SI Joint Pain Relief

Written by Dr. Steve Chaney on . Posted in Hip Pain Treatment, Muscle Therapy and Health

You Can Enjoy Pain Free Living From Home

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT –The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney


I received a call from a distressed client about her son’s unbearable SI joint pain that refuses to hold a chiropractic adjustment.  Her son has dealt with the pain for several years.  His pain is beginning to turn his life into a bad dream since it’s prohibiting him from playing the sports he enjoys and he doesn’t see an end in sight.  Maybe you can relate.


What Causes SI Joint Pain?

si joint pain reliefThe sacroiliac joint is the point where the sacrum (white area) and the ilium (red area) join together (circled in yellow).

When the muscles that surround the joint are either too tight or too loose, or if you have an accident, the joint can be pulled out of alignment.

This misalignment will cause pain in the immediate area, and also cause symptoms that are similar to low back pain and/or sciatica.

Imagine the overlapping area (circled in yellow) moving in a manner that separates the two bones…ouch!  You can imagine how this not only strains the sacroiliac joint, but also causes a misalignment at the hip and pubic joint.

This can cause low back pain, SI joint pain, hip pain or groin pain.  The pain can also refer down the leg and even into the foot.

Why Chiropractic Adjustments May Not Hold

We love chiropractors and the care they provide.  Spinal health is essential for longevity and vitality.

Some adjustments may not hold, whether it’s an adjustment for SI joint pain, sciatica, back pain, shoulder pain, or anything else, because the muscles that pull the bones out of alignment in the first place aren’t being released prior to the adjustment.  (When releasing a muscle you are releasing tiny muscle fiber knots that cause the muscle to shorten and pull on the bone.)

Think of this analogy, imagine you had a length of rope with a stick tied in the middle.  As you pull one side of the rope to tug the stick in that direction in order to bring the stick back to the middle you have to first release the tug (tension) on the rope.

This is similar to what happens when adjustments are unable to hold.  The tight muscle is pulling on the joint, the chiropractor pushes (adjusts) the joint back into place and then the tight muscle pulls it right back out again.  This can go on and on until the muscle knots are released.

Get SI Joint Pain Relief with this Muscle Release Technique

si joint painSTEP 1:  Place a Trigger Point Treatment Ball (or a firm tennis ball) directly on your SI joint.

Ease your body down onto the ball gently.  It’s important to stay in the “hurts so good” range; it may feel uncomfortable but not a sharp pain.  If you feel a sharp pain, move the ball to a spot nearby, but not directly on the joint.

Move the ball around the entire area to release the tension (muscle knots) in all of the muscles.  Stay on any tender points for about 30 seconds.

STEP 2:  Once you feel you have released the tender areas (trigger points), place the ball directly on your SI joint.  Bring your same-side leg up, resting your lower leg on the thigh of your opposite leg.  (The same movement as crossing your leg in a chair.)  The intention here is to add an additional stretch to the muscles surrounding your SI joint.

This muscle release technique may take a few times before the muscles completely relax and the SI joint is no longer being pulled out of alignment.

Now the next time you see your chiropractor you’ll get an adjustment that lasts!  You may even find that this technique allows the joint to move back into alignment on its own.

Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly


julie donnelly




About The Author

Julie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies.

She has been widely published, both on – and off – line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Latest Article

High Protein Diets and Weight Loss

Posted October 16, 2018 by Dr. Steve Chaney

Do High Protein Diets Reduce Fat And Preserve Muscle?

Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney

Healthy Diet food group, proteins, include meat (chicken or turkAre high protein diets your secret to healthy weight loss? There are lots of diets out there – high fat, low fat, Paleolithic, blood type, exotic juices, magic pills and potions. But recently, high protein diets are getting a lot of press. The word is that they preserve muscle mass and preferentially decrease fat mass.

