All joints in the body are made up of bones and soft tissues that connect them, such as tendons ligaments and cartilage. There are several types of joint dysfunctions, each with different causes. Most often, muscle imbalances and inactivity lead to changes in the bones and/or soft tissues. In other cases, too much movement can create joint laxity and lead to instability.
Common sites for joint dysfunctions are the facets of the spine that move when a person bends forward or backwards. If the bone surfaces do not line up or if there is a restriction in movement caused by soft tissues, a person may feel pain, stiffness and experience inflammation that can affect their daily life.
The sacroiliac (SI) joints are formed between the triangular-shaped bone at the base of the spine and the back side of the pelvis. Unlike the facets, these joints are not designed to allow for much movement. If the sacrum becomes tilted or rotated towards one side, it will not line up correctly with the pelvis and can cause significant discomfort in a personâ€™s low back or hips. Or, if one side of the pelvis is higher or lower than the other, it can lead to misalignment of the sacrum that can also cause pain and impact the way a person moves and performs daily activities.
Other common sites for joint dysfunctions are the temporomandibular joints of the mouth (also known as TMJ), the glenohumeral joint/shoulder joint, and the patellofemoral joint of the knee.
Physical Therapy and chiropractic care can help alleviate pain and other symptoms caused by joint dysfunctions. A combination of movement, stretching, strengthening, and/or joint mobilization can help correct the imbalances in the joints and greatly improve the symptoms of joint dysfunction and help people return to performing their daily activities with significantly less pain.