3 Steps to Permanent Relief for SI Joint and Pelvic Pain
Today we are going to cover the 3 steps to permanent relief for pelvic and SI joint pain. Now what is SI joint pain? The SI joint, if you do have SI joint pain, is pain on either side of the tailbone where the tailbone connects to the pelvis. So this is a drawing of the pelvis. This is your tailbone. This is your lumbar spine or your lower back, the bones in your lower back called vertebrae sitting on top of your tailbone. Then on either side of that you have your right hip or your left hip if we are looking at a person from the front. When we see somebody with SI joint pain, they will typically have pain on that given side. 70% of the time, it is on the right side. Don’t ask me why that is but.
70% of the time we know it is on the right. You can also get shooting groin pain, buttocks pain and symptoms down the outside of the leg that is affected. It might be pain, numbness, tingling, burning. Typically, that person suffers from a heaviness as well. It can also cause some incontinence and leaking issues as along to effect sexual performance as well. It can be absolutely devastating if the pelvic problem is bad enough. Fortunately, most people just have pain on one side. So what can you do about it? That person who has SI joint problems typically has trouble rolling over in bed, getting in and out of a car, crossing one leg over the other. Usually they have trouble sitting for long periods.
Of time especially if it is on a couch or a soft surface. So it can be absolutely devastating. Now what are the steps to permanent relief for that? Number 1 is this. Most people when we see them if they are going to try exercises on their own and they only have a little bit of SI joint pain or pelvic pain, they are doing stretches. Yes, there is a very basic stretch which most people show me on Day 1. It is a piriformis stretch which is where you grab the knee and pull it up and across to the opposite shoulder. It will give the person who suffers pelvic or SI joint problems and pain temporary relief. However, long term we don’t want to stretch. We want to.
Strengthen or stabilize. Why is that? When somebody has an SI joint problem, so the center of gravity of your entire body is in the center of your pelvis. That needs to move the right way and it needs to be stable when you are doing day to day activities. If it is not stable enough, what will happen is the joint will move so far that it becomes stuck. So if we are looking at the tailbone, we have the tailbone and we have the pelvis and you get a normal gliding day to day. If more stress, more force is put through the pelvis than the pelvis itself can handle, that SI joint can handle, what will happen is you actually become stuck. Now that creates all sorts of problems for the muscle around it.
What most people do is try to stretch their way out of it. The problem is not stretching and it is not flexibility. It is actually a stability issue. If we want to stabilize, we need to do strengthening exercises. If you go on our YouTube channel, on the Madden PT official YouTube channel, there is a tutorial called Top 3 Exercises for SI Joint and Pelvic Stability. They are very low grade, kindergartenlevel exercises where you can at least begin stabilizing the muscles that control your pelvis. But we don’t want to stretch, we want to think stabilize. Step 2 is we want to take a look at our habits. So what are some habits that lead to.
Pelvic instability and problems? Number one is standing with the weight shifted. So if I’m standing like this with my weight shifted side to side for long periods of time, what that does is over years and years and years it weakens the ligaments which are tissue that hold joints together that we can’t control. Think about somebody with an ankle sprain. They sprained a ligament. They stretched the ligament but it is not a muscle. It is different than a muscle. There are little habits that we do. If I stand like this and let’s say I weigh 175 pounds and if I’m standing like this, I have 150 pounds on one side and 25 pounds on the other. Where if I’m standing balanced, I have 87 Â½ pounds on each.
Leg. Really quick math there. We want to take a look at our habits. Other habits that cause problems are sitting on a couch or laying on a couch in an awkward position or a side lying position. The way that we sleep. If you sleep on your stomach and you have one leg raised higher than your other as you are sleeping on your stomach, that can cause problems. Crossing one leg over another whether it is at the ankle or it is at the knee for long periods of time. That can cause problems. Sitting on one leg which I know especially for office workers a lot of women will sit on one leg as they are working. Well if you work 8 hours a day, let’s say you do it half the time, so that is 4 hours a day.