How to prevent and alleviate SI joint pain with Clinical Somatics
The best ways to prevent and alleviate SI joint pain are to maintain balanced posture and movement, release muscle tension in your lower back and gluteal muscles, and avoid heavy lifting and activities that may injure your SI joint ligaments.
Clinical Somatics exercises use the movement technique of pandiculation to release chronic muscle tension. Our nervous system actually learns to keep our muscles tight over time due to repetitive activities and stress, and the only way to release this tension is to retrain the nervous system.
Likewise, imbalanced postural patterns related to SI joint dysfunction, like scoliosis and functional leg length discrepancy, are caused by tight muscles pulling the skeleton out of alignment. The most effective and efficient way to release these tight muscles is by retraining the nervous system with pandiculation. Proprioceptive exercises that retrain sitting and standing posture are also very helpful, and these are part of the Clinical Somatics learning process.
It’s important to understand why other methods may not be effective for SI joint pain and dysfunction. Static stretching may temporarily lengthen your muscles, but they’ll start tightening up within a few hours as your stretch reflex regains normal function. Chiropractic adjustments can realign your joints temporarily, but your habitual muscular patterns will pull your joints out of alignment again within a few hours or days. Traditional strengthening exercises may add to your chronic muscle tension; so, do strength-building exercises with care and read this post about core strength.
Clinical Somatics exercises are extremely effective not only for releasing chronic muscle tension and retraining posture and movement, but also for recovering from injuries and pregnancy and regaining functional strength. While they are not traditional strength-building exercises, the exercises teach you how to fully contract and release your muscles so that you can use them through their full range of motion. They also allow you to “wake up” muscles that you may not have voluntarily used in many years.
Since the SI joints are at the core of the body, there are many Clinical Somatics exercises that work with the muscles that affect the SI joints. If you are doing my online Level One & Two Courses, the following exercises will be most helpful for releasing the muscle tension and correcting the postural imbalances that lead to SI joint dysfunction:
From Level One:
Arch & Flatten
Arch & Curl
One-sided Arch & Curl
Diagonal Arch & Curl
From Level Two:
Lower Back Release
Proprioceptive Exercise 1
Proprioceptive Exercise 2
Iliotibial Band Release
Standing Hamstring Release