Tag Archives: pelvic girdle pain

Problems with Sacro-iliac Joint Pain

Sacro-iliac joint pain.

Having just covered all matters relating to pelvic girdle pain (PGP) it seems like a perfect time to discuss the sacro-iliac  joint.

This can be another source of pain and discomfort during pregnancy, but thankful like PGP it is manageable and usually subsides after childbirth.

If at any time you have fallen funny and landed on your butt that was probably your first introduction to the Sacro-iliac joint.

(The science bit)
The Sacro-iliac joint is one of the largest joints of the skeleton, where the pelvis and spine join. The bone is smooth and slides together and with large ligaments strengthening their connection.

So the question is: how does pregnancy upset this joint and cause us pain? It’s all down to those pesky hormones that relax all our joints and ligaments. We couldn’t give birth without them but boy do they give us a rough time!

Normally our bodies have the ability to compensate for these changes.
But when hormone levels are higher than normal or there is already an underlying instability of the pelvis, the sacro-iliac joint can begin to slide out of place.

This is when pain is felt.

You could think of pain as the signalling telling our bodies:”It’s time to slow down and adapt your movements”

You will feel this commonly in the lumber (lower) region of the back, possibly radiating into the butt and down one or both thighs. Referred pain may be felt at the symphysis pubis .

So we can’t affect the release of the joint-relaxing hormone, this is a given.

What you can do is work on balancing out tight and/or weak muscles connected to the pelvis. The piriformis is a common culprit. It connects from your pelvis to the top of your leg. Try using a form roller or a tennis ball will also do the trick.

I  keep  mentioning stability and I can’t push this point enough. A stable pelvis will support your growing bump and counter the effect of the hormones by giving you a strong base to work from.

Never neglect your pelvic floor work. Use you abdominals to hold your bump in. And don’t be afraid of squats!
This all helps give the sacro-iliac joint the support it needs, to help reduce or eliminate any discomfort.

Next week I will be putting together a short video showing some simply ways to engage your pelvic floor .

(Sacro-iliac pain can sometimes be mis-diagnosed as sciatica. If you do feel pain and discomfort in this area please consult your doctor first. Seeking professional help with exercise is advisable)

For London based consultations you can reach me at sally@crossfitlondonuk.com)

Sally Dixey is a Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green @ Crossfit London

 


 

Dealing with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (Pelvic Girdle Pain)

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction or Pelvic Girdle Pain as detailed in a past post is the separation of the symphysis pubis.

One of two things will happen if you experience this. You will want to stay in bed for the remainder of your pregnancy, everyday activities seeming too painful or you will want to carry on with some sort of activities least of all your day to day tasks.

First things first though make sure you see your doctor. In severe cases you will need to see a physiotherapist.

Either way management of the pain and knowledge of what will worsen or help the situation is always useful.

Exercises for someone with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (PGP).

I wish I could give a straight forward answer but I can’t. I can generally state that movements that would worsen the condition would include movements that mean the hips, legs are separated ie a wide squat, lunges. Or simply putting one foot in front of the other ie walking.

Saying that though this will vary from woman to woman. Ranges of movement and particular exercises will differ across the board.

Prescription needs to be specific to each woman. How do certain moves and ranges feel? If pain is experienced quite simply STOP

I have seen a client who struggles with wide squats but found regular squats with a shortened range fine. Or couldn’t do lateral lunges but reverse lunges and regular lunges are fine.

If you want to continue to train you need to be realistic that something like Crossfit at this point is probably going to be extremely scaled and or stopped altogether for a more gentler approach.

Remember ladies this is fine!

Your symphysis pubis will return to normal after your baby is born.

It is Ok during pregnancy to take the tempo down. It is a small amount of time in the grand scheme of life.

Believe me you won’t have time to slow down when your baby arrives!!

In all cases focus on the core stabilising muscles of the pelvis is vital.

Working on transverse abdominal activation, pelvic floor recruitment will all make this condition far more manageable. And would be prescribed for any degree of PGP.

(Please note -Always seek help and advise from a trained professional)

Approaching day to day tasks you will need to think about how you move.

Here is an everyday example to help get in and out of bed.

Keeping your legs together. Hips and knees square, rolling onto your side and pushing yourself up to seated using your arms. Swing your legs gently, allowing your legs to dangle off bed/sofa, keeping them firmly together throughout the movement.

Remember the golden rule – if it hurts or gives you pain STOP

(A small minority will experience extreme pain, during pregnancy you are not able to use pain relief in the same way as before. Please consult your doctor or midwife for advice on pain relief and ways to deal with it.)

I hope this gives you a good starting point for PGP management. You can reach me through email for further advice on specific areas and questions. -sally@crossfitlondonuk.com

 

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach at Bethnal Green