The Sacroiliac joint (SI-joint) is located between your pelvic (ilium) and sacrum (sacral vertebrae).This joint does not move very much but it is critical to transferring the load of the upper body to the lower body and provides shock absorption for the spine. SI-joint dysfunction is common source of back pain. The pain is dull, deep pain on your back or buttock and it may refer to the groin, down to the leg. The pain can be similar sciatica-like pain to herniated disc.
SI-joint dysfunction and pain may be caused by sacroiliac joints hypermobility (too much movement) or hypomoblity (too little movement). Si-joint hypermobility (joint instability) is typical for young woman during and after pregnancy. Abnormal or asymmetric forces to the hip and lumbar area may also cause SI-joint hypermobility or even torn ligaments around the joint.
One of the best “treatment” to the SI-joint pain and hypermobility is specific pelvic and spinal muscles strengthening and stabilization program. Pilates and lumbar spinal stabilization training are both very efficient and safe exercises for people with SI-jointdysfunction.
The exercises should focus on strengthening the “inner unit”. The inner unit includes the deep back and abdominal stabilizers; transverse abdominus and multifidus muscles as well as pelvic floor muscles and diaphragm. These muscles are your Pilates powerhouse: roof, walls and floor around your spine and pelvic. The Pilates powerhouse muscles provide stability for the SI-Joint and lumbar-pelvic girdle.
The “outer unit” is also important to stabilize your pelvic and spine. The outer unit consist of the obliques (external & internal), latissimus dorsi, erector spinae and gluteus medius & maximus muscles with thoracolumbar fascia. These muscles and fascia contribute to load transfer through the pelvic region with rotational activities and during gait. Also muscles around your hips such as hip abductors, adductors and rotators are important because they are involved in a proper function of the pelvic girdle while walking and standing.
Many Si-joint dysfunction sufferers compensate their movement (due pain) thus resulting more pain and problems also to their spine and back. To avoid further pain and problems Pilates is a wonderful tool. Only challenge is finding a good Pilates instructor who has knowledge and hands-on-skills to work with SI-joint dysfunction.
People can often get rid of SI-joint pain when they start to practice Pilates with a good teacher. A professional Pilates instructor has an eye on correcting client’s compensation patterns and underlying problems. Individually customized Pilates program can also help increase body awareness which is important part of correcting many postural habits in daily life and activities. A proper posture is extremely important for healthy SI-joint and pelvic alignment. Private Pilates training may be pricey, but it provides big help for anyone to alleviate pain and keep strong. The results will be priceless!