Depth Discussion of Sacra-iliac Joint and How It Gets Over Stretched and What Ligaments Are
And how the Sacra-iliac ligament relates to lower back pain.
So we are going to discuss the ligaments and quickly put them in the context of the sacroiliac joint and the sacroiliac ligament which is the one that is probably the cause of at least of 50% of peoples’ back pain. The sacroiliac joint itself is the center of people’s lower back pain because it’s basically the main cause.
So lets talk about the sacroiliac joint and what it’s supposed to be kind of doing then what happens when the wrong action in our life or almost more commonly the wrong yoga poses that are given with the wrong adjustments, how that affects the sacroiliac ligaments and the sacroiliac joint and how that causes back pain for us in our lives.
Now, the sacroiliac joint is where the sacrum meets the ilium and if you ever seen the dimples on a person’s lower back, the two dimples side by side to each other at the lower back is exactly the sacroiliac joint right there, those two dimples are the exact location and it’s where the sacrum meets the ilium. It’s the only place on the body where the lower extremity bones are attached to the trunk bones and the rest of the attachments of the lower extremity to the upper extremity comes from muscular attachment. This is a ligament that’s an attachment, this is a bone on bone attachment and what ligaments are, they are very strong, tenderness–ligaments and tendons are made from the same material.
Their difference is that ligaments do not really contain blood vessels so because ligaments are what are known as avascular, they are not able to heal very quickly relative to the other things in out body which do have access to blood vessels and so, thus can receive nutrients and eliminate waste.
Now, the best analogy for a ligament is a slinky, a pleated type of slinky. It is a good analogy though because slinky, when you pull it apart it will come back together, you can pull it apart and it will just come back together naturally and that’s how ligaments work. Of course, you can’t pull it very far but the nature of them is that they can open a little bit and then they’re going to retract. They’re going to open then they will retract, kind of exactly what a slinky would do, there might a little bit of play but then it’s going back to shape, come to form, come back to being tightly squeezed in and ligament has the same tendency.
And also like a slinky, when the ligament is pulled too much, when it’s stretched too much, it will not come back to its original shape. So in a same way with a slinky, when you pull a slinky too much on purpose, it will just stay in that expanded shape and it’s stretched out so that it will not return to its form the same way ligaments would when they’re overstretched so ligament is issue, sacroiliac joint pain, lower back pain from there, the most peoples pain, it’s a pretty long term situation, it doesn’t heal in two to three weeks so and that’s not a problem because we don’t really need it to heal, we just need to feel pain-free.
It’s going to heal over its time and we’re going to do what is required for that more importantly than getting a ligament back to it’s shape because it’s really not possible in a very short term, we just want to be pain-free because that’s the end result that were looking for anyway and from then it could take longer than once it heals because we’re pain free anyway so it could take its time in the healing process and it’s all the same to us.
So the sacroiliac ligament like any other ligament, connecting bone to bone, it’s connecting the sacrum to the ilium and the main dysfunctionality that occurs as a result of yoga is called the Destabilized sacrum. Normally the sacrum is held very tightly into its place. The sacroiliac joint is a nice tight joint.
The sacrum is designed to be tightly held on to the ilium. There’s really not supposed to be a lot of play, as supposed to be a lot of movement, there should be some movement but it should be minute, it should be very specific actions called nutation and counter-nutation that are related to the pelvis and the sacrum but that’s very minute movements and their certainly within the range that the body had intended. What happens with forward bend adjustments which are very common in the Astanga Vinyasa Lineage, the forward bend adjustments where the teachers comes behind the student and pushes the student down in the forward bending and the legs are straight that has the result of stretching open the sacroiliac ligament in particular.
So it’s basically like what they’re doing when the adjustment is done incorrectly which is done probably ninety nine percent incorrectly in fact used adjustment by itself is incorrect but because we don’t want to be pushing people down, have to lift their heart and keep the proper kind of lengthening in the spine, not allowing lower back hunching in the lower back and that would eliminate the problem of what happens. Most people when they do that they would hunch over and they give the adjustment of pushing the student down in forward bending and of course this could happen just as well in your daily life but it’s just common in yoga so I’m giving this as an example.
The sacrum, sacroiliac ligament becomes overstretched, becomes too big almost and what occurs over that is what is called Destabilized sacrum because the sacroiliac ligaments are loose. And because the sacroiliac ligament is loose it itself is no longer in a stable position, it’s now called destabilized and sacrum itself can move and it can move out of place and it can move out of place very easily. So now, because the sacroiliac ligaments are longer kind of doing their job, the sacrum can, just like any other part of the spine, it can pop out of place and be misaligned and this is very quick to occur once the sacroiliac ligament is overstretched because now ligament is not there to do it’s job.
The ligament is not their doing its job properly, it’s loose, the sacrum becomes destabilized, the destabilized sacrum becomes out of place, the sacrum becomes out of alignment either to one side or to the other, up or down or forward and backward, there are a lot of places where the sacrum could me misplaced, and then the immediate result of that is going to be, generally speaking, significant lower back pain, significant because once the sacrum is out of place all the muscles now have to start to compensate and when all the muscles begin to compensate, the area, the nerves begin to become inflamed the muscles become inflamed and they impinge the nerves and so you have this result that once the bones comes out of place the muscles know, the body knows that it compensates, as the body compensates for the out of place bone in this case the sacrum because it has been destabilized because it has been overstretched because it has been pushed on the forward bend this, all of these creating the result of severe back pain.
But what’s important to understand, is that the sacroiliac joint can be taken care of properly so that you can lengthen your hamstrings without implicating it any further and then the body will respond with once the hamstrings are open, less stress on the pelvis, less stress on the sacroiliac joint and more pain-free existence. When It comes to a destabilized sacrum and the sacrum is out of place, I would be hard fest NOT to suggest an occasional visit to a Chiropractor, If you are able to find an extremely skilled Chiropractor. There are Chiropractors that are more holistic and Chiropractors that are less holistic, I would probably choose the one who understand the other healing modalities and use Chiropractic mastery as a tool in a toolbox that they see, that they picture process but I would no doubt suggest that if in addition to what I’m speaking to, you may also want to at least once a month, once every couple of months, go to a Chiropractor to make sure your sacrum is in place because a lot of stuff that is related to bone location and bone adjustment is very, almost impossible to do by ourselves.
These are adjustments that they essentially need someone to be done, someone to be doing it onto you, there is no way you can do that to yourself. In addition to this program that is foolproof, there’s also good reason to every few months, just check in to your sacrum and make sure it’s in place and staying in place, because once the sacrum is destabilized, it has the tendency to shift and that could be happening from sitting in a car, it could happen from any number of things that we do in our daily life and nothing to do and really need to we could have stopped or helped and so the sacrum is out of the place and we’re going to require to put it back in every so often.
So sacroiliac joint gets overstressed in forwardbending, the worst culprit is the adjustments to forward bending, once the sacroiliac joint and the lower back pain exists already then all forward bending has to be eliminated because it’s going to stress out, the sacroiliac joint even more is going to continue to stretch it open, continue to destabilize it and continue to not allow it to reform.
The sacroiliac joint will heal after many years. It will heal itself, it is just a much slower process than we would like. Luckily for us we don’t really mind how long the sacroiliac joint takes to heal because we accomplished a pain-free existence immediately.