I'm going to be training someone who has injured her SI joint. She has chronic pain and has been going to a physical therapist. She'd like to try training to become active again, but I'm not sure what her limitations would be. What is the SI joint?
The SI joint is the sacro-iliac joint. It is the point at which the sacrum (the part of your spine below the lumbar vertebrae) connects to the ilium (pelvis), so you have the "joint" on the left and the right side of the sacrum. This is an important point of stability for the pelvis, hip, back, core and ultimately the entire body. Check out your anatomy books to see the many muscles that start, connect or cross through this area.
My recommendations include the following:
- Talk to the physical therapist about what they are doing during therapy and what recommendations they have for you.
- You may want to start with very fundamental stabilization exercises (search the PTN Content Library under keyword "Stabilization Training"). For example, while lying on the floor with knees bent and feet on the floor, have your client do the drawing in of the abdominal and core muscles upon exhalation. This is a basic beginning. Can your client then hold this support as she breathes? Can your client do a bridge without discomfort? In the bridge position, have her lift one leg at a time to work on stabilization. Your client is probably going to need lots of repetitions and time in re-establishing the neuromuscular integrity of the entire area.
I hope this helps you get started!