What Is It, Causes, Treatment, and More
Author: Corinne Tarantino, MPH
Illustrator: Jillian Dunbar
What is sacral torsion?
Sacral torsion is the rotation of the sacrum -- the fused, bottom five vertebrae of the spinal column -- along the sacroiliac joint where the pelvis and the sacrum meet. The rotation of the upper part of the sacrum may occur towards the front side of the body (i.e., anterior), while the bottom part of the sacrum will rotate towards the back side of the body (i.e., posterior). Sacral torsion may cause some low back pain or limit lower back movement.
What causes sacral torsion?
Sacral torsion may spontaneously occur due to a variety of movements. Anterior torsions are often caused by walking, and posterior torsions are most commonly caused by bending, lifting, or twisting. Sacral torsion may also occur from limited movement in the joints, known as hypomobility, which usually results from the joint being too tight.
How is sacral torsion diagnosed and treated?
Sacral torsions are commonly diagnosed by a review of medical history and a physical examination. During the physical exam, some tests may be performed, like a seated flexion test, in which a person is asked to sit and bend forward while the clinician feels for abnormal sacral movement. After diagnosis, sacral torsion may be treated with some spinal manipulation, such as rotating the body in certain positions. Sacral torsion may also be treated with medications, including anti-inflammatory medicines or steroid injections. If pain persists, radiofrequency ablation may be considered, which is a minimally invasive procedure in which heat is used to stop nerves in the area from sending pain signals.
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Resources for research and reference
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Dydyk, A., Forro, S., & Hanna, A. (2020, October 24). Sacroiliac joint injury. In StatPearls [Internet]. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557881/
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