Why does SI Joint Pain affect women during pregnancy?

The sacroiliac joints are located in the pelvis and their objective is to transfer weight and forces between the upper body and legs during activities such as walking, running and jumping. During certain movements of the spine and hips, stretching or compressive forces are placed on the sacroiliac joints and surrounding ligaments.

SI Joint Pain is one of the most common sources of pain for pregnant women. Sacroiliac joint pain often affects the back of your pelvis, hips and can also travel down your legs. “Most musculoskeletal pain in pregnancy is related to relaxin, a hormone that causes your muscles and ligaments to relax…This allows your pelvic musculature to relax to allow for your growing fetus. However, relaxin also can cause other muscles and ligaments to relax causing impingement on nerves and pain. Because the ligaments within and surrounding your pelvis are stretching and relaxing, your joints don’t have as much support as they normally do…Ligaments provide stability, so if the ligaments are relaxed it can lead to joint instability which can lead to too much joint mobility or can cause other surrounding muscles to compensate, usually by tightening, and this can cause pain”.

Despite diagnostic advances, women often see multiple doctors for their chronic back pain before finding a cause or treatment option that works for them. The survey by SI-BONE found that 87% of respondents who suffer from chronic lower back pain have seen up to four doctors for treatment. The survey revealed a serious quality of life struggles due to lower back pain:

  • 43% have difficulty standing up straight, walking or moving from the standing position to the sitting position
  • 43% have difficulty sleeping
  • 36% struggle with anxiety or depression
  • 47% have experienced unwanted weight gain
  • 39% were unable to engage in physical activity
  • 75% want treatment options that will allow them to stop using over-the-counter medication, prescription drugs or opioids

Wearing an Health compression garment during and after pregnancy creates muscle activity and therefore stability to the joint that is supported by its surrounding muscles. Activity of these muscles is the key to reducing pain and discomfort of pelvic girdle pain and providing strength and stability to the pelvis.

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