Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

What is it?

The Sacroiliac Joint (SIJ) lies next to the bottom of the spine, below the lumbar spine and above the coccyx. It connects the sacrum (the triangular bone at the bottom of the spine) with the pelvis (iliac crest) and is supported by a complex network of ligaments and muscles.  The SIJ has limited motion but allows forces to be transmitted effectively through the body, transmitting the weight of the upper body to the hip, acting as a shock absorber to prevent impact during walking, running etc. reaching the spine.

SIJ Dysfunction usually refers to pain in this joint caused by either too much or too little motion which can lead to increased stress on the structures around the joint.  The pain tends to focus either in the lower back on one or both sides of the joints, in the buttocks, back of leg, front of thigh and groin.  The pain may increase when bending forward or after prolonged sitting.

 

How can Pilates help?

Pilates ability to target muscles in isolation can help strengthen the supporting structure to the SIJ, in particular the deep abdominals (transversus and obliques) and glutes.  Low impact stabilising and muscle balancing exercises can help strengthen and stabilise this area thus reducing the likelihood and impact of SIJ pain.  Exercises such as knee stirs, pelvic tilts, shoulder bridge and clams will help develop strength in these muscles and lumbar release will help to stretch through this area.

Always ensure you work with an experienced and qualified Pilates teacher and seek advice from a medical professional before exercising.

 



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