This entry was posted on February 21, 2020.
Final week, I wrote a post on the widespread problem of sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction amongst yoga practitioners. Within the put up, I outlined a number of of the causes I’ve noticed over greater than 30 years of educating and practising yoga asana. In immediately’s put up, we’ll discover tips on how to stop the primary of those causes of SI joint issues.
There may nicely be extra the reason why SI joint dysfunction is widespread amongst yoga practitioners that I haven’t but encountered. (I welcome your ideas when you’ve skilled SI joint ache from a motion aside from those I listing beneath.) And there are actually different issues that will trigger issues in our day by day lives. For instance, actions reminiscent of improper lifting, shoveling snow and traumatic accidents can destabilize the joint. However there are particular actions we observe commonly in yoga that may trigger SI joint dysfunction.
Listed here are those I’ve recognized up to now:
- Tucking the tailbone
- Squaring the hips in asymmetrical standing poses reminiscent of Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) and the Warrior poses, and in twists
- An excessive amount of deal with hip opening
Healthy SI Joint Follow
Untucking the Tailbone: The hip system is made up of three joints—the hip joints, the SI joint and the pubic symphysis. The place of every of those joints impacts the integrity of the others. (The pubic symphysis is motionless besides throughout start, so I’m going to deal with the opposite two right here.)
For the sacrum to seat securely within the ilium, it ought to sit at roughly a 30-degree angle in order that the highest tilts ahead. Which means that the pelvic rim must tilt ahead with the tailbone pointing again. When the sacrum is seated within the joint, it may possibly carry out its primary operate of transferring drive from the legs to the higher physique and vice versa. Once we tuck the tailbone, we lose that connection. As well as, over time, tucking the tailbone can destabilize the joint because the ligaments that maintain the joint collectively are overstretched.
The sacral/pelvic place has vital implications for the SI joint and for the hip joints, in addition to the backbone and the knees. Once we tuck the tailbone, the heads of the femurs push up in opposition to the anterior rims of the hip sockets. This will put on down the cartilage and labrum of the hip joints over time. As well as, once we tuck the tailbone and push the thighbones ahead, the knees hyperextend. Lastly, tucking the tailbone straightens out the lumbar curve.
Probably the most dependable solution to know whether or not your pelvis, and subsequently your SI joint, is in a impartial place is to develop an internal reference for what correct positioning seems like. An out of doors observer, reminiscent of a yoga instructor, can’t essentially decide your place just by taking a look at it. It’s because the form of particular person sacrum bones is very variable. Sacrum bones might be vast or slender, triangular or comparatively straight sided, and the profile of the bone could also be curved or straight. So for instance, somebody with a curvy sacrum could look as if she is tilting the sacrum ahead however could, in reality, be tucking the tailbone. Right here’s an exploration to strive:
- Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) together with your toes hips-width aside.
- Place your fingertips on the high of your thighs, on the hip crease.
- Tuck your tailbone and palpate the tissue on the hip crease. Notice how this tissue feels. It’ll probably really feel taut and laborious.
- Start to attract the heads of the thighbones again, guiding them gently together with your fingertips. You’ll probably really feel as when you’re sticking your butt out.
- Now palpate the tissue. In case your pelvis is in a impartial place, you’ll really feel a little bit of finish spring within the tissues on the hip crease. When you tilt too far ahead, the tissues will really feel slack. So when the tissues really feel not too tight, or not too free, you’re in all probability within the ballpark.
One other approach of figuring out your sacral place is to test to see when you can “wag your tail,” shifting your buttocks aspect to aspect.
- First, stand in Tadasana and tuck your tailbone. Attempt to wag your tail. Your pelvis will probably keep stationery and your higher physique will transfer aspect to aspect.
- Then tilt your pelvic rim ahead to the purpose the place the tissues within the hip crease really feel springy however not slack. Now attempt to wag your tail. When you can wag your pelvis backward and forward, your pelvis is probably going in impartial and your sacrum can sit securely within the joint.
Keep tuned for subsequent week’s SI joint put up, the place I’ll focus on pelvic place in asymmetrical standing poses.
When you’re eager about extra detailed information in regards to the hips and SI joints, learn my most up-to-date e book: Hip-Healthy Asana: A Yoga Practitioner’s Guide to Protecting the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Pain. The e book consists of an efficient methodology for lecturers to check pelvic place with their college students.