So … You have a pain in the Butt?

So … You have a pain in the Butt?

So … You have a pain in the Butt?



Pain in the Butt

In our office we see this all the time, patients will tell us it hurts right here! Then they point to the top of the glute area or sacroiliac joint (SI joint).  It is a particularly common problem with people who sit a lot for work, even with an ergonomically correct set up.  While there certainly can be multiple reasons to have pain to have a “pain in the butt” we typically will see problems with the fifth lumbar vertebrae (L5) and or an SI joint that has locked up.


The Anatomy of the problem:


The sacroiliac (SI) joint and the lumbar spine are intricately connected. They play vital roles in maintaining the stability and flexibility of the lower back and pelvis. The lumbar spine, composed of the five vertebrae in the lower back, supports much of the upper body’s weight and enables a range of movements, including bending and twisting. At the base of the lumbar spine lies the sacrum, a triangular bone that fits between the two ilium bones of the pelvis. This forms the sacroiliac joint or SI joints on either side.

These joints act as shock absorbers, distributing the forces exerted on the spine and pelvis during activities like walking, lifting, and running. The connection between the lumbar spine and the SI joints ensures a seamless transfer of weight and motion from the upper body to the lower limbs. This facilitates smooth and coordinated movements. However, any dysfunction in the SI joints can disrupt this balance, leading to pain and limited mobility. Understanding this connection is crucial for diagnosing and treating lower back and pelvic pain effectively.


Pain in the Butt


Common Causes of the pain in your Butt (no its not your spouse):


Experts have difficulty estimating the number of people that suffer with SI joint pain because of the prevalence of low back complaints.  Still, it is estimated that a third of the patient with low back pain also have pain related to joint dysfunction of the SI joint.  This equates to roughly 204 million people world wide who have pain in and around the SI joints.  There can be many factors that result in you having a pain in the butt including:

  1. Repetitive Stress: Activities that involve repetitive motion, like running or heavy lifting, can strain the SI joint.
  2. Too much sitting: Many people sit for long periods of time while at work, and this can put pressure into the SI joint and low back, as well as causing the muscles in the area to tighten up.
  3. Prolonged standing: Standing for a long period of time, and sometimes standing on a hard surface can be hard on the SI joints, causing them to get inflamed and irritated.
  4. Injury or Trauma: A sudden impact, such as a fall or car accident, can injure the SI joint.
  5. Pregnancy: Hormonal changes and increased weight during pregnancy can put extra stress on the SI joint.
  6. Arthritis: Degenerative arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis can affect the SI joint.
  7. Poor Posture: Prolonged sitting or standing with poor posture can contribute to SI joint dysfunction.


Symptoms of SI Joint Pain:


The symptoms of SI joint pain can vary but often involve pain in the low back, pelvic pain, limited range of motion and worsening pain with movement.  Some common examples include:

  1. Pain rolling over in bed
  2. Increase pain while standing
  3. Increase in pain while sitting
  4. Increase in pain while climbing stairs
  5. Increase in pain while walking or running
  6. increase in pain with large steps forward


Treatment Options for SI Joint Pain:

The treatments for SI joint pain may vary, but at Desert Valley Chiropractic we focus fixing the joint dysfunction so you can move and be pain free. We offer various treatment options for managing SI joint pain:


  1. Chiropractic Adjustments: Using the Activator Methods technique, we can check and isolate if the problem is cause by joint dysfunction of the sacroiliac joint and or the lumbar spine. Then we provide precise adjustments to restore joint function and alleviate pain.
  2. Physical Therapy: Tailored exercises and stretches can strengthen the muscles around the SI joint and improve flexibility.
  3. Lifestyle Modifications: Recommendations for ergonomic changes, posture correction, and activity modification can help reduce strain on the SI joint.
  4. Pain Management: Techniques like ice/heat therapy, massage, and over-the-counter pain relievers can provide symptomatic relief.
  5. Referral to Specialists: In severe cases, we may refer patients to orthopedic specialists for further evaluation and treatment.


Why Choose Desert Valley Chiropractic?


