Sacroiliac Pain and Tiger Woods Injury

SI Joint Pain and Treatment

Sacroiliac and low back pain is something we see everyday in our Huddersfield clinics, and has been a hot topic lately due to Tiger Woods injury difficulties over the past couple of weeks. If you are a golf fan, you’ve probably heard Tiger’s interview where he talked about his sacrum ‘popping out’ during the Bridgestone Championships and how it was ‘popped back into place’ in a spectacular ‘quick fix’ that left him ‘ready’ to play the PGA Championship last weekend. The quick fix didn’t work though, as we saw him grimace his way through two rounds before missing the cut in a major for only the fourth time in his career.

That interview caused quite a stir among those in the rehab/medical field on social media, and really highlighted some serious misconceptions about the SI joint that are clearly still prevalent today. The SI joint is known to be very, very stable. The sacrum isn’t prone to just ‘popping out’, and it seems especially absurd to imagine in such a high level athlete with no direct trauma to the area. Even with his previous back surgery considered, it just wouldn’t happen!

Not that Tiger is to blame, he has obviously either been given the wrong information or misinterpreted the information that was given to him, but what does cause SI pain? And how do you go about treating it? We shed some light on that in the blog below!

What is a Sacroiliac Joint?

The sacroiliac joints are a critical linkage system between our lower spine and pelvis. The sacrum (tailbone) connects on the right and left sides of the ilia (pelvis bones) to form the joints. You therefore have two in SIJs your body, one on the left and one on the right. They are generally very stable and supported by thick strong ligaments, along with all of the structures that attach or cross over the pelvis at the back and front. They therefore only allow a couple of millimeters of movement, however, in some cases (e.g. pregnant women) a laxity of the supportive structures can lead to excessive movement around the joints.

What Causes the Pain?

As always, pain is an output from the brain. It highlights that there is a problem but not necessarily where the problem is! So if you are suffering with pain around the SI area it is important to recognise that this is a symptom and not the cause. Dysfunction in any of the tissues that cross the pelvis and therefore help support the SI joint can lead to pain in the SI area. Similarly if your breathing mechanics are off and your ribcage is sitting too high, you will likely develop an anterior tilt in your pelvis to compensate which can place extra stress on the SIJ. This puts your diaphragm and abdominals in a disadvantaged position and they can become dysfunctional which further complicates the problem.

How can ProSport Physiotherapy Help?

As always, we will do a full body assessment including a detailed history and movement assessment to trace the root cause of your problem. Our approach utilities cutting edge techniques to get you back to full fitness in the quickest time possible, and has been tried and tested on professional athletes, top class runners and those of us just playing the game of life with great results! There is no “one size fits all”, which is why we always stress the importance of a detailed assessment before commencing any type of corrective exercise program. If you are in pain, get in touch now!

Get in touch!

  • "Dave is a top class Physiotherapist who has got me back from numerous injuries always weeks earlier than expected. Dave's hands on treatment approach is one of the best I have ever experienced. Highly recommended"

    Paul O'Connell
    Paul O'ConnellMunster Rugby, Ireland and British and Irish Lions
  • “I have seen Dave O’Sullivan on several occasions over the last few years and I have always been 100% satisfied by the work he has done and the exercises and advice he has given. In fact, I am often amazed by the way he can work out what is causing what and how to put it right. Usually only 2 or 3 visits are needed, plus exercises done at home. I completed my first marathon 3 years ago, largely due to his expertise – I could hardly walk a week before race-day. I would definitely recommend Pro Sport Physiotherapy (and have done!)”

  • “Just thought i would drop you a line to let you know how im getting on with the stretches and the core work that you suggested. I have been doing these for around an hour to an hour and a half each day since i saw you, the difference i have found is massive. Its hard to explain how i feel whilst running and cycling now, it just feels like my body is more planted. The cyclo cross is finished now, i done my first fell race today on only six running sessions maybe not the best idea in the world however because of the excersises i have been doing my body felt stronger than it ever has. I have no technique at running downhill and would normally end up with a tight back doing that type of race where as this time no tightness. Thanks for all your help and advice”

    KennyCounty Durham
  • “The first time I saw Dave with chronic back pain I was struggling to walk properly when I went in but I walked out more or less back to normal, and this is a normal result for Dave. The treatments are different to any I’ve experienced but my whole posture, long term injuries and problems continue to improve. Although some of the treatments are not pleasant the pain is well worth it for the results gained. If you need a physio go and see Dave and/or his colleagues.”

  • “A 140-mile round trip to visit Dave is well worth it as he’s restored my confidence to overcome injury, using techniques you will probably not encounter elsewhere. Dave’s manner is excellent, taking time to explain things simply and being available to clarify concerns. Many exercises prescribed are provided by video link with is far superior to the dodgy photocopied exercise sheets traditionally supplied as they ensure you can review and perform your rehab using good technique. In my opinion the ProSport experience is years ahead of the game as it adopts the advances being made in its field whereas regular Yellow Pages clincs stick to dated methods. A big plus is that Dave is also interested in getting you right.”

  • “I’d been struggling for the best part of a year with what I (and my old physio) thought was a damaged hamstring. I’d heard about Pro Sport and read about their Soft Tissue Release Techniques and thought I’d nothing to lose by trying a new approach. Thank goodness I did….. Darragh Sheehy correctly identified I actually had a partially trapped Sciatic nerve and set about “releasing” it…. That’s another way of saying pain…..but it really is “no pain, no gain”. After one session I left feeling considerably better. I ran at the weekend with a huge grin on my face……I was thinking “I’m back!” A few sessions later and following Darragh’s exercise regime I’d improved again and within a few months had a new 5k PB.”

  • “Pro Sport Physiotherapy are amazing! I was having trouble with my hip whilst running over a certain distance. Shane worked out within 15 minutes that a tiny set of muscles near scar tissue was preventing my glute and core from firing. I worked on my exercises for a week and returned to my next appointment to find I was cured. A couple of sessions followed to ease my aching muscles now they were working and I am now fully fit to run my first ever half marathon this autumn. I have recommended the company to anyone who will listen. They are professional, knowledgable, fast workers and friendly. 5 star service with a smile :)”

  • “5 years after breaking my leg and 3 surgeries later, Dave O’Sullivan was recommended to me after I received NHS physio where I was told I was a lost cause! Dave’s work is fantastic, I felt an improvement after the first visit and now feel better than ever. He explains everything, follows up the treatment with easy to follow videos and is a nice guy. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Dave!”

    Lucy Flockton, Wakefield
  • "Pro Sport are professionals who take the greatest pride in their work. Their hands on approach to treatment and rehabilitation has helped me to not only be healthier and a more durable athlete but aided in improving  my athletic performance."

    Jamie Peacock
    Jamie PeacockLeeds Rhinos and England
  • "Top class physiotherapists who I would highly recommend and indeed have recommended to family and friends!"

    Eorl Crabtree
    Eorl CrabtreeHuddersfield Giants and England Rugby League



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