Chief causes and solutions of SI joint pain during pregnancy

Are you experiencing that excruciating pain in your lower back during pregnancy? Is it your first trimester and things have become quite painful down there? Of course, there are many other reasons for this pain, but most often than not your SI joint is the real culprit.

The pain may be felt continuously or at particular intervals of time as aches. It can be felt on one or both sides of your back and gradually move towards your thighs. Most of the new mums are unaware of pregnancy challenges or confused about this phenomenon and this painful condition results in high levels of stress and eventually depression.

If it’s you or anyone of your friends is experiencing this pain or planning to have a child, you need to be aware of the basics of this particular joint in your pelvic region. Not everyone experiences a painful SI joint during pregnancy, but then precaution is always better than cure. Read on to know all about this painful situation and the ways in which you can find respite in the times of need.

What is an SI joint?

First of all, what exactly is an SI joint? To start with, SI is an acronym for Sacroiliac. Amongst all the bones in the pelvic region, there are two bones known as sacrum and ilium. The ilium is commonly referred to as a hip bone. The joint which combines these bones is known as a sacroiliac joint. And there are two such joints because the sacrum is surrounded by an ilium from both sides.


These joints are vital in transferring the muscular weight of the upper body to the legs and knees. SI joints are an indispensable part of your body as they help in movements such as walking, running and jumping.


Following are the conditions which suggest that your sacroiliac (SI) joint might be the reason behind your troubles.

1. Lower back pain

Continuous or periodic pain in the lower back might be an indication of the SI joint problems. The intensity of this pain can range from moderate to severe. Normally, one might experience this pain only on one side of the back, but there are cases when women face it on both sides.

2. Pain that grows in the area

The reason behind SI joint pain is in the bad books of pregnant women is that it spreads widely. You might experience it in the whole pelvic region, lower back and even legs. It is one notorious pain to have during pregnancy.

3. Stiffness and difficult position shift

You might feel your pelvic bones have become stiff and cannot move easily. SI joint pain can even make it difficult for you to change positions while sleeping.

4. Difficulty standing up

The difficulty in changing positions isn’t limited to sleeping only. One may find it difficult to stand up. SI joint pain can even make it impossible for you to sit for a long period of time.

5. Difficulty while walking

Imagine if merely sitting and standing up can be troublesome, what happens if you try walking? You obviously will find it painful. No wonder pregnant women are found waddling, right! Climbing stairs and running might be a dream for those suffering from severe SI joint pain.

SI joint pain during pregnancy
Photo: Pixabay, Pexels.


Although there are many reasons behind the SI joint pain in pregnant women, the chief amongst them are listed below:

1. Hormonal shifts

Relaxin is the hormone which gets secreted when you conceive. It is responsible for relaxing the muscles and ligaments in the pelvic region so as to prepare your body for the childbirth. But on the other side, this relaxation also increases the friction amongst the pelvic bone resulting in joint pain. It is mostly experienced during the first trimester when the secretion of relaxin is the highest.

2. Growing baby bump

When your baby bump starts showing and growing, it can lead to change in the centre of gravity of your body. This puts additional stress on your pelvic region to balance this shift. And eventually, it leads to the SI joint pain.

Remedies to aid you in this situation:

The SI joint pain can be treated by surgical as well as non-surgical methods. However, when given an option, the majority of the mums-to-be opt for a remedy which neither has surgery nor any medications involved. And we have listed some of those friendly and less-maintenance solutions for you as follows.

1. Physiotherapy

This is the least intruding method of all to treat SI joint pain. Given the proper guidance, you are sure to feel better with reducing pain. An experienced and efficient trainer can teach you which muscles to stretch and which ones should be relaxed in the right way. You can start physiotherapy sessions from early on. This way, you can prepare your body for the upcoming challenges.

However, you need to make sure that you contact the authorised and genuine physiotherapists. As such any mistakes in the exercises can cost you a lot health-wise. Do the proper research prior to selecting a service.

2. Wearing a support belt

As the name indicates, support belts are designed and meant to provide support to your abdominal region. Specialised pregnancy support belts can help support the weight of your ever-growing baby bump. The precautions that need be observed on your part are – selecting the size of the support belt and learning the proper way to wear them.

3. Wearing compression clothes

Compression clothes come in a wide range of options with the sole aim to support your aching body. These clothes are specifically designed to hold together your growing body and exert as less stress as possible on your pelvis. Compression clothes support your lower back and pelvic region in daily activities, and you can also wear them to work.

If you experience SI joint pain after childbirth, compression garments can be worn in the 4th semester postpartum. They can help lower the pain along with getting you into shape again.

Pregnancy is one of the most amazing parts of a woman’s life. It has so many moments to cherish, so many memories to make. Don’t let joint pain stop you from having a good time. Cherish the process of becoming a mother and leave all the other worries on the remedies we suggested.

Sinead O'Donovan
Sinead O'Donovan
Sinead helps women in their health and well-being journey. Sinead works with SRC Health to provide continuous support and relief of pain during pregnancy and faster C-section recovery in 4th trimester. Her mission is to support women through all stages of life.
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