A physical therapist explains how to minimize SI joint pain while sitting

Hi everyone!

I just discovered Dr. Chris Sovey’s Youtube channel.  He is a physical therapist who owns his own practice, Healthy Consumer Physical Therapy.

This is a really interesting video on what happens to the SI joints when you sit.  As he points out, the advice in his video is for educational purposes only.  If you have serious pathology, or have been having SI joint dysfunction for more than a month, it’s really best that you seek out a physical therapist to work with you individually.

However, as all of us know, knowledge is power– the more the better.  So in addition to pursuing treatment with a licensed professional… it’s also good to learn as much as you can.  This video shows some general principles you want to follow to avoid developing problems, or worsening problems that may have already begun.

Neutral Positioning

In this video, Dr. Chris explains the importance of maintaining neutral positioning while you sit.  (This is the same concept I began to discuss on my post on stretches for the hamstring muscles, actually).

In general, it’s best to keep your weight balanced equally between your two hip bones (or “butt bones” as Dr. Chris calls them).  You don’t want to be sitting asymmetrically– for example, if you have a wallet in one of your back pockets, that can cause one hip bone to be propped up higher than the other.  In the long-term, this can actually create problems.

There’s a point at the 3:30 mark where he says you can literally just reach down with your hands and just “pick up each butt cheek” to make sure it’s resting fully on the chair.

I have to tell you– this is not something I would have ever been able to do.  My SI joints are so hypermobile that even the temporary asymmetry this would create would probably cause them to rotate out of place.  (Honestly… it’s still something I would probably choose not to do, just in case).

But everyone’s different, and that doesn’t negate the fact that I still think this is a really great video.   I just bring this up to illustrate the fact that everyone’s SI joints are different, and it’s really important to know what does and doesn’t work for you.  (You can follow all the advice in the world, but you’d probably just end up worse if you listened to all of it.  There’s no way all of it will work for one person).

Don’t Slump

So anyway, I also liked how Dr. Chris used the pelvis model to identify why you don’t want to be slumped backward or leaning too far forward (at the 3:35 mark).  It’s one thing to warn people against this in the abstract, but Dr. he actually uses the model to show you what’s happening to your pelvis when you do it.  It’s pretty interesting.

Try not to twist

And then, at the 4:19 mark, he also talks about how important it is not to be rotated, or twisted, sideways.  Instead, you can to be facing your work station directly in front of you.

Lastly, at 5:00, he also talks about the “perpetual twist” that can come when people sit with their legs crossed– especially because we often have one leg that we prefer to cross, versus the other.

The things we do from minute to minute can add up

The effects of sitting can be cumulative.  Even though it’s not an “exercise,” the effects of our positioning, especially over such a long period of time, can really add up over time.

As Dr. Chris points out, our bodies weren’t designed to sit for 8 hours a day, so in some ways it’s actually unnatural for us.   That’s why it’s so important to get the mechanics of sitting right, because it can be hard on our bodies.

So… I hope you enjoy this video!  Dr. Chris has a lot of interesting videos up on his channel— definitely check them out!

Blogging Update

You may be interested to know that I just created a new Facebook page for My Sacroiliac Joint Saga.  It will be specifically for sacroiliac joint updates.

I’m so happy that so many of you have been following along on my Sunlight in Winter Facebook page — (that’s my original blog, from back when I first started blogging in 2011).  Honestly, when I first started this site, I never expected that it would take off.

However, in the last year or so, it’s grown like crazy– which is great!– but sometimes I really don’t know what to post on Facebook.  I don’t want to post about the SI joint too much, and disappoint the people who originally followed me for other reasons.

So… that is why I give you the My Sacroiliac Joint Saga Facebook page.  It will just be for SI joint updates.

I will, of course, continue to post updates on all of my writing, including the SI joint, on the Sunlight in Winter page.  But for those of you looking for a little extra info, who want a higher number of SIJ posts, I now give you this option.  I’ll be sharing updates about new blog posts, plus other resources and videos I find.

So I hope you’ll follow along!

I also have a new SI Joint Saga Instagram account as well 🙂

Okay… that’s all for now! 

As always, if you have any questions, you can leave a comment below or email me at sunlightinwinter12@gmail.com.  Thanks!

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