Prenatal Yoga and SI Joints

by Melissa West on August 28, 2013

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SI Joint Pain


Prenatal-Yoga-QuestionHi Melissa! I purchased Your Prenatal Yoga Video,  and I just started yoga again this week after 4 months of being super exhausted and having morning sickness. But now, when my energy Level is high enough for practicing yoga, I`m experiencing pain in the back of my pelvic area in the SI joints,  and it really hurts to walk. I`m guessing it is pelvic girdle pain since I struggled With that the last time as well (I think that is the correct English term for it… many Norwegians say that in other countries it is not a common diagnosis for pregnant women – that it is a Norwegian or Scandinavian phenomenon)….If you know what I am referring to – what would be Your advice? Should I just leave out the part in the prenatal yoga video where you circle and stretch the legs?

Wish you all the best!

X Siri

Please consult a medical doctor before starting any yoga program when you are pregnant. Normally, when my prenatal students speak of SI pain movement is encouraged. There are, of course, lots of reasons for this type of pain from position & size of the baby to the laxity of the soft tissue in the body as you prepare for birth. I personally have found cat/cow , pelvic circles and poses like down dog or forearm hands and knees can alleviate the pain associated with Sciatica often caused by pressure on the nerves around the SI joint with pain radiating down the leg.

Pelvic Girdle Pain is something different and it might require some mindful experimentation to see what will be the most effective approach in your practice.

The following are recommendations for Pelvic Girdle Pain:

  • When getting into bed sit on the edge keeping knees close together, lie down on your side, lifting both legs at the same time. Reverse this to get up.
  • Try not to attempt to pull yourself up from lying on your back.
  • Keep knees together when rolling over in bed.
  • Sleep with a pillow between the legs; add more in other areas for support.
  • When getting into a car: Sit down first and then swing legs keeping them together.
  • Avoid sofas and chairs that are too low or too soft.
  • Try to reduce the stress on the joint.
  • Avoid any movement with your knees apart.
  • Take smaller steps when walking.
  • Avoid stairs if possible.
  • Take breaks.
  • Move within the limits of pain.
  • Avoid twisting, bending or squatting.

Similar to sciatic pain there are a lot of possible causes for the pain and you may find some of these recommendations are more helpful than others. Since, Pelvic girdle pain is associated with hyper-mobility and external rotation of the hips, you might try replacing the cross-legged seat with Virasana (Kneeling with block or cushion underneath sit bones, feet to either side of hips), as long as your knees are comfortable here. Squatting is recommended in a lot of Prenatal instructional videos, but is not appropriate for a lot of women for a variety of reasons. You could replace squatting in any sequence with Kegel or Pelvic Floor exercises. When bending (and in any yoga exercise) be aware of the laxity (Extreme flexibility) of your body and make sure you are engaging muscles, stay within your range of motion.

Please let me know if you’d like any additional information.
best,
Molly
http://www.facebook.com/MollyCrowleyYoga
http://www.mollycrowley.com/
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