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The Hidden Dangers of Untreated Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Updated: Feb 21

In this edition, we will discuss something that people are aware of, but never talk about.  Specifically, hidden dangers of untreated sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Often times, our elder population experiences a lot of trip and fall incidents.  These incidents are the very things that lead our parents and grandparents to use walking aids such as cains, walkers, or wheelchairs.   This can occur at home, in the backyard, in the shower, or even when their out and about. 


However, when you ask these people that experience these things why it happened, they just tell you “Well, I just tripped.”  Some of our elder population have balance problems or issues with mobility, but is that where the explanation ends?  Absolutely not!  If, in fact there are balance problems dealing with the inner ear and your equilibrium, you should visit your Head, Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Throat (HEENT) practitioner.  You can also visit your chiropractor as well to check for upper cervical (neck) problems which may be the cause. 


Today’s topic of concern is going to focus on the sacroiliac joints.  As seen in the diagram below, these joints are located between the wing-like ilium on either side of your pelvis to the sacrum in the center and provide the link which holds your legs to your body.

sacroiliac joint lateral to the sacrum


 These joints are of particular importance because they have a very unique job.  There is one on either side of your pelvis and they are the gateway to the feet.  They are responsible for distributing your bodyweight from your upper body above the belt all the way down to your feet.  Likewise, they are also responsible for maintaining balance of the spine above the belt as well.  One should never build a house on a foundation of sand.  When your “foundation” which is what your sacroiliac joints represent, are out of balance, this causes a cascade or zig-zag effect on the spine from your lower back all the way up to your neck as a result of compensation for the imbalance of the sacroiliac joints down below. 


The reason why we call this the Silent Killer no one talks about is because something that presumably causes no pain at all can end up potentially causing you to end up using an assisted device when it was not necessary at all if you had only managed your spine properly over time.  When your teeth are not managed properly, they “fall out” and you end up with expensive implants and bridges in your mouth.  When the “sacroiliac joints” are ignored, they become rigid and immobile and may not have any symptom of pain.  This can occur with lack of exercise, a previous auto accident which was left untreated, or even from sleeping incorrectly.  Relying on the lack of a symptom to bring you in for treatment leads to a dangerous situation resulting in risk of serious injury such as a hip fracture or a blood clot.  Hip fractures are often the result of an elder trip and fall injury due to weakness or osteoporosis of the hip socket and exposure to sudden trauma from stumbles caused by immobility of the sacroiliac joints.  Additional information about hip fractures and associated mortality rates can be further reviewed by following the link below: 




types of hip fractures

For some people, they may have already experienced an injury which has resulted in a hip replacement which has affected their gait.  These individuals should get additional treatment through their physical therapist or chiropractor to help them manage any changes in their gait which can result in an unnecessary fall. 


Visiting a chiropractor is very important as we are the only licensed profession that is allowed to manipulation the joints.   Restoring function to the sacroiliac joints is generally a non-painful procedure, but makes a huge impact on the overall function and well-being of our population.  Mobility is one of the keys to longevity as we age, as without it, exercising for the heart can become a challenge.   Mental and emotional stability can hinge upon our ability to remain mobile. 


The remedy to avoid this risk involves visiting your chiropractor to assess your sacroiliac joints for mobility issues.  The first thing your chiropractor should do is to take an x-ray of your pelvis to identify any genetic risks or fusions that could be contributing to your walking or gait issues.  A review of the x-ray with the patient involves education about proper sleeping ergonomics and proper exercise which helps to maintain proper alignment of the sacroiliac joints which helps to avoid the silent killer we are talking about here. 


Dr. Lewis at MedSpine uses a non-painful unique approach to correction of these joints without having to twist your body in a pretzel like position to achieve balance.  He also reviews your x-rays with you on the same day you come to the office to educate you on how to address the ergonomic issues that caused your problem in the first place.  Custom designed supervised exercises are assigned to help maintain your healthy gait.  A Nurse practitioner is also present to assist patients with painful issues for rapid relief.  It is not necessary for you to drive to Las Vegas to receive qualified care in Pahrump. 


If you or someone you love has non-painful issues with their mobility, call Dr. Lewis at MedSpine now to schedule an appointment before unnecessary issues develop.  We are available Monday through Thursday from 7:30AM – 5:30PM and are here locally for your convenience in the Meadows Bank Plaza at 3250 S. Hwy 160, Suite 7.  The following insurances are currently accepted:  Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Aetna, United Health, and Ambetter/Silver Summit.  Subject to verification and eligibility.


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