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  • Writer's pictureHannah Bangel

6 Movements To Help Get Rid Of That Nagging SI Joint Pain During Pregnancy

I’m currently 27 weeks pregnant and have just recently been dealing with right sided SI joint pain. I first noticed it after a workout I did that involved a lot of hinging movements. That was my sign that I probably have some pelvic asymmetry and decreased coordination going on. Yes, it even happens to PTs! No better time to start practicing what I preach 😊

Pelvic girdle pain, or pain anywhere in the joints of your pelvis, can be common during pregnancy. There are several factors that contribute to this, such as, movement mechanics, increased joint laxity, and a shift in our center of gravity. Although common, it doesn't have to be something you just deal with until baby is born! We're here to help!

The good news is, there are things you can do to help avoid or get rid of SI joint pain during pregnancy!

First of all, we need to figure out what is causing the pain. There are a couple common causes that can lead to pain during pregnancy:

  1. Pelvic Asymmetry – an uneven pull on the pelvic joints likely due to postural patterns and muscular imbalance.

  2. Lack of Muscle Coordination – the ability of our muscles to help stabilize our pelvic joints appropriately during movement.

Usually, we need to work on both to reduce/avoid pelvic pain.

There are common postural patterns that may contribute to pelvic asymmetry and lack of muscle coordination during pregnancy. These patterns can help us determine what exercises we should incorporate to help decrease pain.

Common postural patterns include:

- The left hip is more externally rotated (turned out) and has an anterior pelvic tilt (tilted forward)

- The left adductor and hamstring tend to be weaker

- The left side thoracic (upper back) tends to be flatter

- The right hip is more internally rotated (turned in) and has a posterior tilt (tilted backwards)

- The right glute med and quad tend to be weaker

- The right side thoracic (upper back) tends to be compressed

These patterns are usually present even when we aren’t pregnant, but during pregnancy they can become a little more intensified due to the extra weight and shift in our center of mass due to baby. They are not always a bad thing, but if we get “stuck” and can’t get out of them, then that is when we can start to experience pain somewhere in our body - like our pelvis, especially during pregnancy.

Here are six movements to address these patterns and improve pelvic symmetry and muscle coordination to help you get out of pain. I try to incorporate these into my own routine when I can!

Strengthen the Asymmetry

1. Left Adductor Strengthening – Coppenhagen Plank on the Left

2. Right Glute Med and Quad Strengthening – Split Squat with Right Foot Forward and Left Foot Elevated

3. Posterior Oblique Sling Strengthening – Single Leg Bridge with Right Foot on the Ground and Opposite Arm Pulldown

Release the Uneven Pull

1. Release the Left Hip Pull – Half Kneeling Hip Flexor and Quad Release on the Left

2. Release the Right Hip Pull – Adductor Rockbacks on the Right

3. Side Body Opener – 90/90 Side Body Release with Left Hip Internal Rotation and Right Hip External Rotation

Having a full body assessment can help identify areas that may need some extra work. If you’re experiencing pelvic pain and it isn’t going away, let us know so we can help!

- Hannah

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