What movements should you avoid with SI joint pain?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

When it comes to SI joint pain, it’s important to be mindful of certain movements and exercises that can exacerbate the condition. Here are some movements and activities you should generally avoid or approach with caution if you are experiencing SI joint pain:

1. Jumping and skipping: Activities that involve repetitive jumping or skipping can put excessive stress on the SI joint and worsen the pain. This includes exercises like jumping jacks, jump squats, and high-impact aerobic exercises. It’s best to opt for low-impact alternatives like swimming or cycling.

2. Cross-legged sitting: Sitting with your legs crossed can place uneven pressure on the SI joint, leading to increased pain and discomfort. Instead, sit with both feet flat on the ground or use a supportive chair that promotes proper alignment of the pelvis and spine.

3. Twisting movements: Twisting or rotating the spine can strain the SI joint and potentially aggravate the pain. Avoid exercises like bicycle crunches, Russian twists, or any rotational movements that involve the lower back. Instead, focus on exercises that stabilize and strengthen the core without excessive twisting, such as planks or bird dogs.

4. Heavy lifting: Lifting heavy weights, especially with improper form, can put excessive strain on the SI joint. It’s important to lift with proper technique, engage the core muscles, and avoid excessive load on the lower back. If you need to lift heavy objects, consider using your legs and maintaining a neutral spine position.

5. High-impact activities: Activities that involve repetitive pounding or jarring, such as running or high-intensity interval training (HIIT), can exacerbate SI joint pain. Consider switching to low-impact exercises like elliptical training, swimming, or using a stationary bike to minimize stress on the joint.

6. Certain sexual positions: Some sexual positions can put strain on the SI joint, causing discomfort or pain. Positions that involve deep penetration, excessive twisting or bending of the spine, or placing pressure on the lower back should be avoided. Communication with your partner about your condition and finding positions that are comfortable for both of you is essential.

It’s important to note that everyone’s experience with SI joint pain may vary, so it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional or a physical therapist who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific condition and needs. They can help you identify movements and exercises that are safe and beneficial for your SI joint pain management.