SI Joint pain | Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction Treatment and Exercises
Stride Strong PT’s Formula
• Determine origin of pain: low back or SI Joint – which would determine course of manual therapy and joint therapy.
• Joint manual therapy to improve symmetry the immediate core strengthening with progression to maintain symmetry, alignment and posture.
• PT guidance and recommendations to alter postures in sitting, standing and bad computer workstation ergonomics that exacerbate the pain.
SI Joint Pain and Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
The Sacroiliac (SI) joint is the joint between your sacrum and your pelvis bone. The SI joints need to hold up the entire weight of the body, waist-up, and can have large amounts of stress on them with prolonged walking, standing and running. It is not a joint that moves as much as the hip or the spine, but it does have minute degrees of motion. Hence, it could “get stuck or jammed” from doing certain activities: landing on one leg too hard after a jump or leap, falling or landing a foot in a ditch while running, falling on one side of your hip. Prolonged, poor sitting posture (slouching!) can also cause it, as can pregnancy hormones and childbirth.
Here is what to look for:
- One-sided pain in the buttocks and/or belt-line area
- Aching or pinching pain at the SI joint
- Pain worse with prolonged driving/sitting, prolonged standing. Pain is alleviated with walking/running/being active
- Tightness and/or pain in low back muscles of the same side
- Hamstring tenderness
- Numbness/tingling sensations resulting from Sciatica
Here is what you can do:
- Heat therapy if you feel that your muscles are tight and in spasm; place them around the area that feels tight
- Cold pack therapy if you feel the joint is aching as this could be a result from inflammation
- Avoid slouch-sitting and put a cushion at the small of your back for support (this could be done in the car also)
- Sit up, stand and walk straight with good posture and avoid activities that involve stooping over (washing dishes, gardening) or leaning to one side while sitting (e.g. leaning on the center console in your car)
- See your Physical Therapist if issues don’t resolve
Here is how Physical Therapy can help you:
- Manual therapy to correct joint alignment of the pelvis, and soft tissue massage to the muscles that are tense and in pain
- Proper abdominal and hip strengthening exercises to make sure the corrected alignment stays
- If the joint is inflamed, an anti-inflammatory patch is very helpful
- Proper posture coaching so you don’t continue to strain your SI joint
By Alice Holland, DPT.
Alice’s Google + page.
Doctor of Physical Therapy, Director at Stride Strong Physical Therapy