Whether we like it or not, the winter has arrived along with icy conditions. As a physical therapist, we see many injuries related to a slip and fall accident. This type of accident can lead to injuries throughout the body, most notably the spine. Who is at risk? We are all at risk! Slip and falls tend to occur in all age groups, and catch us when we least expect it. In many cases, people land on their bottom. While this may result in a number of back related injuries, the sacroiliac joint is certainly at risk.
The sacroiliac joint, or SI joint as it is often referred to, is where the pelvis attaches to the spine. We have one on each side, and it’s very close to the tail-bone region. Traumatic events like a slip and fall, can translate forces to this joint resulting in a sprain of the ligaments that hold the joint together. Symptoms often include right or left sided pain, which can radiate down one leg or the other. Symptoms may be different from one person to another.
Diagnosing the SI joint can be tricky for health care professionals who do not deal with this injury on a regular basis. There are many other structures in the spine that should also be considered. In many cases, initial treatment will include physical therapy and possibly a diagnostic injection into the SI joint. Not only is the injection diagnostic, but also therapeutic. Often times, if the individual is truly dealing with SI joint pain, the injection will take away the pain. This confirms the individual is dealing with SI joint dysfunction.
How can we reduce the risk of a slip and fall injury. Obviously, we need to be aware of our surroundings. Be mindful of the outdoor conditions and use the proper footwear. There are devices available that attach to the bottom of your shoe to improve the tread in slippery conditions. Use hand rails when available.
If you have recently suffered an injury from a slip and fall, and dealing with low back pain, schedule an appointment at Prairie Spine and Pain Institute. Our spine specialists treat this condition on a regular basis. The physical therapy department is trained in manual therapy techniques that improve mobility and promote stabilization.
About The Author: Jeremy W. Przybylo, PT, DPT, DMT is the Prairie Spine and Pain Institute’s lead physical therapist. He is a key component of our integrated care program. Jeremy works one-on-one with patients to perform an initial evaluation that allows him to design a comprehensive treatment program tailored to each individual. He typically works with patients weekly, utilizing a combination of hands on manual therapeutic techniques and a scientific approach to rehabilitative exercise.