Two joints that are not usually thought of as hypermobile, but are in so many women with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or other connective tissues disorders are both the Pelvis and the Sacroiliac Joint (SI) joint. Neither the Pelvis or Sacroiliac Joint are not pushed or pulled (AKA – “tested”) when someone is using the Beighton Score assessment to test for joint hypermobility and thus, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. However, many women experience issues with the Pelvis as a whole or specifically the SI joint, resulting in looking for ways to strengthen and stabilize both joints. Here are a few pictures to show how things “fit” together (see below).
As you probably recognize, the Pelvis is the bigger joint, but it includes the SI joint, the Iliac bones, the Ilium, the sacrum, the pubis symphysis ligament and it is where you hips or your femur bone of both legs attach to your body; not to mention how many other tendons, ligaments and muscles attach all over both the pelvis and the SI joint. Here’s another graphic that labels all bony structures of the pelvis and SI joints, as well as a few ligaments other than the pubis symphysis, if you want a full-on crash-course in anatomy and physiology. You can tell just by looking at these graphics how crucial the pubis symphysis ligament is at holding the whole area together, as well as why if you have a tailbone injury, it can cause such pain and also affect nearly everything that you do.
Now, let’s take it one step further and look at a few more pictures of how muscles and tendons are attached to these joints (see below), since we are discussing how to strengthen your gluts to help with pelvic and SI joint stability. The graphic just below is one that makes me think, “That’s the really deep muscle pain I feel in my butt.” And it also makes me think, “No wonder why Sciatic pain sucks so bad.” Yep, it’s right there, right in the middle of a lot of things that can be pinched, inflamed or out of alignment… maybe even all three.
So, here’s one #EDSFitTip on how to strengthen your gluts to help with pelvic and SI joint stability:
– Take a smaller exercise ball, pillow or a kids play ball & stand next to something sturdy.
– Stand on your outside leg, while holding the inside leg up so that your foot rests easily next to the knee of your standing leg.
– Place the ball between the sturdy surface that you are standing next to & your inside knee that is bent & raised.
– Using a very small movement, press your bent knee back against the ball, in an outward manner vs. backwards.
– Focus on 3 sets of 10-12 reps each or how reps you can comfortably do before needing to rest.
– If you cannot stand to do this exercise, it can be done laying on the floor and by performing a clamshell exercise, as done often in traditional PT, floor and barre workouts.
And since I like images to help you visually picture which muscles you are working, where they are and why they are important, here are a few graphics that show how the muscles are attached to the Pelvic and SI joints that we looked at above. You want to look at these images as if you are looking at the back of someone’s rear end. The graphic on the left is the right butt cheek and the graphic on the right is the right side of the pelvis. You can see why your glut muscles are so important for stability for your pelvis, SI Joint and your hip joints.