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3 Stability Drills to Eliminate SI Joint Pain

backpain carlsbad hippain physicaltherapy Sep 30, 2020

Are you experiencing discomfort or dull boring ache on only one side of your low back and hip region?  Do you feel pain here after running or a long time standing? Has the pain ever crept its way down your butt and into your leg? Do you find yourself leaning into your hip while holding your child?

How does this happen?

You’re not alone, according to the research sacroiliac joint dysfunction can occur in 10 to 33% of the population. It is common for women during pregnancy to experience SI joint dysfunction due to the change in ligament laxity from hormone changes and postural and weight changes during pregnancy. Many active adults and athletes come to work with us because of these symptoms as well and more often than not it’s due to an impaired movement above or below their SI joint region.  For example if you’re an avid runner and have limited mobility at your ankle, your running and gait mechanics over time may contribute to SI joint dysfunction because your running pattern isn’t ideal.  SI joint dysfunction usually occurs due to repetitive movements, postures or positions that over time can lead to inflammation at the joint. If this goes untreated it may lead to joint stiffness (hypomobility) too. 

What is the Sacroiliac Joint?

 The Sacroiliac Joint (SI) is formed by the connection of the sacrum (tailbone) and the right and left iliac bones (the large bones that make up your pelvis). So you have 2 sacroiliac joints on the right and the left. In general the SI joint is designed to have little motion compared to other joints of our body like the hip or ankle.

Symptom Relief: Where to start?

SI joint dysfunction doesn’t come out of nowhere. A great place to begin for symptom relief we recommend is by taking a look at your posture and habitual movements. 

  • Are you favoring one leg when standing?
  • Are you holding your children on the same side most of the time?
  • When you lift up objects do you lift or rotate from one side more than another?
  • How are you getting out of bed? Sitting up? Twisting? Log Roll?

Those are a few examples to get you started and being more mindful around your movements to identify areas of your day you can make small changes that will significantly reduce your symptoms. Now onto the exercises and strategies!

Getting out of bed

  • Roll onto your side with your knees bent up, move your feet over the edge of the bed and push yourself up sideways with your arms.
  • When you lie down, reverse the process.

 Sitting:

  • When sitting (whether you are driving a car, riding a bicycle or sitting on a chair), press your chest upward and let your shoulder blades relax and drop.
  • Sitting crossed legged with your feet crossed underneath your legs on the floor or on a very firm bed; use your hands to pull your knees gently back towards your hips and lift your chest, and keep your shoulders low.

Standing Posture

  • Evenly distribute weight between both feet, avoid leaning onto one hip
  • Stand with your toes slightly out and legs a little wider than your hips. Soften your knees.  

Stabilization Exercises:

Core brace + mini band bent knee fallout

Key Points:  Begin in a neutral pelvis position, engage deep core. The leg that isn’t moving out to the side should remain stationary and resist the knee coming in with the band.

 

Glute Bridge

Key Points: Begin in a neutral pelvis position, engage deep core and glutes as you exhale into the bridge. Breath throughout the exercise 

Bird-Dog Progressions

Key Points: Exhale with the leg and arm extensions

Clamshells

Key Points: Engage deep core and avoid rocking the pelvis backwards as you bring your knee up.

Tall Kneeling Pallof Press (**Video shows half kneel, complete with both knees on ground)

Key Points: Maintain neutral spine, engage glutes, resistance should be challenging but not impossible, the goal is to resist the rotation the band is trying to take you into.

 SI joint dysfunction doesn’t have to be an annoying back ache keeping you from your fitness goals. By taking a look at your posture, mindfulness with your daily movements and improving hip stability and core strength by focusing on the exercises and strategies mentioned above for a solid 1-2 weeks you should see change.  

Don’t wait to live your best life, we’d love to help you reach your goals and be a part of your transformation!

Most people don’t know how to stay healthy and fit without getting hurt. At Inside Out Strength and Performance we provide a clear plan to get you in the best shape of your life, without getting injured, so that you can be active and confident that you’ll feel your best for years to come.

We help North County San Diego’s active adults and runners dealing with pain or injury get back to living a pain-free, strong, and confident life.

We are the Strength Docs who help active adults and runners live a strong, confident, and pain-free life. Fill out our contact form to get a clear plan and get started.

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