms. Pain may be described as a minor ache, and the intensity of pain can range from mild to severe. Symptoms may be episodic, infrequent, brought on by everyday activities, or constant (chronic).

Bipolar Radiofrequency Neurotomy (or Radiofrequency Ablation) is a minimally invasive procedure performed to help relieve symptoms related to SI joint dysfunction which is offered if steroid injections helped the pain in the first instance.

The sacroiliac joint is located on either side of the sacrum, which is in the low back and the pelvic areas. The SI joints are a pair of joints that connect the sacrum to the ilium, the large pelvic bone. Unlike other joints in the body, the surfaces of the SI joint are covered in two types of cartilage; one slick and the other spongy. The movement of the SI joint is minimal and results from stretching and is sometimes described as a gliding joint unlike the knee (hinge-type motion) or hip (ball and socket) joints.

Bipolar Radiofrequency Neurotomy is a minimally invasive procedure that disables and prevents specific spinal nerve branches from transmitting pain signals. Bipolar radiofrequency is a modified version of a procedure termed Radiofrequency Therapy (RT), also called Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA), a procedure developed more than 30 years ago. Bipolar radiofrequency is still fairly new, but more pain management specialists are performing this procedure to treat painful sacroiliac joints.

Like its predecessor, bipolar radiofrequency applies a precisely targeted electrical field to create a lesion (change in the body’s tissue)—in this case, in small branches of spinal nerves, rendering them incapable of transmitting pain signals. The difference with the bipolar radiofrequency is that two needles are used to guide the electrical energy in a line between the two needles. This allows the pain specialist to “mold” the location and shape of the lesion to exactly match the SI joint. The applied electrical field can then target these tiny nerves just as they enter the SI joint.

My consultant would like to do this procedure when I feel ready to go ahead with the procedure and explained that for many patients who suffer chronic low back pain, bipolar radiofrequency of the SI joint is an effective treatment that may provide relief for months or longer. Even when the target nerves regenerate (grow back), pain relief may continue. If the patient responded well to the first bipolar radiofrequency, a second may be considered if pain resumes. Of course, each patient is unique and it must be remembered that what works well for one person, may not work well or at all for another. I am definitely going to give this a try as my 8 weeks of pain-free time (from the steroid injections) gave me a taste of what life is like without being in constant pain.

The entire procedure is performed using fluoroscopic guidance. Fluoroscopy is similar to a real-time x-ray and allows the physician to see the patient’s anatomy while guiding and positioning the special radiofrequency needles.

I had a visit from a Physiotherapist before my last procedure who commented that a trochanteric belt, which is a supportive brace that can help with the pain. It is an effective device that is designed to stabilize the pelvis and prevent excessive movement of the SI joint. The terms trochanteric belt, trochanter belt, and sacroiliac belt all mean the same thing and are often used interchangeably. I had already got a lumber support belt after some previous surgery so I decided to give this a try. Unfortunately, I woke up and it had slipped down so I have obviously not got the correct support and I will look into buying another one. The trouble is there are so many different types on Amazon that it is quite hard to decide which one to buy. A trochanteric belt is designed to limit movement of the SI joint in order to reduce painful symptoms.

The SI joint has to move in order for the pelvis to tilt and rotate, but its range of motion is meant to be very limited. Strong ligaments help keep the joint in proper alignment and prevent excessive movement when walking, running, or simply standing. Although these ligaments keep motion in check, they stretch just enough so that the joint can carry out its complex combinations of rotating, sliding or tilting during weight-bearing activities. When the ligaments fail to provide adequate support, destabilization of the SI joint and pelvis can occur. Conditions that can place undue stress on the Si joint and contribute to destabilization can include arthritis, inequality in leg length, sacrum tilted out of normal anatomical position, pregnancy – widening and hypermobility of the SI joint or in my case could have been caused due to all my previous lumbar surgeries.

Most people suffering from SI joint dysfunction find it difficult to remain in one position for any length of time. Pain is generally felt at the base of the spine and is often described as “gripping” or “stabbing.” Difficulty walking or climbing stairs, and pain while lying on one side (especially at night) are common symptoms. I find getting off to sleep extremely painful and uncomfortable and it can disturb my sleep most nights.

For lots more details on SIJ Dysfunction check out the articles on the Spine Universe website.

Source: Spine Universe

#backpainblog, #BACKPAINBLOGUK, backpainbloguk, back pain, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, health, chromic pain, reviews, #fibromyalgia, #health, #hip pain, #lowbackpain, #pain, sciatica, spinal pain, spine

WHICH ARE THE BEST BACK PAIN SUPPORTS FOR SACROILIAC JOINT PAIN?…

Before I had my last procedure for my SIJ arthritis I was seen by a Physiotherapist who advised me to get a sacroiliac support belt and to wear it at night to support my low back and my joints.