At Desert Valley Chiropractic, Dr, Dave and Dr Katherine who were recently feature as Top Chiropractor in Phoenix specializes in gentle, effective treatments that address the root cause of your pain. We are committed to helping you feel better, move better, and live better. I

If we can help with your SI joint pain please schedule and appointment here or call us at 602-439-1515. Let’s work together to get you back to a pain-free life!





Ice or Heat – You’re probably doing it wrong

Ice or Heat – You’re probably doing it wrong

Let’s discuss one of the most common mistakes that we encounter at Desert Valley Chiropractic when talking with our patients. That is when to use ice or heat, but chances are you are doing it wrong.  It’s really not that complicated complicated but knowing when to use either ice and or heat at the appropriate time can minimize pain and improve our healing time after injury.


Before we move on can you guess what the biggest mistake is?  Keep reading for the answer so you can avoid it.


When should I use Ice?


The most common time to use ice is during the acute healing or inflammatory phase following an injury, and or after an increase in pain from a chronic condition. This occurs within the first 48-72 hours when the inflammation is at its peak.  It is important to note that the inflammatory phase is a natural part of the healing process but It can be managed to reduce the effects an injury has on our body and bring relief from pain.

3 reasons to use ice in the first 72 hours.

  1. Reduces swelling by constricting the blood vessels to minimize blood flow to the area and minimizes swelling.
  2. Pain reduction because ice can numb the area temporarily offering pain relief.
  3. Reduce inflammation by slowing down cellular metabolism and reducing the body’s natural inflammatory response.


Common forms of Ice

  1. An ice pack
  2. A bag of frozen Vegetables (please don’t try to eat them later)
  3. Ice cubes in a towel or Ziploc Bag


When applying use a thin towel, you do not apply ice directly to the skin.



How long to apply Ice

It is appropriate to apply ice for 15 minutes at a time, and it is critical for you to repeat the process 3 or more times a day.  Honestly, repetition is the key and the more often you ice during this phase the faster the swelling will reduce and the quicker you will heal.


Ice and Heat in Combination


Following the first 72 hours (3 days) after an injury you can use a combination of heat and ice.  This is known as contrast therapy and it will help you to continue to maximize the body’s healing response.   The time frame for contrast therapy is between 3rd to 7th days after injury.


The preferred order for contrast therapy is to use heat for 15 minutes, followed by rest for 15 minutes and then ending with ice for 15 minutes.  The heat will open blood vessels improving circulation to the damaged tissue bringing the essentials the area needs to heal. However, heat can also cause more swelling, so we always want to end with ice to remove the excess swelling and minimize pain.






Let’s face it heat feels good when we use it, but easily the most common mistake patients make is to use just heat too soon after injury.  Understand that heat when used correctly can be incredibly beneficial, but we always need to reduce the inflammation with ice first, and then we can consider heat therapy.


 Benefits of Heat Therapy


  1. Increases Blood Flow: Applying heat to an affected area helps dilate blood vessels, increasing blood flow. This can aid in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, promoting healing.  Because of the increase in blood flow, it is important to note the timing with using heat. Limit your timing to 15-20 minutes per use.  Longer than 20 minutes can cause a Vasoconstriction (narrowing of the blood vessels) which can then create a muscle spasm.  It is perfectly ok to use heat 3 or more times a day, never longer than 20 minutes at one time.


  1. Relieves Muscle Stiffness: Heat helps relax muscles, reducing stiffness and making it easier to move the affected area. This is particularly useful for chronic conditions such as arthritis. Keep in mind that if it is acute (sudden onset) muscle pain you want to use ice.


  1. Reduces Pain: The soothing warmth can help alleviate pain by relaxing tense muscles and improving blood circulation.


  1. Promotes Tissue Healing: By enhancing blood flow, heat can help speed up the healing process of damaged tissues.


 When to Use Heat Therapy


– Chronic Pain: Conditions like arthritis, muscle stiffness, and old injuries benefit from heat application.

– Pre-Exercise: Applying heat before physical activity can loosen muscles, making them more pliable and less prone to injury.

– Relaxation:  For general muscle relaxation and relief from everyday stress and tension.


Common Forms of Heat:


  1. Heating pad
  2. Moist heat from a hot water bottle
  3. Gel pack warmed in hot water or a microwave
  4. Hot sauna
  5. Infra-red light

Ice or Heat, which should I use.


