Posture – SI Sacro Iliac Nerve Pain & Pelvic Pain

Adaptation: Changes In Posture and Motion Cause the Body to Change  The 5th Posture Principle

man low back painPosture pain in your low back, hips, lower abdomen, base of the spine (“sacrum”), and/or legs might be traced to weak core muscles and poor posture.  In addition, the sacroiliac joint, connecting the base of the spine to the flaring hipbone (“iliac”) of the pelvis must bear a lot of weight. Unnatural stress due to injury or poor posture can cause inflammation and pain. Over time, degenerative joint disease, arthritis, iliac nerve pain, and osteoarthritis can result.

The pelvis is three bones- the base of the spine (or sacrum) and the two hip bones (the iliacs).  The sacro-iliac joint is where they meet, but unless you just suffered an injury, your sacro-illiacs (SI joints, or SIJ) shouldn’t hurt. If you’ve recently been injured, consult a chiropractor or medical doctor.   However, if you’ve ever injured your back, you are likely experiencing the effects of posture adaptation.  Usually related to weak or poor posture, SI pain and iliac nerve pain is a common and often painful problem from constantly working to balance your torso, spine Sacro-iliacs and head on your legs.  SIJ pain frequently involves sciatic nerve involvment causing radiating leg pain or femoral nerve entrapment causing groin and front leg pain.

Sacro-iliac pain is usually positional– it gets better, worse or different as body position changes. You move, your back hurts, and you then try to move a different way that doesn’t hurt. This doesn’t mean you’re cured or even pain-free; it means you’ve limited your choice of movements—your body’s chain of motion—to a smaller range of options. Over time, pelvic posture distortions causes pain and breakdown ( i.e. Arthritis /Degenerative Joint Disease) in the spine and other joints from the stress of daily wear & tear.

poor posture and motionIn time, compensation to avoid pain means you keep adapting until there’s only one way you can move without causing pain. And then even that goes away and it hurts regardless of what you do. Episodes of Sacro-iliac pain may come on after over-activity or without apparent cause, and is triggered as body adapts to mechanical stress, weak posture and inefficient motion. e.g.

  • Hunching over a computer keyboard typing for hours at a time
  • Sitting driving, working and relaxing
  • Chronic posture stress and inactive lifestyles

The mechanical stress from these activities, week after week, forces your body to change in response to the unnatural stresses you’re placing on it. Sacro-iliacs can handle lots of stress.  However, when you only use them in limited but repetitive ways some muscles become tight from overwork while partner muscles atrophy from lack of use.  Ligaments connecting the arm to the upper torso stiffen and restrict joint movement.  And one day you wake up with your Sacro-iliac feeling like you’ve pitched a baseball for nine long innings.

Postural exercises to strengthen deep, core muscles and unlock the sacroiliac only take a few minutes each day. Start with FOCUSED PELVIC TILT. The secret is to you move and exercise your muscles in the full range of motion, so everything gets worked and everything gets strong.  If you spend most of your day with your arms raised in front of you (typing, driving, etc.), be sure to do exercises that bring your arms out to the side, down against your legs, and up above your head.

See Posture Science for more info on body compensation, adaptation and how posture distortions tighten overused MUSCLES, weaken underused muscles, stretch and distort ligaments, and pinch and traction nerves teaching the body to move in uneven, stressed motion patterns.

Related Conditions: Pelvic/Sacroiliac Pain, SI pain; Hip pain;  Slipped Disc; Sacroiliac pain; Low back syndrome; Herniated Disc; Sacro-iliac syndrome; Postural adaptive muscle strain; Pinched nerve in back; back attack; muscle pulls, back strain; Pinched nerve, Poor posture  

Self-Help Solutions: Sacro-iliac SI Pain Relief

ball posture exercises>Do Posture Exercises every day to strengthen posture. The deep, core muscles controlling your balance and posture stretch all the way down to the pelvic floor, and so strengthening posture begins with the pelvis. Focused and controlled motion finds and strengthens weak areas to relieve pain and rehab sacro-iliac problems.   The StrongPostureTM exercises in STAND TALLER~LIVE LONGER are designed to retrain posture and whole body motion in a logical sequence.  Begin with Stork and Focused tilts to “wake up” unused deep muscle fibers.

>Be conscious of your posture

  • If you want to improve your posture, the pelvis is a great place to start. This might surprise you-maybe you thought that strong posture only applied to the upper and lower back. Strengthening posture begins with the pelvis– focus on slightly flexing the lower belly muscles.
  • Stand with Head tall and strong
  • Sacro-iliacs back and chest open
  • Pelvis Tucked and centered

>Change posture and body position frequently

  • Adjust your chair ,car seat or anyplace you spend time often during the day
  • Alternate which arm you use to carry loads such as a purse or child

good walking posture>KEEP MOVING- The Body Is Made To Move

  • Take frequent body-stretch breaks
  • Stretch your body opposite to the way you have been using your body.



>Best Sleeping Position for Sacro-iliac Pain

How to sleep with SI joint pain –

  • On your side, painful side up.  Try a pillow under your upper arm, and a contoured cervical pillow under your neck to keep head aligned with your spine.
  • Change your sleeping position if you are  a stomach sleeper!

>Avoid regular use of aspirin, NSAIDs (Advil, Ibuprofen, etc) and over the counter pain medication to avoid stomach, liver and kidney damage associated with frequent use of these drugs. 
58% of people using NSAIDs more than 3 months have ulcers. NSAIDs cause 103,000 hospitalizations and 16,500 deaths/year (Wall Street Journal, 10/2006)
Try Topicals for equal or superior pain relief and use alternating hot and cold compresses (15-20 minutes) to relax tight muscles and relieve pain.

Consult a professional if pain is severe or persists over two weeks

Doctors of Chiropractic and other physicians relieve Sacro-iliac pain by freeing locked joints to restore full-range mobility and alignment.  Chiropractors reduce mechanical stress to balance motion and nerve function.
Massage Therapists apply gentle pressure to relax muscle spasm and break up soft tissue & fascia adhesions to remove restrictions to full, balanced joint motion.
Osteopaths, Physical Therapists, Trainers, Coaches and other Posture Professionals also help sufferers of
Sacro-iliac pain

SITE DISCLAIMER & Health Note : If there is no trauma and pain initially begins in the chest, if the pain is not affected by motion, or if there is fever, nausea, vomiting, uneven pulse, anxiety, a sick feeling, burning urination, loss of bowel or bladder control, or severe pain, call your Physician.