I didn’t really think about it until the pain started coming back recently. I looked online but I have found it hard to decide which one to try as there are so many to choose from with prices starting from around £17.49 and going all the way up to £33.98

A trochanteric belt is a supportive brace that can help alleviate pain, reduce inflammation and restore function. This simple, yet effective device is designed to stabilize the pelvis and prevent excessive movement of the SI joint. The terms trochanteric belt, trochanter belt, and sacroiliac belt all mean the same thing and are often used interchangeably.

The SI joints—located on either side of the base of the spine—connect the spine to the pelvis. Were it not for these joints, or SI joint as they are commonly called, you wouldn’t be able to stand or walk. The job of the SI joint is to stabilize the pelvis, as well as serve as a shock absorber between the weight-bearing forces of motion of the lower body and the spine.

The SI joint has to move in order for the pelvis to tilt and rotate, but its range of motion is meant to be very limited. Strong ligaments help keep the joint in proper alignment and prevent excessive movement when walking, running, or simply standing. Although these ligaments keep motion in check, they stretch just enough so that the joint can carry out its complex combinations of rotating, sliding or tilting during weight-bearing activities. When the ligaments fail to provide adequate support, destabilization of the SI joint and pelvis can occur.

Conditions that can place undue stress on the Si joint and contribute to destabilization include:

  • Arthritis – inflammation can cause hypomobility 
  • Inequality in leg length
  • Sacrum tilted out of normal anatomical position
  • Pregnancy – widening and hypermobility of the SI joint

Most people suffering from SI joint dysfunction find it difficult to remain in one position for any length of time. Pain is generally felt at the base of the spine and is often described as “gripping” or “stabbing.” Difficulty walking or climbing stairs, and pain while lying on one side (especially at night) are common symptoms.

The Sacroiliac Belt from Back Pain Help which was the original price of £39.99 is available now for £29.99 – they write “This sacroiliac belt will support your lower back and hips with the back sacroiliac belt. This sacroiliac belt is highly discreet and easy to use, the back sacroiliac joint belt gives maximum support to your hip and pelvic area, helping you to regain natural joint movement and relieve pain.

The Ultimate SI Joint Belt

  • Breathable: hypoallergenic webbing fabric of the sacroiliac belt draws away sweat for coolness and comfort
  • Heat-formed padding: The sacroiliac support belt offers maximum support with minimal pressure on your pelvis
  • High-tension webbing: The si belt compresses the joints to reduce necessary movement and relieves pain
  • Broad straps: The sacroiliac joint belt comfortable and secure
  • Front fastening: The si belt easy to wear and adjust
  • Discreet: lightweight and comfortable enough to wear under or over your clothes

The sacroiliac support belt is specifically designed to support your lower back and hips. You can wear this si belt above the waist. With supporting lower back, this belt also helps to relieve stress. They also have a video showing you how it works.

The Serola Sacroiliac Belt for Back Pain is the same as the one above. This is £33.98 and is from the online company Health & Care with over 300 5 Star Reviews. They write that “the belt can be worn around the lower back either under or on top of your clothes, the Serola Sacroiliac Belt for Back Pain can help to correct the biomechanics of your joints, and is ideal for use in rehabilitation.

The Serola Sacroiliac Belt is suitable for a range of conditions affecting your lower back. This includes:

  • Disc herniation
  • Facet syndrome
  • Hip degeneration
  • Lateral canal stenosis
  • Pubic symphysis dysfunction
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Sciatica

The Serola Belt is designed to hold the sacroiliac joint together, so the likelihood of it opening beyond normal between treatments is greatly reduced. During rehabilitation, the Serola Sacroiliac Belt holds the sacrum to the ilia with the proper tension, so that, during exercises, as you bring the ilia backward, it carries the sacrum with it.

The ligaments are not stressed and the joint remains intact, which is critical for proper rehabilitation. Too much or too little tension will create muscular spasms and inhibition.

They also have a video that shows you how to decide which size to buy. The Serola Sacroiliac Belt has been engineered to provide maximum support and comfort in a low profile and lightweight design. Therefore, the choice to wear the belt under or over clothing is based strictly on your preferences. The belt is just as effective either way.

They also write about wearing it while you are sleeping which was what my physiotherapist advised. “Wearing the Serola Sacroiliac Belt during sleep can enhance comfort and significantly improve the quality of your sleep. If you tend to awake feeling sore and tight, the Serola Belt should help.”

You should wear the Serola Belt while performing any activity that involves bending, lifting or twisting. Wearing the belt while exercising ensures that the sacroiliac joint is protected, minimising the chances of sustaining an injury.

They also go into more details about how long you can wear it, how to wash it, the features and safety precautions.

Finally, another one I picked is priced at £17.49 and is available from Amazon. They write that the “HEERTEE SI joint belt helps stabilize the sacroiliac joint (or “SI joint”) that is hypermobile or inflamed, and reduces pelvic, lower back and/or leg pain (a symptom of sciatica) caused by SI joint dysfunction. We strongly recommend that you wear the HEERTEE SI joint belt day and night for at least two weeks. Do not over tighten the belt.

