Do you suffer from SI joint pain? If so, you know how difficult it can be to find a comfortable position. Sitting and sleeping can be challenging when dealing with this type of pain.
This blog post will discuss the best positions for sitting and sleeping with SI joint pain. We’ll also provide helpful tips on getting the most out of these positions. Keep reading for more information!
How to sit with SI joint pain
The best way to understand how to sit with SI joint pain is to understand the sacroiliac joint and why it is painful.
What is the sacroiliac joint?
The sacroiliac (SI) joint is a strong, slightly movable joint between the triangular bone at the base of your spine (sacrum) and the large, flat bone in your pelvis (ilium). The SI joint connects these two bones and helps transfer the weight of your upper body from your spine to your hips and legs.
The SI joint is a weight-bearing joint that supports much of your body weight. For this reason, it is essential to maintain proper alignment when sitting. Conversely, poor alignment can stress the SI joint unnecessarily and exacerbate pain.
What causes sacroiliac joint pain?
There are a few different things that can cause sacroiliac joint pain. These include:
Strains and sprains of the sacroiliac ligaments and joints
The muscles and ligaments that support the SI joint can become dysfunctional. This can lead to pain and stiffness in the joint. The joint may also become less stable, making it more difficult to move.
Arthritis in the SI joint
Arthritis can be a problematic condition, causing pain and inflammation. The SI joint is a common target of arthritis, often leading to difficulty moving.
Trauma or injury to the SI joint
Falls, car accidents, or sports injuries can all cause damage to the SI joint.
Pregnancy can cause SI joint pain.
Around half of all pregnant women experience some form of SI joint pain. For some, the pain is moderate and goes away after delivery. But for others, the pain can be severe and last long after childbirth.
What are the painful positions for sacroiliac joint pain?
The sacroiliac joint is involved in stabilizing the pelvis through movement. It connects the action from the lower limbs to the lumbar spine. Therefore, any activities involving hip or back movement can create pain in an inflamed sacroiliac joint.
- Bending forward and backward (flexing and extending), such as when you pick something up off the floor. Because this requires the hips and the lumbar spine to move, the sacroiliac joint must work.
- Bending to the side or rotating, such as turning to check your blind spot while driving.
- Transition movements include getting up from a seated position, turning over in bed, getting in and out of the car, or getting out of bed.
- Sitting for an extended period puts direct pressure on the sacroiliac joints, primarily if the low back is not adequately supported or there is insufficient foot support.
- Sleeping or laying down flat with feet stretched out can cause pain. This puts a lot of stress on the sacroiliac joint through the hips.
Movements that require the sacroiliac joint to work will consequently cause pain in an irritated or inflamed joint.
It is also important to note that sacroiliac joint pain often results in reactive and protective spasms of the hip and low back muscles. This can cause additional pain to movements.
How to sit with SI joint pain?
Now that we understand how the sacroiliac joints work and why it is painful, we can discuss how to best support them during the day.
You can do a few things to make sitting more comfortable if you suffer from SI joint pain. Sitting with a “good posture” will help remove pressure from inflamed joints. However, you may need some help in supporting the sacroiliac joint.
Sitting Posture Checklist:
- Place a pillow behind your low back for support. The cushion should be thick enough to lean against but thin enough so that your posture is natural.
- Sit tall with your shoulders back and your chin parallel to the floor. The pillow through your lumbar spine will help alleviate the stress on your shoulders, and you will find it easier to stay in this position with good posture.
- Avoid crossing your legs as it can strain the SI joint unnecessarily.
- Keep your feet on the floor.
- Try to get up and move around every 30 minutes or so. Frequent breaks help keep your joints healthy and prevent stiffness.
- Use a heating pad or ice pack on the painful area for 15 minutes to help reduce inflammation and pain.
- Understand that getting up from a seated position will be painful.
How to Sleep with SI joint Pain?
Sleeping can be difficult when you have SI joint pain.
The best position for sleeping is on your side with a pillow between your knees. Knee pillows on the market are designed specifically for this purpose; however, a comfortable pillow will typically do the trick.
A pillow between the knees will help take the pressure off the SI joint and allow you to sleep more comfortably.
If you are a stomach sleeper
If you are a stomach sleeper, it is best to try and find another position. Sleeping on your stomach can put unnecessary stress on the SI joint and aggravate the pain.
If you are a side sleeper
If you are a side sleeper, putting a pillow between your legs is best to help take the pressure off the SI joint. This will relieve pain in the SI joints.
If you are a back sleeper
If you are a back sleeper, placing a pillow under your knees is best to help support your lower back and take the pressure off the SI joint.
How do you relieve sacroiliac pain?
If you’re dealing with sacroiliac joint pain, you know how debilitating it can be. The good news is that various treatment options are available to help ease your pain and get you back to living your life. Here are five of the most effective treatments for sacroiliac joint pain:
Chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic adjustments are a standard treatment for SI joint pain. Your chiropractor will use manual manipulation to realign your pelvis and relieve pressure on your SI joints.
Physical therapy. Physical therapy exercises can help strengthen the muscles around your SI joints and improve your range of motion. This can ultimately help reduce pain and inflammation in the area. They can also perform treatments such as dry needling for pain relief.
Home exercises. Home exercises for pain relief that strengthen and stretch the areas around the sacroiliac joint are also very effective.
Massage therapy. Massage therapy can help relax the muscles around your SI joints and release tension. This can help reduce pain and improve the range of motion.
Acupuncture. Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. Studies have shown that acupuncture can effectively treat various forms of pain, including SI joint pain.
Pain medications. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter or prescription pain medications to help ease SI joint pain. These include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, or corticosteroid injections. Many people prefer natural remedies at home for pain relief. Surgery may be an option in severe cases if other treatments haven’t been successful.
Depending on the severity of your pain, you may need to try a combination of these treatments to find relief. Surgery is usually only recommended in severe cases where other treatments haven’t been successful. I
f you’re considering surgery, talk to your doctor about all the risks and potential complications.
In most cases, sacroiliac joint pain can be effectively treated with conservative measures such as chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, and massage therapy. However, working with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you is essential.
With proper treatment, you can get back to living your life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does sitting make SI joint pain worse?
Sitting does not typically make SI joint pain worse. However, getting up from a seated position may be more painful if you have SI joint pain.
Can sacroiliac joint pain go away on its own?
Sacroiliac joint pain can resolve independently; however, this is typically not the case. Therefore, it is essential to work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that will help relieve your pain and improve your quality of life.
What is the best exercise for SI joint pain?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best exercise for SI joint pain will vary depending on the individual.
However, some activities that may help relieve SI joint pain include strengthening exercises for the muscles around the joint, stretching exercises, and low-impact aerobics.
Talking to your doctor or physical therapist before starting any exercise program is essential.
How do I get immediate relief from SI joint pain?
Several treatments can provide immediate relief from SI joint pain. Pain medication is usually the fastest way to get pain relief. These include over-the-counter or prescription pain medications such as NSAIDs. However, prescription medication from your doctor may be necessary. In addition, chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, and massage therapy can provide significant relief. Working with your doctor to find the treatment or combination of treatments that are right for you is essential.
If you are experiencing SI joint pain, we hope the tips in this post have given you some ideas on how to sit and sleep more comfortably. Remember to be gentle with yourself as you heal – take things slow and easy, and allow yourself time to rest and recover. We wish you all the best on your journey to relief!