If you have sacroiliac (SI) joint pain, you know it. Caused by inflammation of one or both joints that connect your pelvis to your spine, it is difficult to diagnose. Although it may be mistaken for other kinds of back pain, the pain correlates most with the pressure put on that joint. Unfortunately, sitting is an example of an activity that exerts this kind of pressure. So if you’re wondering how to sit with SI joint pain, read on.
In this post, we’re going to look at the anatomy of the SI joint and the reasons behind the pain. Next, we’ll dive into how sitting puts stress on the joint and how to sit safely to minimize discomfort. Finally, we’ll look at reduction strategies that Genesis Pain Clinic offers.
What Is The Sacroiliac (SI) Joint?
SI joint pain happens when there is inflammation within the joint. To find out more, it helps to know exactly what’s going on.
The name of the joint comes from the connection between two bones of the pelvis: the large, broad sacrum and the even more prominent, wing-like ilium. The sacrum is a single bone at the very base of the spine that performs numerous functions. It supports the spine, houses the thick bundle of nerves coming from the spine, and joins the tailbone.
On the other hand, the ilium is the largest component of the hip bone. The sacroiliac joints form on either side of the body, with both attaching an ilium to the sacrum. Interestingly, the joints themselves don’t have an extensive range of motion, only a couple of degrees. However, solid and thick ligaments hold the joint together and maintain stability, so much so that the SI joints can withstand the entire weight up the upper body.
What Causes The Pain?
Unfortunately, these joints have the potential to become inflamed. This inflammation is called sacroiliitis and can happen due to several conditions, from arthritis or spondyloarthropathy of various kinds to Crohn’s disease.
This inflammation can manifest in dull but chronic aches in the lower back, either or one of both sides, and can extend into the buttocks or thighs. Your lower back might feel stiff, its movement might be limited, and the pain might worsen during activities that involve the joint in a load-bearing capacity, such as standing up or lifting the knee while climbing stairs.
Not being able to sit can cause significant distress in your day-to-day life, and continued sitting and walking can make the pain much worse. Sitting in an airplane, car, or on a desk can become very uncomfortable. However, there are ways to manage and alleviate the pain.
Learning How To Sit With SI Joint Pain
Fortunately, you can learn how to sit with SI joint pain. Proper posture is essential to prevent injuries and pain when performing daily activities, and it is also necessary for mitigating SI joint pain.
The key is to support your lower back and keep your weight uniformly distributed on your bottom. Here are some steps you can employ as a checklist every time you sit:
- Sit upright by thrusting your chest gently forward and relaxing your shoulder blades.
- Keep your knees apart, and turn them outward slightly.
- Support your lower back using an orthopedic pillow on your seat or by rolling up a towel. This technique alleviates pressure from the joints.
- Try to keep your weight distributed uniformly over your seat.
- Make sure to take frequent breaks from sitting. Prolonged sitting can worsen the pain when you do get up.
- Stretch regularly and talk a brief walk at least once an hour.
You can also try an alternative seating position, such as on an exercise ball, that will allow your core abdominal muscles to take over the task of balancing your body to stay upright.
Conclusion and Pain Management
Adjusting your posture and making sure your lower back is well-cushioned is a way of relieving the discomfort of trying to sit with SI joint pain. Other modes of intervention are either rehabilitative or surgical, and our specialists at Genesis Pain Clinic can help you manage your SI joint pain. Give us a call at (913) 871-9888, and we’ll be happy to help you.