Like most of us, you’ve probably never given your sacrum a second thought. People only think about their sacrum if they’ve taken a bad fall on their bottom – say if you’ve gone ice skating or skiing or you live in a cold country and have slipped on some black ice on your walk home.
Or perhaps, if you drive with your wallet in your back pocket? Or sleep on one side for the whole night? Or, perhaps, carry your child on one side all the time? You may be putting your pelvis at a tilt for prolonged periods, which may make you more susceptible to hip and lower back problems.
All the above scenarios are either a direct injury or a postural imbalance that can impact the health of your sacrum.
Fun fact: did you know that your sacrum, which is made up of 5 vertebrae, only starts to fuse when you’re in your late teens until your mid 20s?
What, where is my sacrum?
Your sacrum is the wedge-shaped bone at the end of your spine that helps support the weight of your upper body.
It sits between your lowest lumbar vertebra (L5) and the coccyx (tailbone) and between your pelvic bones (ilium).
Why is my sacrum hurting?
Say you did have that bad fall and you are now suffering from pain in your pelvic area: you may be suffering from sacroiliac (SI) joint pain.
SI joint pain stems from damage or injury to the joint(s) between the sacrum and the ilium. This may present as lower back and buttock pain or tingling that radiates down the leg to the knee or as far as the foot.
Your SI joints support the weight of your body, distributing it across the pelvis, and act as shock absorbers. Given the importance of these functions, these joints are held together by some of the strongest muscles and ligaments in your body. Whilst there is movement in these joints, it is minimal, as we need the stability to maintain our uprightness.
For pregnant women, hormones are released in your body during your pregnancy to enable these joints to relax to accommodate your growing baby. During childbirth, your pelvis widens further to allow for the passage of your baby through the birth canal. For some women, this pain may persist postpartum and beyond.
However, diagnosing SI joint pain can be difficult, as it can be confused with many other issues. It’s best to see your GP to learn more.
Treatment options range from physical therapy, exercise and self-care to medication and surgery.
How can Rolfing help?
In Rolfing, we address the sacrum in every session by bringing balance and alignment to the sacrum through fascial manipulation of the surrounding territory and structures. We also work the areas above (in your back), on the sides (such as the gluteal and deep rotator muscles) and from below (the hamstrings).
As in the examples above, overuse and poor posture in the way we sit, stand or sleep can cause a tightening of the ligaments on one side of your sacrum. Rolfing aims to rebalance these fascial imbalances and tension.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out, or schedule in a consultation and session by clicking here.