One of the biggest things you need to keep in mind, in terms of stabilizing your SI joints, is allowing any potential ligament sprains in the area to heal.
How can you stabilize your ligaments? There are a few different ways to you can look at this issue. Let’s examine them in more detail:
Modifying your movement patterns and daily activities to avoid re-spraining the ligaments
I personally had to learn to change the way I move, and also avoid certain activities that were bound to make my joints lock up (such as trying to go grocery shopping on a crowded Saturday morning).
If you have a ligament sprain, you need to give that ligament a chance to rest. Ligaments that have been sprained, or stretched out, do not always recover completely, but you need to give your body a chance to do what healing it can. You definitely won’t get better as long as you’re accidentally re-injuring the area every day.
Build up your muscle strength, particularly the core, hip, and back muscles.
When your muscles are strong, they help to absorb a lot of the forces that would otherwise be traveling across your ligaments as you walk, lift things, and otherwise go about your day.
Having strong muscles takes some of the stress off of your ligaments so you can heal, and also helps to optimize your movement patterns and prevent recurrence of the injury in the future.
However, until your muscles get strong enough to take over, there are things you can help do to stabilize your SI joint ligaments in the meantime.
SI joint belts and Taping
You may have heard of options such as SI joint belts and taping, which designed to provide support to the area around your joints.
In each case, you are adding something externally to the area to provide stability, which again, is meant to reduce the amount of force travelling across the ligaments, and help hold the joints in place.
I personally tried both an SI joint belt and taping under the guidance of a PT. In my case, I actually didn’t find them helpful and didn’t continue with them.
However, SI joint dysfunction can be SO individual from one person to the next. I have also heard a lot of success stories from these methods, both from readers of my blog and coaching clients, as well as my PT mentors.
So just because these options weren’t right for me, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try them. With this type of recovery, it’s important to follow the expression “leave no stone unturned” — try out everything you can, and see if it helps you.
Here’s more info:
The purpose of an SI joint belt is to provide stability and compression to help keep your joints in place. I’ve learned that it’s important to wear them when you’re already in alignment (to make sure they’re holding things in the correct position). Although you can buy the belts directly online, I highly recommend consulting a PT to make sure you’re using them right.
These are some belts that are highly recommended by people I know personally:
You may also enjoy this explanation of SI belts from Sam Visnic:
There are also different types of taping techniques you can look into.
The kind I tried for my SI joints was Kinesiotape. I’ve used it for my knees in the past, and it was really a miracle cure for my chondromalaica patella. I didn’t like the SI joint application, but I still really respect Kinesiotape in general (and definitely get annoyed when I hear people say it’s just a fad!).
There’s also KT tape. I also tried this for my knees and didn’t like it as much– however, these things are so individual that I urge you to find what works for you!
Another option is regular athletic tape, which has been around for a lot longer. Here’s an example of that approach from Champion Fitness Physical Therapy:
These are some of the major factors for you to be aware of.
Ultimately, it all comes down to striking the right balance between strengthening your muscles and allowing your ligaments to heal– using whatever tools turn out to be helpful for that.
Any comments or questions, please leave a comment below! You can also book a coaching session if you’d like to check in and get my personalized recommendations 🙂