Sacroiliac Blues

I’ve been studying anatomy recently, from a Yoga perspective and it’s been very interesting and rewarding, and not without points of controversy. Well, one main one so far – is the sacroiliac joint a real, moveable joint or not? I’ve had some sacroiliac experiences myself to relate, but first a splendidly simple picture to help show what it is and where it is located:

Sacroiliac Joint (pic from Wikipedia: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sacroiliac_joint.svg)

As you can see looking at the picture (which is a frontal (anterior) view), the sacroiliac is located in the pelvis. I haven’t done an extensive survey but there seems to be a division in views on how much movement occurs with it, with Yoga experts and some osteopaths leaning on the ‘it moves’ side of the fence and regular ol’ orthopaedic surgeons on the other ‘it doesn’t move’ side. There’s an example of such a division in the quote below:

“… in crisis mode due to what the naturopath and chiro said was a dislocated SI joint. Ouch. Took a few weeks off practice and then started up at “half mast”, avoiding deep forward bends and craving backbends. Almost back to normal now! It was fascinating to hear the orthopedist at Penn say that this wasn’t possible because the SI wasn’t a mobile joint, and when I asked about nutation/counternutation he claimed never to have heard of it.”

(above quote from: //www.yoganatomy.com/2011/01/nutationcounter-nutation/)

Anyway, after reading about the debate I’m of course immediately trying to figure out whether I can tell if my sacroiliac joint is moving or not. Some years ago I went to a virtuoso osteopath in London who has since sadly retired, with a ‘one-sided’ hip pain which had seemingly begun in response to starting cycling for around 80 miles a week. He didn’t use any technical terms but explained that at the bottom of the spine is a ‘cup’ and there was a misalignment there – he asked if I’d had an accident and I explained that many YEARS ago I’d been in the back of a van in a car crash and had thumped my hip badly (but had no x-rays or anything at the time). He thought that the accident had caused the misalignment and that cycling had caused it to become painful…

He fixed it in 5 mins flat, with no repeat appointments!

Some months later an unfortunate hammock incident left with the same pain on the other side, the osteopath explained that it was the same kind of problem (but towards the other side) and again fixed it in 5 minutes.

So… my personal osteopath suggests that it is a moveable joint, but in my case at least, not very moveable.  Which brings me on to the sacrum…

From the Wikipedia article on the sacrum…

The Sacrum (from the Wikipedia article/Gray's Anatomy)

“In vertebrate anatomy the sacrum (plural: sacrums or sacra) is a large, triangular bone at the base of the spine and at the upper and back part of the pelvic cavity, where it is inserted like a wedge between the two hip bones. Its upper part connects with the last lumbar vertebra, and bottom part with the coccyx (tailbone). It consists of usually five initially unfused vertebrae which begin to fuse between ages 16–18 and are usually completely fused into a single bone by age 34.”

Now the sacrum, apart from looking like something from Alien takes the whole fusing business further. I’m wondering, do everyone’s vertebrae fuse around about 34, or do some people go on vb’s all a-quiver. Not sure yet how I’ll find out, so if you have any tips, please comment below (and give me a break from my Sacroiliac Blues…)

Bye for now,

Peter

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