The sacroiliac (SI) joints are located where the pelvis and spine meet, near the dimples on the back side and just behind the colon on either side in the front. The purpose of the SI joint is to transfer the load from lower limbs to the pelvis during any weight bearing activity, including standing, sitting, walking and even lying down. SI joint dysfunction is real and can be a source of pain when a structure is immobile or stuck, such as in your hip, pelvic joints or fascia in and around the pelvic region. The pain can also be related to tight muscles and compensations that occur after core function is disrupted, from a trauma, surgery, pregnancy or fluctuating hormones.
Often a person is hoping to improve their condition and actually worsens it by doing the wrong exercise. In general, avoid asymmetrical activities such as lunges, scissoring, or stair climbing. For example, when getting in and out of the car, keep the knees together as if wearing a miniskirt to avoid shearing and inflammation of the joint. Also the angle of the body and legs should be greater than 90 degrees which means not sitting with the knees towards the chest or the chest towards the knees, such as on the couch with a laptop or book.
At the gym, avoid the adductor machine and the stair master machine. The adductor machine can provoke trigger points in the inner thigh muscles, increasing the dysfunction, and is not a functional exercise. It would be better to place something between the knees such as a ball and squeeze gently while exhaling. If this causes pain, hands-on treatment by a skilled physical therapist may be necessary to release trigger points, mobilize joints or fascia or restore pelvic or sacral alignment.
Learning the right exercises to strengthen your deep core muscles and to stabilize your pelvis is essential. Healthy Core therapists can instruct you in appropriate exercise for your SI dysfunction, so you can return to an active lifestyle.
Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Dysfunction