Sacroiliac Joint Adjustments Reduce Back Pain

Did you know your back pain may be related to dysfunctions within the pelvis? The sacroiliac joint is a triangular-shaped bone that connects the spine to the pelvis. Pregnancy, arthritis, or anything that affects your gait and walking patterns may result in inflammation or misalignment of the sacroiliac joint, leading to lower back pain and sciatica.

In a new pilot study from published in the Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, researchers from Brazil were interested in assessing the effects of spinal adjustments on patients with low-back pain related to pelvic dysfunction.

The study included seven patients with low-back pain and pelvic anteversion (pelvis tilting forward). Patients were treated with high-velocity, low-amplitude adjustments applied to the sacroiliac joint, followed immediately by contractions of quadriceps and hamstring muscles.

Before and after treatment, the patients were connected to EMG machines that measured the electrical activity of the muscles during flexion and extension. EMG tests allow researchers to document how well the muscles respond to stimuli; often, the muscles of patients with pain due to nerve damage have delayed or abnormal reaction times.

After eight weeks of treatment, the patients showed improvements on EMG tests and reductions in pain. Using photogrammetery analysis, the researchers also found changes into pelvic angles following treatment.

"The eight-week manipulation/exercise protocol was effective for these subjects' needs. Further research should include a greater sample size to confirm the results and to determine the lead factors of pelvic stability," the researchers concluded.

The results come just a month after another new study showed that chiropractic is more effective than corticosteroid injections or physiotherapy for sacroiliac joint pain.


Barbosa AC, et al. Manipulation and selective exercises decrease pelvic anteversion and low-back pain: a pilot study. Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation 2013;26(1):33-6. doi: 10.3233/BMR-2012-0347.