If high protein diets actually did that, it would be huge because:

  • It’s the fat – not the pounds – that causes most of the health problems.
  • Muscle burns more calories than fat, so preserving muscle mass helps keep your metabolic rate high without dangerous herbs or stimulants – and keeping your metabolic rate high helps prevent both the plateau and yo-yo (weight regain) characteristic of so many diets.
  • When you lose fat and retain muscle you are reshaping your body – and that’s why most people are dieting to begin with.

So let’s look more carefully at the recent study that has been generating all the headlines (Pasiakos et al, The FASEB Journal, 27: 3837-3847, 2013).

The Study Design:

This was a randomized control study with 39 young (21), healthy and fit men and women who were only borderline overweight (BMI = 25). These volunteers were put on a 21 day weight loss program in which calories were reduced by 30% and exercise was increased by 10%. They were divided into 3 groups:

  • One group was assigned a diet containing the RDA for protein (about 14% of calories in this study design).
  • The second group’s diet contained 2X the RDA for protein (28% of calories)
  • The third group’s diet contained 3X the RDA for protein (42% of calories)

In the RDA protein group carbohydrate was 56% of calories, and fat was 30% of calories. In the other two groups the carbohydrate and fat content of the diets was decreased proportionally.

Feet_On_ScaleWhat Did The Study Show?

  • Weight loss (7 pounds in 21 days) was the same on all 3 diets.
  • The high protein (28% and 42%) diets caused almost 2X more fat loss (5 pounds versus 2.8 pounds) than the diet supplying the RDA amount of protein.
  • The high protein (28% and 42%) diets caused 2X less muscle loss (2.1 pounds versus 4.2 pounds) than the diet supplying the RDA amount of protein.
  • In case you didn’t notice, there was no difference in overall results between the 28% (2X the RDA) and 42% (3X the RDA) diets.

Pros And Cons Of The Study:

  • The con is fairly obvious. The participants in this study were all young, healthy and were not seriously overweight. If this were the only study of this type one might seriously question whether the results were applicable to middle aged, overweight coach potatoes. However, there have been several other studies with older, more overweight volunteers that have come to the same conclusion – namely that high protein diets preserve muscle mass and enhance fat loss.
  • The value of this study is that it defines for the first time the upper limit for how much protein is required to preserve muscle mass in a weight loss regimen. 28% of calories is sufficient, and there appear to be no benefit from increasing protein further. I would add the caveat that there are studies suggesting that protein requirements for preserving muscle mass may be greater in adults 50 and older.

The Bottom Line:

1)    Forget the high fat diets, low fat diets, pills and potions. High protein diets (~2X the RDA or 28% of calories) do appear to be the safest, most effective way to preserve muscle mass and enhance fat loss in a weight loss regimen.

2)     That’s not a lot of protein, by the way. The average American consumes almost 2X the RDA for protein on a daily basis. However, it is significantly more protein than the average American consumes when they are trying to lose weight. Salads and carrot sticks are great diet foods, but they don’t contain much protein.

3)     Higher protein intake does not appear to offer any additional benefit – at least in young adults.

4)     Not all high protein diets are created equal. What some people call high protein diets are laden with saturated fats or devoid of carbohydrate. The diet in this study, which is what I recommend, had 43% healthy carbohydrates and 30% healthy fats.

5)    These diets were designed to give 7 pounds of weight loss in 21 days – which is what the experts recommend. There are diets out there promising faster weight loss but they severely restrict calories and/or rely heavily on stimulants, they do not preserve muscle mass, and they often are not safe. In addition they are usually temporary.  I do not recommend them.

6)    This level of protein intake is safe for almost everyone. The major exception would be people with kidney disease, who should always check with their doctor before increasing protein intake. The only other caveat is that protein metabolism creates a lot of nitrogenous waste, so you should drink plenty of water to flush that waste out of your system. But, water is always a good idea.

7)     The high protein diets minimized, but did not completely prevent, muscle loss. Other studies suggest that adding the amino acid leucine to a high protein diet can give 100% retention of muscle mass in a weight loss regimen – but that’s another story for another day.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.