Prior to 1934, when lumbar disc herniation was discovered, the sacroiliac joint was thought to be the major source of low back pain. About that time, concern was diverted to surgical remedies for discs which, although providing dramatic relief in some cases, have proven to be limited in relieving many low back complaints.
With the recent emergence of biomechanical science, the sacroiliac joints are again considered to play a pivotal role in the total musculoskeletal complex.
The sacroiliac joints are two of the most important support centers of the body, positioned where the body’s weight transfers from the spine obliquely through the pelvis to the legs. Studies conclude that the sacroiliac joints are important sensors of large force streams between the trunk and legs in which the largest muscles of the body are involved. In this respect, the sacroiliac joint functions as a multi-directional force transducer.
The base of the spinal column, the sacrum, is supported at its attachment to the iliac bones of the pelvis solely by strong ligaments that make up the sacroiliac joints. Within these ligaments are nerves which control and orient the body’s posture. Sprain of these ligaments caused instability (looseness) which leads to muscle spasm, pain, and postural imbalances throughout the body.
Referred pain patterns from the sacroiliac joint can involve the entire back and may run down the front, side, or back of the leg to the outside of the foot. One key finding is that pain is usually worse on one side of the body. During the healing process, instability can result in comprised function and frequent re-injury.
The Serola Sacroiliac Belt is designed to compress and support the sacroiliac joints, thereby relieving stress and instability at these weight bearing structures. Just as importantly, it is not so tight that it is restrictive. Excess or insufficient motion can adversely affect the entire musculoskeletal system. The Serola Sacroiliac Belt, by providing the correct balance of resistance and resilience, re-establishes the joint’s normal motion.
Because of the stability the Serola Sacroiliac Belt gives to the base of your spine, strength is increased throughout your back, hips, and legs and your chances of injury are lessened considerably during work or play.
A column of stacked blocks is only as stable as its base. With instability, the column weakens. Putting a support band around the blocks that are beginning to fall would not be as effective as supporting the base. Wearing a lumbar belt instead of a sacroiliac belt is often a very similar analogy. So, enjoy your work and all your favorite activities, even sleep, wearing the best support available, the Serola Sacroiliac Belt.
Disc vs. Sacroiliac Joint
Prior to 1934, when lumbar disc herniation was discovered, the sacroiliac joint was thought to be the major source of low back pain. About that time, concern was diverted to surgical remedies for discs which, although providing dramatic relief in some cases, have proven to be limited in relieving many low back complaints. With the recent emergence of biomechanical science, the sacroiliac joints are again considered to play a pivotal role in the total musculoskeletal complex. There have been many studies showing that the SI Joint is the lead cause of back pain and other pains. See below to read some excerpts from those studies:
"From our data it seems clear that discs are not a significant cause of low back pain and that SIJ dysfunctions are a very common cause of low back pain."
Core Stability/Core Power Transfer
In sports and other physical activities, power comes from a stable foundation. Force transfers from the ground, up the legs to the pelvis, through the sacroiliac joint to the sacrum, and then upward through the spine to the arms. Each joint functions as a link in this kinetic chain. Smooth and efficient power transfer depends on the integrity of each link. When one link is compromised, final output power is reduced. In addition to reduced muscular strength and endurance, timing and coordination are impaired.
Power transfer is dependent on smooth synchronization between muscle groups. As one muscle turns off, the next muscle turns on. This timing is dependent on reflexes initiated in the ligaments of the involved joints as they respond to pressure changes during movement.
However, when these ligaments are sprained, nerves within them stimulate, or inhibit, certain muscles to keep pressure off the injured ligament. This reaction is known as the ligamento-muscular reflex. The functions of the muscles are modified to primarily guard the injured ligament.
The nervous system must adopt a compensatory program that protects the joint during movement by altering muscle activation patterns and firing sequences. As a result, smooth power transmission will be disrupted, resulting in reduced power, endurance, and coordination.
Because the sacroiliac joint is the center of the body's shock absorber system, it is the key joint involved in power transference. When we consider that the sacroiliac joint is supported by vast network of ligaments and muscles, it is reasonable to assume that a sprain of the sacroiliac ligaments will cause considerable muscular reaction, even at low levels of stress. The Serola Sacroiliac Belt is designed to normalize the function of the SI joint, and thereby normalize power transfer through one's core.
Dr. Serola's personal research with thousands of individuals, over two decades, has found some degree of sacroiliac sprain in over 99% of the people he tested, as indicated by increased strength with his belt on. People of all ages and professions have benefitted with increased strength, endurance, and coordination, and reduced pain. Why not you? Try a simple test.
COMPARE THE SEROLA SACROILIAC BELT AGAINST ANY OTHER BELT USING A SIMPLE TEST
1. Fasten the Serola Sacroiliac Belt securely on the person. (Show Me How)
2. Test the strength of any muscle. One easy test is to have a sitting person raise a foot off the ground and you push down on the thigh. Another easy test is to have a standing person raise an arm and you pull the arm in the opposite direction.
3. Remove the belt and re-test muscle strength.
4. Repeat this test with any other lumbar or sacroiliac belt.
Since muscle strength is an indicator of joint integrity, the difference in strength is the difference in support. If the person is stronger with belt on, this indicates that the person may have an unstable sacroiliac joint.
As with any joint, sacroiliac instability causes reactive splinting of the muscles that act to stabilize the joint, as well as inhibition of their antagonists (Arthokinetic Reflex); this can be measured as weakness. Logically, the inhibited muscles are weaker. Also, the splinting muscles are effectively weaker because they are called on to do two things at once, stabilize the sacroiliac joint and resist the examiner. Because most major muscles of the body attach to the bones that make up the sacroiliac joint, the weakness caused by their splinting occurs throughout the trunk, hips, and upper legs as these muscles create a self-bracing effect.
The Serola Sacroiliac Belt, by stabilizing the sacroiliac joint, re-activates the inhibited muscles and releases the splinting muscles, allowing them to use more of their efforts in their task. This principle applies to any situation that requires effort, including work, sports or play. The person will function better and safer while wearing the Serola Sacroiliac Belt.
Unlike large, bulky lumbar support belts which give muscular support, the slender Serola Sacroiliac Belt supports the ligaments and skeletal structure. Lumbar belts, by replacing weak trunk muscles, further the muscular weakness by promoting disuse atrophy; thus, lumbar belts should be worn only during specific tasks. The Serola Sacroiliac Belt, on the other hand, strengthens the supporting muscles by allowing them to function normally, permitting constant, daily use while giving greater comfort and flexibility.
A simple test will demonstrate if you may benefit from the Serola Sacroiliac Belt. Lie on your back and, with legs straight, raise your feet about 6 inches (15 cm), then lower them back to the ground. Next, have someone very gently push your head towards your feet (the intent is to push such that the force is transmitted along the spine to the sacrum). If it is more difficult to lift your legs with the additional force along the spine, it is indicated that you have a sacroiliac sprain and can benefit from the Serola Sacroiliac Belt.
If you have neck or spine problems which may worsen with the above test, I suggest another method. Instead of having someone push on your head, have the person, with hands on the sides of your hips, push your hips together and towards the back so that the force is transmitted to the sacrum, or put on a Serola Sacroiliac Belt. Then, if it is easier to lift your legs, it is indicated that you may benefit from the Serola Sacroiliac Belt.
Caution: this test should not replace professional health care. Instead, it may indicate that you should see a health professional who is familiar with sacroiliac stabilization. See the Inflatable Pelvic Blocks.