Understanding when and how to use ice and heat can be a game-changer in managing pain and promoting recovery. If you have any questions or need personalized advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Desert Valley Chiropractic. We’re here to help you feel your best!

Car Accident – 5 tips to avoid an insurance hassle!

Car Accident – 5 tips to avoid an insurance hassle!

Car Accident – 5 tips to avoid an insurance hassle!


Unfortunately a Car Accident in Phoenix can happen anytime and anywhere, and they can be a real pain in the neck.  Here are 5 tips for the scene of the crash to avoid hassles with the insurance company.

According to the Department of transportations most recent statistics there were 6 063 428 accidents in the United States in 2021 with 2 497 657 injuries reported.   Of those 121 345 car accidents occurred in Arizona. Furthermore, in 2022, non-fatal injuries from car accidents were on the rise in Arizona. The Arizona Department of Transportation reports 52,411 injuries from car crashes, which was an increase from the year before.  

The statistics highlight the potential for non-fatal but serious injuries that often occur in traffic accidents, reinforcing the importance of a proper evaluation from a health care provider who has experience with these types of injuries.  They often require specific care after any accident, even if no immediate injuries are apparent. This can prevent long-term health issues, a concern especially relevant to chiropractic care, where underlying injuries can sometimes manifest symptoms days or even weeks after an accident.

Being prepared at the scene of a crash can help you handle the unexpected with a clearer mind. At Desert Valley Chiropractic, we care about your safety and well-being. This guide will walk you through the essential steps to take if you find yourself at the scene of an auto accident.


Ensure Safety First


As soon as an accident occurs, your priority should be ensuring the safety of all parties involved.


  1. Check for Injuries: Before assessing property damage, ensure that everyone involved in the accident is okay. Do not move anyone who is seriously injured unless there is a hazard that puts their life at immediate risk.
  2. Move to a Safe Location (if you have to): If the accident is minor and you feel the need to move the vehicles, or it is safer to move the vehicles as opposed to staying put, make sure you take many pictures from the scene of the accident, including the intersection and surrounding areas. Once you have moved your vehicle turn on the hazard lights.




Alert Authorities and Document the Scene  (Picture’s or it didn’t happen )


It’s crucial to report the accident to law enforcement. Many people skip this step, hoping the other driver (s) and their insurance will cooperate later. However,  after 20+ years of treating injuries related to car accidents cooperation is rare and it can affect your access to the health care you need to recover.


  1. Call 911: Even if the accident appears minor, it’s important to call the police. This is very important because they will document the scene and can help determine who is at fault, which can protect your access to health care if you have injuries from the crash.
  2. If the police are unable to come to the scene, once again take multiple pictures of the scene including the surrounding area. Also, you may want to call your own insurance company to get the details of the accident recorded in case there is a question of fault later.
  3. Wait for Help: Unless the authorities have told you they won’t be able to make it to the scene, stay until help arrives. Leaving the scene of an accident can result in legal penalties.

Exchange Information


While you wait for the police to arrive, exchange important information with the other party or parties involved.


  1. Driver and Vehicle Details: Collect the names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information of all drivers involved. Using the camera on your smartphone is a convenient collect the information you will need.
  2. Witnesses: If there are witnesses, get their contact information as well; their statements could be crucial in resolving disputes.

Seek Medical Attention


  1. If you have more serious injuries including a head injury, you may need to go to the hospital. If that is the case don’t hesitate.
  2. Even if there are no apparent injuries, it’s wise to consult a healthcare provider, including a chiropractor who can assess your condition and document injuries, which is crucial for insurance claims and potential litigation.

Injuries from a car accident like whiplash may not show symptoms immediately but can cause long-term discomfort and mobility issues. At Desert Valley Chiropractic we specific protocols to determine the extent of a car accident injury, and that has allowed us to help thousands of people with injuries related to a car accident




We have treated thousands of patients who have been in an auto accident and we know it can be overwhelming, but taking these steps can help ensure the safety and well-being of everyone involved. Remember to stay calm, be courteous, and follow these guidelines to manage the situation effectively. For more detailed information on what to do after a car accident, or to schedule a consultation, visit our website at Desert Valley Chiropractic.