Ever had a pain in the butt? No, I am not talking some crazy family member who cannot keep the mouth shut. I am talking about a real pain in the buttock region, possibly confused with low back pain.
A common cause of pain in the area of the tailbone, especially the tailbones in women, is the sacroiliac joint (SIJ). Before we proceed further, let us form a mental picture of the pelvis . The pelvis is a boney ring formed by four bones: two fused sections comprised of the pubis, ischium and ilium, one sacrum, and one coccyx. These four sections of bone are joined by strong ligaments at the pubic symphysis (in front) and the sacroiliac joints (in the back). All three of these joining points for the pelvic ring are potential sources of pain, especially in women and most especially in pregnant women. Thus, women in particular need to understand the risks for having SIJ dysfunction, the ways to diagnosis the problem, and the solutions for this pain in the butt.
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Spondylolisthesis (spaun-di-lo-lie-thee-sis) is a mouthful and is a common cause of low back pain (although it can exist anywhere in the spine, the lumbar spine is the most common area affected). The spinal column is a series of building blocks called vertebral bodies stacked on top of one another. Sometimes these blocks do not line up perfectly. This slight separation in the spinal column is called a spondylolisthesis .
"Doc says I have a spondy-something-or-other. Don't ask me what it is; all I know is that it hurts". Steve tries to explain his low back condition to his friend. But, he finds that he cannot explain what he does not understand. Steve has had back pain for a number of years. Every year the pain gets worse and has now become constant. His doctor sent him for x-rays recently. The x-rays showed a spondylolisthesis with disc degeneration at L5/S1. Steve could not understand his doctor's explanation of the condition. So, now he has pain and has confusion.
Why does sitting for long periods of time increase back pain sometimes? This question has been studied for the past 50 years and researchers still find controversy when trying to answer the question. At the heart of the dilemma is a mechanical dynamic between body weight, body posture, and spinal disc load.
A loading, compressive force on a spinal disc creates a certain amount of pressure within the disc which is like a marshmallow in between two graham crackers being squished together. This pressure can be measured with special devices inserted into the disc. With various body positions like lying down, sitting, standing and bending forward, the pressure amounts vary and were first reported in the landmark study performed by Dr. Nachemson in 1981 . In this study, he found that sitting produced higher pressures in the spinal disc than standing. So, for the past thirty years, clinicians have told patients with degenerative disc related back pain to avoid prolong sitting because h...
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