Do Kegels & Pelvic Floor Exercises Relieve SI Joint Pain?
The SI joint or sacroiliac joint supports the weight of your upper body and distributes forces across the pelvis.
The pain you feel in the SI joint is not always directly happening from the joint itself but can be related to other problems like arthritis, trauma, genetic diseases, and pregnancy which can all influence the capacity to transfer forces well.
The Pelvic Floor
Your pelvic floor is a group of muscles (three layers) that run from the pubic bone to the tailbone, as well as the sitz bones. The nerves, muscles, and connective tissue in the pelvic floor work to provide support to the internal organs, manage continence, contribute to sexual function and stabilize the spine and pelvis.
There are several muscles that help to support the pelvis and sacroiliac joint. When these muscles are weak or inhibited, they may not be able to properly support the SI joint and pelvis therefore may contribute to the pain and stiffness you’re feeling in your lower back. It is valuable to strengthen your core and restore movement in these muscles to relieve SI Joint pain.
So, do Kegels and Pelvic floor exercises help to relieve this pain?
The short answer is yes, from a muscular viewpoint Kegels may help to stabilize your SI joint. The pelvic floor is the foundation of the core and a stronger core can help manage movement.
Sometimes the cause of SI Joint Pain is overactivity in the pelvic floor muscles so learning how to release tension first is important. Wide leg child's pose, happy baby pose and the posterior pelvic floor release can all help.
Once tension has normalized, you can then add in kegels to strengthen the muscles but always remember to fully release pelvic floor contractions too.
You can strengthen your pelvic floor with Kegel and Pelvic Floor exercises. Kegel exercises help to strengthen your pelvic floor, but it is more than just ‘doing kegels’.
Kegels work when done correctly, consistently, and coordinated with movement. Before adding the kegel to movement, you need to learn the basics of how to contract, lift and release your pelvic floor muscles. This video will help you understand what a true kegel is, how to do one correctly and offer you different visualizations to optimize your engagement.
How to Do Kegel Exercises
Other exercises to help with SI Joint Pain
- Therapeutic Release/Stretch Exercises to restore muscle function
- Core stability exercises (lower back, deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles
- Posture and balance exercises such as wall stretches, child’s pose or cat-cow.
- Active movement through walking or running
- Stretching for muscles with yoga on exercises like the Bridge
Pelvic Floor Therapists
People with low back pain will seek the help of a chiropractor or massage therapist, acupuncture, or physiotherapy. While these practitioners can absolutely play a role, pelvic floor physical therapists can often be the missing link and can help create a plan with stretching and movement exercises to help with SI joint pain.