DUAL ADJUSTMENT AND MAXIMUM COMFORT – The HEERTEE SI joint belt is designed to be worn for long periods of time, which is the key to recovery and pain relief. The wraparound “dual belt” design provides controllable compression and the secondary straps allow you to customize the amount of additional compression needed over specific sore or inflamed areas. The breathable fabrics allow for air and moisture to pass through.

DIAMOND-SHAPED PRESSURE DESIGN – SI brace features a unique double diamond-shaped pressure design to adjust the diamond pressure belt up and down according to the size of your sacrum to get more stable and more fitted. Low-profile and wrap-around design gives you the freedom to wear invisibly all day/night under or over the clothing.

LIGHTWEIGHT AND DURABLE – The perforated neoprene used in the inner belt is lightweight, breathable and pilling resistant. The ribbonfish fabric used in the secondary straps is breathable, elastic and pilling resistant. The anti-slip silicone strips on the inner belt prevents the belt from sliding up and down. You can wear it while doing physical activities but vigorous exercise is discouraged during the recovery period.”

Both these belts look as if they do the same thing so it is quite difficult to decide which one I want to try especially with price differences. I will definitely be trying one for sure and if it helps with my sacroiliac pain I will be delighted and I will definitely write a post on it here.

If any of my readers have tried any of the above then I would love to hear from you to go with my next review after I have given one a try.

Source: Amazon. Health & Care, Back Pain Help Spine Universe

#BACKPAINBLOGUK, backpainbloguk, back pain, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, health, chromic pain, reviews, low back pain, sciatica, sleep positions, sleep sunday

IT’S SLEEP SUNDAY – LET’S TALK ABOUT HOW TO SLEEP WITH SCIATICA…

This week we are concentrating on how to sleep with sciatica with an article written by Handicare -Stairlifts.

Sciatica is a very painful and debilitating condition, impacting mobility and life quality. I know all too well how disruptive it can be. While wheelchairs and UK stairlifts can make tasks such as getting around the house easier, lying down to sleep is another matter. Unfortunately, sciatica pain, which originates in the lower back area and shoots down your leg, can make even the simplest tasks such as sleeping very difficult. In this article, we discuss some tips and advice for how those with sciatica can learn to sleep better so that night-time becomes a little more manageable.

The key to finding a sleeping position that works with sciatica is lying in positions that maintain the natural alignment of your spine. Sleeping on your side is something that many people find to be the most comfortable as it can reduce pain by alleviating the pressure on your sciatic nerve. Try to lie on the side that isn’t affected by your sciatica.

Many people are natural back sleepers, but this should be avoided if possible. Will Harlow, a sciatica specialist from the site, How to Get Rid of Sciatica, explains why: “When people ask me about the best way to sleep with sciatica, I ask if they usually lay flat on their backs. When we sleep laid out flat, this position can lead to a stretching tension on the sciatic nerve. You should know one thing when it comes to sciatica: nerves hate to be stretched!”

If you sleep on your back naturally, utilise a pillow under your knee to reduce the stretch that Will mentions above. If you lie on your side and there is a gap between your waist and the mattress, consider placing a pillow here to prevent your side from bending when you sleep. You can also consider putting a pillow between your knees when you sleep as this will help your spine and pelvis to retain their natural position and reduce rotation. 

In this article on Handicare-Stairlifts I shared my thoughts and tips when it comes to utilising pillows to combat back pain when sleeping: “Even if you have spent a fortune on the best mattress in the world, there’s a good chance you won’t know true comfort until you’ve purchased a pillow specifically targeting your type of pain — whether it’s in your upper back, lower back, neck, shoulders or beyond. It can also depend on if you are a front, side or back sleepers.

Another good tip if you have sciatica or any type of lower back pain is to avoid sleeping on your stomach if you can help it. This is because when you sleep on your stomach, your spine curves towards the mattress which puts pressure on the area that is causing your pain. To prevent yourself from rolling over onto your stomach while you are asleep, you could try using a body pillow. Body pillows encourage a healthy sleeping position, prevent you from rolling on to your stomach, and supports your back and joints.

While a soft bed might be your preference, if you have developed sciatica, it might not be the best idea. A mattress that is firmer could well help make your nights more comfortable as you won’t be sinking into an overly soft mattress that puts your spine out of alignment. So, try and get yourself a medium-firm mattress or consider putting something firmer under your existing mattress, such as plywood. The Sleep Foundation has put together an article about the best mattresses for sciatica if you decide a new mattress is the way to go.

Unfortunately, even when we manage to drift off to sleep, sciatica pain can cause us to wake up in the middle of the night, making it very difficult to go back to sleep again. Instead of lying there thinking about the pain, something you could try is getting out of bed and walking around the house a little. This is the advice of Fornham Chiropractic Clinic who have made a video with some great tips for those struggling to sleep due to sciatica. Speaking in the video, is advice from one of their chiropractors.