Sciatica or sacroiliac joint pain
The sacrum is the bottom triangular shaped bone at the base of the spinal cord. It attaches to the ilium, the elephant ear shaped bone we sometimes think of as the hip. People are surprised to learn that an orthotic can help sacroiliac pain which is also known as sciatica.
A humorous aside from my perspective is how an orthotic helps people with sciatica. We all know that old song, the foot bone connected to the leg bone, the leg bone connected to the knee bone, the knee bone is connected to the hip bone et cetera. At this point, lets get serious and refer to it by its real name “serial distortion.”
Serial distortion starts when any joint in a closed chain doesn’t perform as designed. A closed chain is one that has force keeping it in place on either end of the system. Such as in the lower extremity. The lower extremity has gravity forcing it down towards the earth, and ground reactive forces (the earth) reacting to gravity by resisting its downward pressure. The body has a series of actions that take place to insure we function properly in a gravitational field.
Insert here your politically correct deity of choice. Whoever made us, did a heck of a job in this area. When the big toe elevates in our forward motion, it shortens the arch of our foot. Therefor we have the capacity to pronate and supinate as we walk. Pronation and supination allow tibial rotation in the knee. Tibial rotation in the knee allows eversion and antiversion of the hip. This in turn allows nutation and counter-nutation of the ilium on the sacrum. (Don’t you love these crazy words all of which mean back and forth motion.)
Why is this important?
There are many reasons that this is important. An important hidden reason is that there is no blood supply to the brain. The brain is bathed in cerebro-spinal fluid. This is what provides nourishment to the brain and spinal cord. Due to the fact that there is no circulatory system inside the blood brain barrier, it is important to have a system to move that fluid. The movement of the hips and sacrum are the pump that drives fluid up the system providing this nourishment to the brain and spinal cord.
How do a pair of orthotics help this mechanism?
By improving the mechanics of the lower extremity, we can optimize this function. An orthotic will align the foot with the earth, allowing maximum mechanical function to take place. This helps with pronation, supination, knee rotation, hip function and finally sacroiliac function at the top of this kinetic chain. By resolving these types of mechanical dysfunction, we can alleviate sciatica or sacroiliac pain.